Mom Hijacks Academic Trip from Daughter for Personal Vacation

Gillian Sisley

Do mothers deserve vacations paid for by other people?

After a long 2 years of the pandemic and travel restrictions, many are excited to finally get back out into the world and get some traveling done. Before the pandemic, data found that Americans took 2.29 billion domestic trips, while the United States has 1.4 billion international visitors per year.

With that said, not all travel plans are for leisure. Business travel in the US accounted for 464 million trips in 2019. And among those business trips can include educational travel for those completing more professional programs such as PhDs.

This situation was highlighted in a recent online post in which a daughter is headed to Germany on an academic trip for her PhD program, and her mother insists on attending with her and making it a 'girl's trip' type of vacation.

Do mothers deserve vacations paid for by other people?

A Reddit post published on March 24th, reported on by Taylor McCloud from Newsweek, has gone viral with 8,600 upvotes and 2,900 comments.

The author begins her post by clarifying that her daughter is the first in the family to ever attend college. Even better, her 26-year-old is in the process of obtaining her PhD. However, on a recent FaceTime call, the daughter expressed her frustrations to her mother about not being included on any academic trips around the country or the rest of the world.

While chatting with her mom, the daughter explained that she was working with her advisor to submit an application for a grant to go to Germany for 2 weeks in the summer. The author thought this was a fantastic idea, especially since she is half-German. She then told her daughter she's always wanted to go to Germany, and suggested that she could meet up with her and they could make it a 'girl's trip'.

The daughter immediately shut down that suggestion, telling her mom that it wasn't going to be a vacation, but rather that she'd be teaching and researching the entire time she was there. The author however did not relent and told her daughter that she could do that during the weekdays, and then in the evenings they could go to dinner together and go sightseeing on the weekends.

The daughter however confirmed that that would not work, as she had a very tight schedule planned and with any of her free time she was planning on networking with other academics in the area.

Academic trips are not vacations.

In the fall of 2020, data shows that 19.4 million students attended colleges and universities. 11.9 million of those students attended full-time, while 7.5 million attended part-time. Higher education is no walk in the park, and requires a lot of dedication and commitment to see it through until the end.

The author concludes her post by stating that after several of her suggestions were rejected, she felt like she was being tossed aside and that her daughter was embarrassed of her. She sternly told her daughter that she ‘needed to get over herself’, and that these academics aren't the only people she's going to meet and talk to. She ended her scolding by saying that her daughter’s family members love her far too much to put up with such 'annoying and elitist talk'.

What do you think? Is the author justified in wanting to meet up with her daughter during her academic trip, and expecting her to make time so that they can have a vacation together? Or does the author have no grasp on the purpose of the trip, or that for her daughter it's not a vacation but it's all about work?

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