A few weeks ago I mentioned that I came from a long line of travelers, I wrote a piece on my Grandpa last week. Today, I will be writing about the man that I cannot say enough good things about, my father. My dad and I are so much alike that it is uncanny; we can speak without ever saying a word. Whenever something goes awry in my life, he is my first call; we both have the same mindset and we depend on each other, fore we think alike and thus put things into perspective for each other. He is also my biggest influencer to travel.
I remember when I was a child he was always (or it seemed) going on these trips around the United States four wheeling; at the time I hated it, I hated not having my dad around, even if it was just for a few days. The best times were when we had our daddy-daughter trips four wheeling. He would take a week off and take me on these trips exploring mountains, swamps, woods, wherever we could go, we went.
In 2008, we starting making the move out west with our travels, and from the moment the plane touched down, I had already fallen in love with the west. It was like nothing I had ever seen before; glaring red rocks, pale beige slick rock, and vast deserts. I knew instantly I would make this place my home one day. From the get-go, my dad and I hopped on the four wheelers and drove through the Sovereign trail, just outside the house he was renting for our family. My father never missed a year of traveling, even when the Great Recession hit, he made it work. He valued the time my family spent together, especially in new places. I think he loved being able to show my mom this world she had never been able to venture into growing up, and he instilled the value of time well spent on my brother and I. Though he is too tough to admit it, he lets off a light of happiness when we are all together wherever we have traveled to. He smiles more in the time we are on vacation than any other time of the year.
My dad and I are the two members of the family who push ourselves to the limit while four wheeling; even if he takes me on “paint-a-pot” trails in 107 degree weather. He and I feel this indescribable desire to constantly explore. He passed that trait, and many others, onto me. I have this constant urge to find new places to see in this world. He once told me of a quote by the famous motorcycle rider, Bill McKenna and it goes like this: Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to slide across the finish line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, and shouting GERONIMO!!! My dad and I have both been in situations where things have gotten scary, probably too many to mention in just one blog post, but it’s burning desire to live life to the fullest.
He also influenced me to one day bring my own kids and spouse on these amazing trips; I don’t know if he knows it, but these trips have saved me from going down the wrong paths in life. When going through rough times, I sit and think Just 6 more months until the trip, you wanted to go see these places, don’t leave before you see them. He also showed me to my favorite spot in the entire world. I go to this place every year, though I won’t give out the location, it is atop a mountain. I have always believed that when I find the one I will spend the rest of my life with, that I would show him this location. When I stand on that mountain, there are no obligations to work, school, bills, nothing. It is just me with a completely clear mind. That mountain is my home in my soul, and it was my father who allowed me to be able find my home, now and forever.