Gran who worked two jobs her whole life travels abroad for the first time

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Debbie Myers enjoyed the trip of a lifetime with her daughter (Image: Shannon Galford / SWNS)
Debbie Myers enjoyed the trip of a lifetime with her daughter (Image: Shannon Galford / SWNS)

A woman who worked two jobs her whole life and never travelled abroad saved up for two years to go to Europe on her first ever foreign holiday.

Debbie Myers took the skies this summer and travelled to Europe for the first time, ticking off destinations such as London, Paris and Tuscany. The grandmother-of-four couldn't hold back the tears when she first touched down in Paris, after saving every penny she had.

The 65-year-old, who works as a retail manager in Seattle, Washington, said: "There really are no words. It was magical and awe-inspiring. And since it was something I always wanted to do, I was emotionally shocked it finally happened. Now when I have a bad day, I go back to Instagram and watch our videos again!"

Debbie's Europe trip has been a long time coming. She had wanted to head to the Continent, Italy in particularly, since as long as she can remember, but was convinced she would never be able to afford it.

Gran who worked two jobs her whole life travels abroad for the first time erideuiqtqiqdrinvThe mum and daughter made it to Venice (Shannon Galford / SWNS)
Gran who worked two jobs her whole life travels abroad for the first timeDebbie toasted the trip with a bottle of Champagne (Shannon Galford / SWNS)

The grandma even once applied for jobs as a travel agent and flight attendant, just so she could travel to Europe. When the world came to a standstill during the pandemic, Debbie's daughter Shannon Galford decided that she would help her mum fund the trip of her dreams.

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Shannon, 34, said: "I love to travel and my mom has always wanted to go to Italy. No, really. Her whole life she has talked about going, but never thought she would be able to. I decided after my last trip that I would help make it happen so we started planning. With covid happening, it gave us time to plan and save."

The two women started budgeted and decided to split the cost. Shannon and the rest of the family saved up for hotels and flights, so that her mom only had to save for food and a souvenir budget. It took two-and-a-half years for the family to gather the money to fund their two-and-a-half-week Euro trip.

Shannon explained: "It has been hard for my mom to be able to save and to take the time off of work without having a ton of vacation time. My mom has worked two jobs my whole life to get by and losing 2.5 weeks of work or saving to take that much time off is really hard.

"Being able to take care of her hotels and airfare made a big difference and I was so grateful I could do that. We’d love to go on another trip but it will take several years to save."

Debbie added: "I’m not embarrassed to say, I would not have been able to go without my daughter's help. In spite of that, it always feel good to set goals and meet them and have them be realized. It was life-changing for me to experience travel.

Gran who worked two jobs her whole life travels abroad for the first timeThe grandma loved to see the Eifel Tower (Shannon Galford / SWNS)
Gran who worked two jobs her whole life travels abroad for the first timeShannon said she was very happy to spend time travelling with her mum (Shannon Galford / SWNS)

"I will cherish the memory and the satisfaction of finally meeting a life goal that allowed me to experience all the things I did. I’m hoping to save and go back again - I’d love to see Provence and the Amalfi Coast."

Shannon, who works as a senior operations manager, has lots of experience travelling the globe. She says she loves travelling and has been all over the world in Airbnbs and boutique hotels, exploring cities and making new friends.

"But my mom hasn’t travelled much. She has been to New York and visited me in California and she once took a cruise to Belize but aside from that, this was her first big passport experience," the daughter continued.

The mother-daughter trip was all the more special as Shannon's dad died in 2021, something which made her realise how short life can be.

"I didn’t want my mom to miss out on these beautiful experiences. To watch her fall in love with Paris and Italy and places that make me so happy. It was so beautiful. She deserves so many good things," she continued.

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"To have a good relationship with your mom is so special. It’s something not everyone has and I want to be able to share that travelling together is not only possible, but it’s so much fun. It required planning and prep, but the memories we share and the laughter we shared are irreplaceable.

"Inspiring others to make memories with the daughters and mothers feels like such a special thing to do. I hope we will get to do it again. We learned so much about each other. From the food we prefer to sleeping patterns, to hilarious moments laughing together.

"We drank champagne and walked hundreds of miles and took goofy videos and got lost in alleyways and made new friends. It was so fun to see these sides of ourselves, together, when we hadn’t been one another in that way. You learn so much when travelling with someone and it was such a great way to learn another side of someone who has been with me my whole life."

Barney Riley

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