Best Mom Ever: A Tribute To My Amazing Mother Alicia

Best Mom Ever |

Hello, friends! Sorry for the break in blogging, I came back south to California from Canada and took a few days to settle back home in San Diego. It also marked the 2 year anniversary of my mother’s death from pancreatic cancer so I took a few days off reflecting on the best mom ever!

Milestone dates can be tough for people dealing with grief and loss but luckily I have great support. I have brothers and sisters in law who are supportive. I have amazing friends. Pops (aka dad) on the other hand is in a deep depression and has not left his apartment for several months. This is why I was in Vancouver for so long. I was trying to spend time with him while there is still time. I know how important it is to feel some love and support during dark hours. As much as it can be difficult to fall into someone else’s grief, I know that I may regret not being there for him when he’s no longer around.

Back to the best mom ever! What a gorgeous and amazing human my mom was. I don’t know anyone who didn’t love her. She was so kind, generous, funny, and mischievous. She loved everyone even if they hurt her. It was such a blow to find out that she was dying. During my round the world trip I came home for a quick break, only to discover a 60-pound version of my mother.

When I saw her, I knew immediately that she was dying. My family was instructed not to tell me that she was dying so that I wouldn’t come home early from my travels. Everyone could see that travel was helping me after the loss of my husband, so they did not want to tell me the news. But it didn’t sink into my head until my brother told me she had cancer and only had very little time left. After he told me, I drove away and I nearly crashed my car. I had to stop on the side of the road to avoid an accident and at that moment, I had a full blown break down.

Mom in Hong Kong |
Mom in Hong Kong. I think I got her wanderlust spirit

Gorgeous Mama |

Just gorgeous and stylish!

Two and a half weeks after I came home from my round the world trip to take a break between continents, my mother had a seizure and lost consciousness. The doctors told us that we were at the end. As they took her off all the machines, I lay in bed with her. Other than a quick shower, I did not leave the hospital for almost 72 hours. I knew that it was time to say goodbye and that my mother’s life was coming to an end.

A few days before my mother had her seizure I told her how much I loved her. We were able to say proper goodbyes to each other and I let her know that she was the best mom I could have ever asked for. I told her that I still needed her in my life and that there was so much we had to share still. Crying, I asked her who I would talk to every day about life. She managed in her weak state to say,

“Baby, I have loved you with all my heart your whole life. I fell in love with you the moment I saw you. Be strong. Finish your travels. Finish what you started. I know you will want to quit your trip to be with your father but your brothers are here. Go to Europe. Please finish. I love you.”

Those were some of the last things she said to me. She went back to bed and I knew she was in pain but trying to hold up and look strong in front of me.

Stunning Mama |

She was gorgeous

My mother died on July 27th, 2011. In October of the same year, I continued on with my round the world trip. I went to Europe just as she said. I don’t regret this decision. If she didn’t tell me not to quit, I know that I would have. Now I have unforgettable memories and new friends whom I cherish very much.

Not only did I go to Europe, but I also went even further. I circled back to Australia, spent time with new friends and my cousins. I went back to Bali, the Philippines, and Hong Kong again before heading home. She would be chuckling at me but she would be proud of me. She always was.

Best Mom Ever |

Mom in Chicago in front of Buckingham Fountain

When I post her photos, I love it when people say I look like her and that I have her smile. I don’t necessarily see it but it makes me happy because she was so beautiful. She was made to be a mother and I am so grateful that she was mine.

I love you so much, Mom! You always supported whatever I did in life and I hope that I am still making you proud. 

Best Mom Ever |

The Best Mom EVER!

Speaking of Moms…have you seen this British Airway video? Don’t watch this unless you’re okay with crying. You will cry.



  • Flights: Find a cheap flight using Skyscanner or Momondo. I like these two booking sites because they both search all websites and airlines around the globe including budget airlines.
  • Accommodations: I use or Tripadvisor to find the best rates on hotels. offers a free night after booking 10 nights
  • Get up to $40 off your first Air Bnb stay by using this code!
  • Travel Insurance: Having gotten sick on my travels in the past, I never travel without being insured. You never know when something may happen. For my round the world trip and extended long-term travel, I use World Nomads. For other trips, I have used Roam Right and they cover activities like extreme sports.

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