Youtube presenter Amelia Dimoldenberg explains why she loves to holiday with her nearest and dearest
I’m standing in the middle of a fish market in Tokyo and my mum is signalling for me to step into the road so she can take a photo of me in front of a giant crab. This is day two of a 15-day holiday in Japan with my mum and, so far, It has been everything I thought it would be – mainly because every single photo taken of me is blurry.
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Going on holiday with your mum isn’t something everyone does. I found this out when I told my friends and some of them said, “If I went on holiday with my mum we would kill each other.” A slight exaggeration, I’m sure, but others responded that it had simply never crossed their minds. Most people, it seems, would pick friends, a boyfriend, a girlfriend… literally anyone except their mum to spend their well-earned time off with.
So why did I end up going on holiday with my mother? (I do have some friends, I promise.) Well, we both really wanted to go to Japan. My dad didn’t want to go. None of my friends could take the time off or afford it. And, most importantly, I like spending time with her. So, just like that, I was transported off to eat sushi with Linda (except we didn’t eat any sushi…).
My mum and I are very different. There are 42 years between us. She doesn’t have any social media. She doesn’t even have WhatsApp (I know). While I scrolled through Instagram, she spent half an hour each morning noting down directions from a map and still got us lost, whereas I Citymapper-ed around perfectly. I am an excellent photographer, she uses the camera on her iPad.
But really, my mum was the perfect person to go away with, because we are also so similar. We are both under 5ft 5in, so we never complain about leg room. And we were the only people in Japan who don’t like Japanese food. (I know this is blasphemous. We’re very unadventurous when it comes to food.) But it was great because it meant I didn’t feel guilty going to an Italian restaurant every other night. Sorry not sorry.
The thing about travelling with just one person is that you get to understand them a lot better. There’s a transition you go through in your early 20s where your mum goes from being just your mum to a real person who actually has a personality. My mum is adorably awkward, funny without knowing it and overwhelmingly kind.
I really noticed the funny and awkward part in Japan – especially when she had to leave a shop because she was laughing so much at a pair of plastic broccoli earrings. But I also saw this awkwardness manifest itself in her discomfort in certain situations, like when it seemed she was feeling too old or uncool or not fancy enough for some places. But I’m not afraid to go anywhere and I think she found her own confidence in that. Whether it was sneaking into a fashion party, having cocktails on a roof or eating at a noodle bar next to the subway, we had a glorious time and it was great to see her enjoying herself in situations she probably didn’t think she’d be in.
There are things I’m under-confident about, my own abilities in particular, and my mum is always my biggest cheerleader. When I doubt myself or stress about deadlines for Chicken Shop Date, she puts things into perspective. Japan is such an out-of-this-world place with something new to see at every crossroads, so the person you’re travelling with could easily end up coming second as your senses overload. But the most memorable thing about my trip was spending time with my mum. I’m pretty sure she agrees. Anyway, she’d be lost without me. Quite literally – she wouldn’t have a clue where she was going.
“Amelia hosts Chicken Shop Date (a spoof dating show in YouTube) which is so good.”