mother's day

The perfect gift for Mom: Take her around the world with you

Crysthian Mancera and his mom, Patricia, sit astride camels in front of Petra.
Crysthian Mancera and his mom, Patricia, sit astride camels before Petra.

Crysthian Mancera has already traveled to 42 countries and has no intention of slowing down, especially now that his mother, Patricia, is accompanying him on his journeys.

Crysthian, based in Mexico City, went to Hungary as a volunteer after finishing college. He planned to stay for a month before spending another month touring through Europe. But while there, he met a gay Argentinian who had been traveling for years.

He told Crysthian the secret was to keep volunteering. After all, his housing and food would be provided, and sometimes, he’d get paid a nominal amount. With some planning, he could travel the world for practically free.

Before he jumped into his plan with both feet, Crysthian called the one person he knew would give sound advice: his mom.

“I decided to do it,” he told GayCities. “But before I did, I needed to know that my mom would have my back in case something went wrong.”

Assured by his mom, Crysthian took off on a three-year journey to Belgium, Morocco, and Ireland, among other places. In Ireland, he met a man “and almost got married” and settled down.

When the world shut down in 2020, he returned to Mexico. But as soon as it was possible, his restless spirit got the best of him, and he was ready to hit the road. Patricia was also going stir-crazy due to the lockdown, so asked her to join him on a trip to Colombia. It was her first international trip.

After years of traveling solo, his first traveling companion was his mom.

“She was who I was comfortable with [at the time],” he said. While they visited Medallín and other big cities, they weren’t the ones who stood out.

“We went to a little town called Guatape—a little town that isn’t a metropolis,” he said. “It was magical, and being with Mom exploring it was amazing.”

“There’s a difference between seeing something on the internet and seeing it in real life,” Patricia added. “It made me realize how little space I take up in this world and this universe.”

The two have since traveled around the globe together, visiting Jordan, Brazil, India, Switzerland, France, and, recently, Spain. Crysthian’s job with American Airlines has enabled them to do this.

“Every one has its charms, but the last one in Jordan was amazing.” Crysthian pointed out. “It was exotic and totally different for her.”

“We did this tour of the desert and went camping in the desert. There was no wifi and no devices to distract yourself. We had a deep conversation, and we got personal, like ‘What do you regret about your life?’ while alone in a tent in the middle of the desert. It was a way to connect and know more about each other.”

“You don’t take anything material from this world,” Patricia added. “And your most important possession is your memories. You live twice on a trip. Once when you’re doing it. The second, when you remember it.”

She said that going on the trips motivates her to keep going daily. Knowing there is an upcoming trip is a great reward for working hard to provide for her family.

“I feel blessed and thankful for what I have,” she said. “And it wouldn’t be the same if I did it with someone else.”

While Crysthian has continued to travel solo, he admits it’s most rewarding when his mom is at his side.

“She turned 50 last year. It was her dream to see Paris,” he said. “So instead of choosing someplace, I took her there to fulfill her dream. I’ve been there many times, but it was the most fulfilling that time.”

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