Like any daughter, I love to blame Dad for everything. But, one thing I am happy to blame him for is the bug he gave me when I was a child – planting the travel bug.
I know, I know. It’s not life threatening to have the travel bug. While I blame my Dad for this little disease that really has no cure; to be honest, this isn’t really about blame. I really want to thank my father for the experiences that travel has allowed me.
I got this disease – the travel bug – at a very young age, when my father was in the Navy, based in beautiful Hawaii. It progressed, when a little over 2 years later, we moved to the suburbs of San Diego, in Chula Vista. After that, my father got out of the Navy. He became a nuclear engineer, where his expertise kept us moving nearly every two years, from one power plant to another.
Some kids may have thought that this wasn’t the best way to grow up, moving away from things you know every couple of years. And while there were times it was tough to leave, I would not have traded it for anything.
I would say that without this little bug I wouldn’t have had some of the most memorable experiences. For example, I was in one of the best marching bands in Lawrence County, Alabama. And, I would not have been able to have participated in a mock session of legislature at the Baton Rouge capital building. Can you tell that I am a total geek?
Oh, and the food!! I would not have gotten to experience the amazing food I did as a kid – including Cajun in Louisiana (I absolutely miss a good bowl of Gumbo and crawfish etoufee), general Southern cooking and genuine New York-style pizza.
We moved a total of 8 times in my youth wtihin 14 years; finally landing in Omaha in 1989. We lived in (in order): Hawaii, California, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Louisiana, Alabama and Nebraska. We lived in both urban and rural areas.
I truly believe that travel has allowed me to be a more open-minded person. Each time we moved was an opportunity to have new experiences including different cultures and landscapes.
In addition to moving as much as we did, we also went on vacation, which included Colorado, Mississippi, Texas, Florida and Michigan. Those are the ones I remember anyway.
The last family vacation we took together was about five years ago. Tim and I met my dad, step-mom and two nieces for a week at a lake house in Baxter, Minnesota. The weeklong trip was supposed to include a few days of boating and fishing in the lake, and swimming.
Well, as things turned out, Mother Nature had other plans. The nieces got to spend one day swimming. Dad got to spend one afternoon in a boat. It rained daily for all but two days of the 7 we were there.
However, that gave us time to bond playing card games, watching DVDs and just talking. Our nieces loved the movie “Labyrinth.” Papa (Dad) grew a little tired (OK, lots tired) of the girls watching the movie over and over. He had us hide the DVD behind others.
Our last full day at the lake, we were able to go boating. We had a wonderful time that week, rain included.
As an adult, I am so thrilled to have found a partner in my husband, who also happens to have this “bug”. We both continue to experience as much as we can through travel.
“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” – Michael Palin
Oh and while I am blaming Dad for giving me the travel bug, I also want to wish him a Very Happy 30th Birthday- AGAIN!!