On the morning of my departure to Chile, I woke up feeling the normal jittery rush of anticipation and excitement that travel brings me. You would think that after all these years, I’d somehow get used to it but that same restless nervousness about going on an adventure far from home never seems to leave me. After a restless night’s sleep of tossing and turning, it was finally time to start the long haul to Santiago. The babysitter had arrived to help out with the kids and our family dog, the dinners were made and frozen in the freezer, and my bags were packed with everything I’d need for the next nine days. All I needed to do was get into the cab and I was off.
This trip marked the 13th trip I’d taken with my dad since I graduated college. Over the years, we have been to many special places together ranging from the Himalayas of Nepal, to the vast stretches of rugged earth of Iceland, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the bush of South Africa, the urban jungle of China, and the mountains of Argentina, Bolivia, France and Peru. Together we have experienced a lot of adventures, and in all of my travels, I have never ever met another father-daughter traveling duo before.
It took me some time to realize that it was unusual and not something you see every day. Mother and daughters traveling together is much more common and I too have been fortunate to have traveled with my mom. But a father and a daughter traveling together was something unique. Despite the occasional awkward stares of those who thought I was his much younger wife, traveling as a pair has started many conversations of curiosity among strangers and opened many unexpected doors. It is something I would never trade for anything and an experience I hope to continue with my own children down the road.
Perhaps the most profound impact that father-daughter travel has had on me is that it has given me a deeper understanding of myself. Each and every trip we have taken together over the years have been like a patch of a quilt that has made me who I am today. I’ve learned about our shared family history and of the memories we’ve shared together and apart. About the times when my father was a child and when he met my mom, eloped to Europe in the 1960s and began a lifelong love of travel. I’ve learned to be curious, to take chances and to be adventurous. I’ve learned that the world is an amazing, spectacular place in which my thirst for exploring it will never be fully satiated. I’ve become a dreamer and a lifelong lover of travel. All of these gifts I credit to my dad and my mom too who also loves to travel (but perhaps not to as crazy as places as me!).
So as I began to share the highlights of my trip to Chile on the blog, I hope to instill a passion for exploring the world together with family. It is a magical experience that is bound to be unforgettable. It has been a wonderful gift and for that I am truly thankful.
Stay tuned…coming up next is a walking tour of Barrio Bellavista to see some of Santiago’s most vibrant street art!