From walking the historic and heritage tours in Boston to gazing snake charmers in Morocco, Tracey Douglas-White and daughter Kennedy White are a mother and daughter duo who fly high and bond close in an era where teens too often think, parents just aren’t cool.
The Miami Times introduced Kennedy Jan 29 as a St. Thomas Aquinas high school senior who indeed loved traveled and had already earned her pilot’s license. Her next scheduled trip was the big move into her summer dorm at Florida State University, but those plans were halted by COVID-19. Kennedy has enrolled in the university’s online classes as plans for the Fall semester have yet to be finalized.
But before the pandemic altered their lives, the South Florida-based duo created memories, stateside and abroad, that helped them bond as they traveled the world together.
“When Kennedy got old enough, I decided to use extended weekends to travel to major cities,” said Douglas-White. “I figured we lived in a bit of a bubble and she needed some city experiences, things like walking more and using public transportation,”
Kennedy has traveled domestically and internationally since she was two-months old and was issued her first passport three months later. Since then, she has vastly explored the globe visiting destinations like Canada, Hawaii, the Poconos, Iceland and Dubai to name a few.
“Traveling is a way to experience other cultures and ways of life,” exclaimed Douglas-White. “These experiences help you relate to people’s differences and you learn that there are a number of commonalities no matter where you travel. It's also a great time to bond and have common experiences that last a lifetime.”
The family is surrounded by globetrotters as Douglas-White’s godfather worked for Delta airlines. She grew up traveling, and that is where her love for voyages heightened. She knew this would be something she wanted to share with her own child one day.
In October of 2014, Kennedy and her mom flew to San Francisco for a weekend trip and ventured Fisherman’s Wharf, visited the Alcatraz island for a day and indulged Chinatown’s culture.
“Traveling across the country to San Francisco showed me that Kennedy was ready to travel,” said Douglas-White. “She managed the time zones well on both ends of the trip and hung with me without complaint. We did a lot of walking, about 10 miles a day, and Kennedy was enthusiastic the entire time.”
Being an only child afforded Kennedy the opportunity to go everywhere with her parents, but traveling alone with mom created a space to relate to one another in a unique way. Mother-daughter relationships tend to be special, so spending quality time in any significant way, even if it is not through traveling, can be beneficial to relationships between mothers and children.
“Being away from home and in another city, country or continent is completely exciting in itself,” said Kennedy. “Our trips are forever memories for us, and I will always be grateful for my early start in seeing other parts of the world.”
Traveling together is something that can be cherished for years to come, and having a lifelong travel buddy and spending quality time together can spark once-in-a-lifetime thoughts and create experiences that would not otherwise exist.
“I think it is a good thing to have one on one time with each child. Travel is just one of the ways we spent such time,” shared Douglas-White. “I found that this makes our children feel special and important. As a result, Kennedy shares more with me. Her feelings, her dreams, and her goals and desires. We have a very good relationship. I think traveling with her helped build that bond.”
The possibility that Kennedy may leave home for college still looms, but the mother-daughter duo will not let that deter them from doing what they love.
There is still a great deal to see and experience,” said Kennedy. “And I look forward to continued travel with my family and someday my own children will be packed up with us.”