In exactly two weeks, I'll be sitting at a cafe in Paris, drinking coffee, and enjoying the culture and scenery with my lovely husband. We will be celebrating our one year anniversary, but today, I celebrate a different man in my life. I'd like to take a step back and reminiscence on my travels a few years back with another special man, my father.
In honor of Father's Day and my travels ahead, I'm taking a moment to look back and reflect on my first trip overseas. My dad, who has traveled numerous times seemed like the perfect travel partner. At the time I was in college and had a burning desire to see the world. I was ambitious, but also broke. I wanted to go, to see, to experience. I wanted to feel something different, surrounded by different people. But I didn't want to do it alone.
I can still remember the conversation clearly. I asked my dad if he wanted to go to Great Britain with me, and he said sure. That was that. We spent the next year planning, saving, and dreaming about the adventures that laid ahead. I think it was an escape for both of us, one we were looking forward to. I needed a break from school, and inevitably, he needed a break from work. So we did it. We booked our trip and in May of 2015, we left. "Tachartasan le athair" is Scottish Gaelic for adventures with dad, and that is exactly what we did.
The trip, despite the painful cobblestone and exhausting long hours of walking, was incredible. We ate, we drank, we laughed, we shared memories and we shared thoughts. Growing up at times it is difficult for daughters to bond closely with their fathers as their perspectives, lifestyles, and at times interests can be wildly different. This trip allowed me to grow closer to my father, and for that, I will forever be grateful.
In the end, you only have those cherished memories to look back upon and I often look back on that trip fondly. Beginning in London, one of our first stops was the Barnardo Home in London. This is where my great grandfather lived as a child and eventually emigrated to Canada through the Barnardo Home's program. It was a spectacular feeling to be in the presence of heritage. To learn more about where we were from and the cultures that created us to be today.
We traveled through England, to Scotland, then crossed the sea to Ireland and Wales. We ended our trip back in London and while the trip seemed over in an instant, it was incredible. I could write a novel about the adventures; signing in pubs, going off the beaten path, eating unusual foods, unpredictable events, and submerging ourselves into the fascinating culture. But truly, this isn't as much about the adventures, but about the memories and opportunities to grow closer. It was a trip that brought us closer as father and daughter. It was an opportunity to see my father in a different light. To see him outside of the home, his adventurous side. I grew greater respect for his ability to soldier on and his impressive navigational skills to figure out the insane streets of London. I learned more about him as a person and found a new greater appreciation for all that he did for me, and my family, growing up.
So this Father's Day, take a moment to reminiscence on an adventure with your father. And if you can't think of one, but have the opportunity to do so in the future, plan a trip. It can be a day to get away or a grand adventure. It doesn't matter. It could simply be a cup of coffee to say thank you, how are you, I love you, and I miss you.
So thank you, dad, for going on the trip of a lifetime with me. Thank you for supporting me and loving me unconditionally. I love you, to infinity.