My Father Is Why I Travel

Meet Roy, an average American middle-aged male who enjoys watching football while having a few beers, and the little girl who he wanted to adventure around the world.

Growing up, my father always did things a little differently; his parenting style was unlike most of the 20th century. Being his only child, and a little girl at that, you would have thought I would have gotten whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and that was true until the day he said I stopped being his sweet little girl and became a moody teenager. My father’s upbringing was a bit unorthodox and he wanted me to have a better life than him, but he also never wanted me to be spoiled or to make me feel entitled. So, growing up if I wanted clothes, shoes, or make-up the answer was always unequivocally… no.

That is unless I was willing to work for it, and from a young age, I knew what it was like to do my own laundry, clean the kitchen, and vacuum the house. I would then receive my hard-earned money and we would set out to spend it. The whole ride my father asking if I was sure if this was really what I wanted to “waste” my money on. His view was always that he could give me money for clothes one month and then the next I would want different ones (and he wasn’t wrong). He would try to convince me to save it; put it in my savings account for something better OR put it towards a souvenir on our upcoming trip. I didn’t always listen but I wish I had.

Even for birthdays and Christmas, I could non-chaluantly ask for money, but he would want to know what it was for, and the second he found out, the answer was usually no. It always left me irritated until one year he suggested that we start going on trips for the holidays. For Christmas and my birthday, he would give me a generous sum and send me on a trip to wherever I wanted. And that is when I found my father’s  weakness. He would theoretically love to travel, but to be honest, he hates human interaction and loves the comfort of his own home. So he would rather see me have these experiences and live vicariously through me.

So he’s been pushing me since childhood to value experiences over possessions. To this day, I know I could call my dad and tell him about a trip Edward and I am going on and he will get excited for us. And more times than not, he offers to give us money for excursions or nice dinners. He loves that he is able to give me these experiences. And I love that he has provided me with them. Everywhere I go I make sure to pick up a trinket or two for him and throughout the decades his office has become a shrine to me, my travels and our life together.

Not only have I had so many amazing and unforgettable experiences, I have also gained valuable lessons; I’ve grown up to appreciate what others don’t. I am not the average materialistic person, I value experiences over expensive possession. That’s not to say I don’t indulge from time to time, but my husband and I make sure to live below our means because it allows us the opportunity to travel and gain experiences that others are unable to have. And thanks to all of my father’s generosity I have had the privilege to engage in the world more than the average person.

I have ventured the world and experience the good and the bad. I’ve seen suffrage first hand, and it’s made me a more humble person. I have experienced and grown from various cultures I have interacted with. My travels have enriched me and made me a more tolerant person. So to all of, that I want to say, “thank you, Dad.”

What important lessons have your parents taught you?

Comments

Ally V

So true- experiences over stuff! My parents also instilled a very strong work ethic, and the understanding that as long as I’m willing to learn, I can do anything!

    Alexandria

    Same here! It’s great when our parents strive to make us better people!

Emily S

It sounds like you had a really great upbringing with a dad who taught you valuable lessons 🙂 I also feel that experiences are far more important than “stuff” and try to give them as gifts more often than something that comes wrapped. (I only wish others would do the same towards me haha)

    Alexandria

    I did, I am very lucky to have him as a father. It’s always great when you are able to give others experiences, it’s exciting that i have found someone who shares the same views. I too wish people would do that with me as well. Only my father seems to get it. haha

Daisy @ Simplicity Relished

LOVED this post. It’s a really beautiful story of fatherhood– I hope you continue to tell it to people you meet. I think one thing my parents instilled in me was to look beyond a person’s appearances. A good lesson learned!

    Alexandria

    I’m glad you enjoyed it! I will always tell people this story. That was indeed a wonderful lesson for your parents to teach you, if only more people thought that way!

Katrina Elisabet

Awwww, that is so sweet. I wish he’d go out and travel himself, too!

    Alexandria

    Me too! We traveled a lot together when I was a child. He probably took me to Disney World 8 times, but as we both got older he just sent me out on my own. Here’s to hoping I can get him out of the house again one day!

Jessi @2feet1world

Wow that’s a beautiful story!

Jessie

I love reading posts that celebrate people and what they’ve brought into the world or a life. Does your Dad read your blog? 🙂 I’m popping over from The Peony Project today.

    Alexandria

    He does read it from time to time. I was nervous to tell him about it at first, I thought he would think it was silly. But he seems to be proud of me for it. Hopefully, he’ll see this post. on another note, I’m so honored that you stopped by!

      Jessie

      My Dad reads mine too. It’s funny how proud they are. I felt the same way…about the silly. 🙂

Erica Brooks

Your dad seems like a wise man. I think it’s that he encouraged a good work ethic and travel in your life.

    Alexandria

    I like to think he is. Thank you for stopping by the blog!

Ana O'Reilly

What a moving tribute to a wonderful dad!

Ariel Pingault

I love this post! Traveling is such a great gift-you learn so much from being able to explore and interact with new people, be in new environments, and you appreciate them so much more! 🙂

    Alexandria

    Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Everything you said is true, traveling has the way of effecting us in more ways than we know!

Henar

This is a beautiful post, thanks for sharing and cheers to your dad! he sounds like a wonderful person 😀

Rachel

What a great lesson to pass along. You’re lucky to have such a supportive Dad! I think my parents have taught me a similar lesson about living beneath my means, but also on not being afraid to spend on the things that matter to you (eg travel, giving to charity).

    Alexandria

    I really am! Aside from traveling he’s always strived to teach me to live below my mean as he does. It’s great that your parents taught you the same thing. It sound like we both have wonderful role models.

Tanj from A Travelogue

Love this post! I agree with your dad with experiences over possessions. You are blessed with people like your dad who values the gift of travel.

    Alexandria

    Thanks Tanj! I really am blessed to have him and I appreciate him everyday.

Monica

Oh I loved reading this! I would think that as a parent it would sometimes be far easier to spoil your child and give them everything they want (especially if they’re having a fit in the middle of the grocery aisle) than teach them valuable life lessons – your dad is awesome. I think I love traveling because of my mom. Although my family didn’t have much money to travel when I was little, I worked odd jobs alongside her to earn money so that I could tour parts of Europe in middle school with my classmates because she thought it was so important for me to see the world.

    Alexandria

    I’m glad! You would think and he has spoiled me in so many ways, just not in the conventional ways. I’m sure working from a young age taught you a great work ethic and made you appreciate your trips more than those who didn’t have to work for them. It’s great that even though your mother couldn’t provide all the money she found a way for you to earn it and encouraged you to travel!

Jackie

Yes! My father was the same exact way. Of course I couldn’t have an iPod, but that did not stop him from buying my airfare to Europe as my high school graduation present!

    Alexandria

    Oh I got a walkman and IPod but that’s only because it kept me distracted from talking to him. hahah. He is a solitude person. We could be on a 5 hour drive and only talk for 45 minutes. But nonetheless I feel your pain, but at least you go to go to Europe!

Brittany Bergman

What a sweet tribute to your dad! Isn’t it funny how we don’t appreciate our parents’ wisdom and lessons until we’re older? They shape us all along, and I love that you can see that playing out so clearly in your life now. What an amazing mark he has left on your life!

    Alexandria

    I hope he enjoyed it! It really is, growing up we get so frustrated with our parents and get exasperated when they say that they know better. but then we grow up and we realize they really did! He is the reason I am the person that I’ve become!

    P.S. I saw your news on IG and I am so excited for you sweet girl! You will be a wonderful mother and I hope you enjoy this journey!

SWAGS @ What Up, Swags?!

Amen to all of this: experiences are so much more valuable than possessions, and WAY more inspirational!

    Alexandria

    Very very true! It’s just awesome that we both get that!

Europe Diaries

How lovely! My father has inspired me to travel too, though in a different way. He himself has sailed and traveled the world for 30 years.

    Alexandria

    How amazing, i am sure that was a wonderful experience for him and such an inspiration to you!

Shawn Griffith

What a great story! My wife and I love to travel! I think travel is great way to learn things about the world and yourself.

    Alexandria

    It really is, you learn so much about yourself and the people around you. There is so much more outside our front doors!

Helča Budilová

wow, I have similar story, but not exactly the same…my dad has been traveling all around the world since his young age, first because of studies, now because of work, and he has never stopped exploring the other countries…and when I saw photos from some places he visited and heard some of his stories, i always wanted to go and do it on my own…and i finally do it too 🙂 and we always plan another adventures, trips and where we can go and share together our experiences from various trips we both took, together or alone…and now he even starts traveling with my younger sister.. 🙂

    Alexandria

    How inspiring to have a father like that to look up too! I know I would be awe inspired. It’s so great that you went out there on your own and traveled as well. It sounds like you and your sister have an amazing father who loves you, wants to spend time with you, and wants to enrich your life. You are very lucky. Have fun on all your trips alone and together and keep me posted!

KaleenasKaleidoscope

This is so sweet! My parents raised me similarly, never spoiling me with money or clothes but taking me on lots of trips. And my dad now always says he’s living vicariously through me since he chose his career over traveling when he was younger. It’s a great gift your dad gave you. 🙂

    Alexandria

    Thank you! It’s always great to hear from people with similar upbringings. Hopefully you are having enough fun for both you and your dad!

Rachel Heller

My parents unintentionally taught me not to put off what I really want to do. They loved to travel, and we did get our share of trips as children, but they put off a lot of what they wanted to do till after they retired. But then they both died before retirement age. So I’ve learned not to put things off!

    Alexandria

    That’s great. I’m so sorry to hear about them passing. People keep telling my husband and I that we should wait to move abroad and do our big adventures until we’re older and we have a savings. But we want the adventures while we are young and healthy.

Natalie Tanner

I’m giving my kids those experiences as we travel and explore together. What a neat post. I know he loves knowing how happy you are and how BIG your world is! Thanks for sharing!

    Alexandria

    That’s wonderful. I know they appreciate it now and will grow up to appreciate it even more. It makes him very happy to know I get to have all of these experiences.

Tracie Howe

I grew up as an only child too. Surprisingly I am not very materialistic either, despite the spoiling done by my dad to try to win me over (divorced parents). I agree that experiences can be so much better! I wish I had learned that even earlier than I did though… could have had many more under my belt! 🙂

    Alexandria

    Only children unite! Experiences really are so much better then everyday materials, I am thankful that my father taught me that so young. I’ve already had so many experiences, I only wish you could have learned it early as well.

      Tracie Howe

      He did teach me that as well, about experiences. But I think his first try was with gifts. 😉

Chris Nash

I love the parenting philosophies he’s brought to the table. The value of work ethic, and of course, our common love, travel! Go dad!

    Alexandria

    Me too. He’s taught me so much and I cannot wait to teach the same values to my own children.

vetaretus-6

That’s such a cute story! :’D Gotta love dads!

Gabrielle Trenbath

Great post 🙂 My dad is also the reason why I travel

http://www.blogsbygabrielle.blogspot.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *