“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” ~ Matthew Karsten
I’m not sure if my Dad would recognize this quote, but it reminds me of him nevertheless. He and my Mom instilled in me a love of travel and discovering new places.
My Dad always believed that family vacations were required. I can’t remember a year without a vacation, not just time off from work, but loading the car or a rented camper (never flying) and going somewhere. This is especially amazing since his job in sales kept him behind the wheel driving hundreds of miles every week.
When we lived in Indiana, Florida was our vacation destination. Before I was in school, fall trips were the norm, usually to Sarasota. One year, we were hit by a hurricane and evacuated to a room on the second floor because the water was coming in the first floor rooms. When we awoke the next morning, the storm had passed and as we walked on the beach we saw incredible damage to other buildings. In fact, there was a toilet sitting on the beach. All that was left from a not so well built structure. A little thing like a hurricane couldn’t deter us. We continued to take beach vacations in Florida, one in Pompano Beach, our eventual home.
After moving to Florida, our vacations were to Indiana to visit relatives and to North Carolina where we learned to love tubing on the rivers and going on river trips. Dad could sit for hours on a rock overlooking a section of the river he dubbed “Betty Falls” giving advice to tubers and lending a hand to those who lost their ride in the turbulent waters.
One year we even went on a six-week camping trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Mesa Verde National Park and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, a secluded area with few people and no telephone service for fifty files. It’s also where my Mom insisted she came face to face with a panther. While we’d gone to Mammoth Cave and the Smoky Mountains earlier, this trip was the beginning of my love of our National Parks.
I developed a talent on these camping trips…riding shotgun. Whenever my Mom couldn’t handle the stress of sitting up front in the motor home. Dad would call me to sit up front as we hugged the edge of narrow roads without guardrails to protect us from the steep drops. I even earned the privilege of manning the co-pilot seat through Atlanta, when the brakes were failing. Unfortunately, I no longer possess the nerves of steel needed for the passenger seat.
Now I’m planning trips to National Parks and driving, but also investing in travel.
Happy birthday Dad, the traveling man, and thanks for investing in travel.