Every year on father’s day my mind turns to my own father, but this year, I think of my daughter and the travel experiences we have had.
Being a Father Is Amazing
It has been an amazing privilege to be Lucy’s Dad. In fact, I don’t even list my own Instagram on this page, but rather one dedicated to her. As I looked back through previous happy Father’s day images, we are almost always on the road. My wife and I loved traveling when it was just the two of us, but we have taken exactly one (non-work) trip without her, a two-day jaunt from Pittsburgh to New York.
Being a father changed me and it’s the most incredible experience I’ve ever had. Showing my daughter in the world has been a privilege. Like families around the world, spending a year at home was an adjustment. Before the pandemic, I was spending every other week across the country on business and I wasn’t the most present Dad in the world. What a precious gift this last year has been.
We Travel Together
As I look over photos from prior years, I am struck by just how much we have traveled together. She was there by our side on the Great Wall of China, in Lima, Peru visiting my host family returning after many years away from my study abroad. She was with me routinely in Thailand, England, and Spain.
These snapshots of our travels are better than any father’s day card.
Our Best Memories Aren’t At Home
As I think back of the best times the two of us have had together, it struck me that many haven’t been at home. At least, perhaps, those aren’t the memorable ones. She might point out a little league game (she’s a lefty with the perfect batter’s box stance), and we have lots of good memories at home but the best ones are trips abroad.
As we age, this may change, but I suspect it will not. We feel far more enriched eating noodles in Hong Kong, practicing bad accents in Italy, and having her explain how I should take her photo in Paris.
Fatherhood has been inexplicably challenging, terrifying, heartwarming, and rewarding. Travel, however, has enhanced our relationship. The way we view the world, together, is a deeply emotional connection. Traveling with Lucy is how we communicate, explore new ideas, stretch ourselves. Her openness creates a comparable willingness for me to experience more. And her aptitude is astounding – she’s a linguistic phenom. As we reflect on father’s day, I see the indelible impression my parents’ fathers made, and just hope that I can leave a fraction of the same impression for my daughter.
Happy Father’s Day, 2021.