Travel isn’t just about where you go. It’s also about the quality time spent with those with whom you go. I’ve been very lucky in my life to have had the chance to travel extensively with both my father and my stepfather. Today, on Father’s Day, I want to share a few travel memories of them.

Driving trips have always been my dad’s favorite. And these aren’t just any driving trips, like from LA to the Bay Area. No, these are several thousand mile hauls, covering all sorts of national parks and other natural sights. We (my father, sister, and I) would wake up early to leave the house around 4 or 5am. Sometime we would have a plan, sometimes we would just pick a direction and start driving. Around the time we stopped for breakfast, we’d pull out the maps and decide where we were actually going. Dad drove (though on my recent trips with him I’ve done the driving), and I’d be in the passenger seat as the official navigator. My sister would be in the back seat reading, and manning the cooler. We would call out “commissary” when we wanted a snack.

Recently, I’ve been lucky to be able to again take a couple driving trips with my dad. He was on my trip to Memphis and surroundings, and we also did a much longer driving trip through the South last year. His love of the outdoors and getting the perfect photograph have not waned, and he has even been willing to step out of his comfort zone a bit to try some new things, like the Apache simulator at the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL! (Neither of us was a good shot, so America can rest easily knowing we are not the ones out there defending freedom.) Please note it is not us in the image below.

I am also very lucky to have a close relationship with my stepfather, David. David is one of those travelers who is very much a “go-with-the-flow” companion, always game to try new things (except a safari, for some reason) and constantly smiling while doing so. He and my mom love cruises, and we have been on a bunch together, from Alaska to the Caribbean to Southeast Asia.

One of the running jokes with David on a cruise ship is that, despite the ever changing menu of interesting dinner options, he will always order a Caesar salad. We set an over/under of the number of Caesars he will order before the cruise starts, and he always makes the over. 

On family vacations, the guys (David, my brother in law, and I) seem to end up on a hike. We have done the cliffs of Morro Bay, the Halifax fort, and Yosemite waterfalls together.

To both of these wonderful men and role models, I wish a happy Father’s Day, and to all kids out there, take some time to travel with your dad. You won’t regret it!

2 thoughts on “Traveling with Dad

  1. Jonathan, that was a wonderful tribute you wrote. Thanks. I don’t think I could have gotten a better Father’s Day present.

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