I'm not sure why this was the case, but I always found it a role in life I wanted to be a part of. That role finally came my way in 2008 literally two days after my birthday! My daughter was brought into this world, and forever changed the way my life operates.
I have described on the blog before how my daughters mother and I always intended travel to play a big role in her life. For me though it went further than just travel, for me it was about what travel could bring into her life.
Here's a little story I've always concocted in my mind when thinking about this:
Father: My child I bring you the gifts from the world
Child: Thank you dad! Where are they from?
Father: They are from various places around the world, this one from Africa, this one from Asia etc
Child: They all look so different, why?
Father: Well child the people out in this world are different, different colors, different styles, all different.
Child: When will I have the opportunity to see these 'different' people?
Father: Well that is why I bring you these souvenirs, so that I may share these stories with you about my travels.
Child: Father I can feel these materials, and I can enjoy them, but I cannot sense them, appreciate them, the same way you have. A story is a great, but to experience is even better!!
Father: Well then child I think it's time for you to go see the world!
My point with this little tale is that hearing about something is not the same as experiencing it. I have been to many parts of this world, and that is great. I could share these stories with my daughter as she gets older for sure. For her to really appreciate them, wouldn't it be much better for her see it through her own eyes, rather than through eyes of someone else?
Travel has fundamentally altered the way I perceive others, myself, and the role we all play in this big world. As I've gotten older, and have become more aware of certain societal issues, I began to realize the world did not revolve around just me. I stared poverty in the eye, became acquainted with social inequalities and so on.
For this reason travel + helping has become so important in my life.
The role I have as a father is one of great responsibility. Not only for myself but for the little girl that looks up to me as well, and by no means do I take that responsibility lightly.
Together her mother and I are trying to raise a socially responsible child, one who is compassionate & informed. We present her with the good things in life, while also trying our best to instill things in her that will make her appreciative of the life she has.
On my end I am trying to achieve some of this through world travel. I would like my daughter to realize that the world is a big place, one that can be open to her if she so chooses.
As each day passes and she grows ever so slightly. I look forward to a day when I can look upon her and revel in the person I know she will be.
A person who has seen the world, and understands the role she can play in it.
Being the big softy dad I am, I can't help but to suggest a path like my own, but however it plays out I will always support her!
So as I sit back and witness her become her own person we will continue to make progress on racking up experiences & country stamps on our passports!