Although my father and I are very different when it comes to a lot of things, there is no denying the fact that I am my father’s daughter, which I think scares him a little bit too much. I am a risk taker, a daredevil, and a happy go lucky-just like him (in his younger days, at least). Although I beg to disagree on his claim that we look alike, I see so many similar traits that I am lucky to have learnt from him. Without even knowing it, my father has taught me so many life lessons that I use in this nomadic lifestyle that I choose. In an effort to make him cry (which I know isn’t difficult because I myself am a big sap) here are a few things that my father taught me about life and travel.
My Father Taught me How to Pursue my Dreams and be Independent
When I initially told them my plan of packing up my life to go traveling for a year, I could swear I saw a little twinkle in his eye because although he would be worried sick for me, I knew he was secretly happy that I was brave enough to pursue my dreams. When I told my parents that I wanted to be a teacher, I never got questioned for choosing a career path that wasn’t going to make me rich. My father taught me that whatever it is that we choose in life, we had to pursue our dreams and work hard for it. I think part of the reason why he had no protest to my year-long hiatus was because he knew I had worked hard to save up the money. He knew it was my dream to see the world. It probably took my father all the strength he had to let his youngest daughter gallivant around the world by herself with nothing but a backpack in tow-but he did it anyway.
My Father Taught me How to be Frugal and Resourceful
Growing up, we were never rich. We didn’t have a lot, but my father always made sure that we lived a comfortable life. He was very resourceful and taught me how to be frugal. My father had one rule when it came to buying material things. “If you need it, I’ll buy it. If you want it, you buy it.” This applied to everything. While my classmates were all given cell phones in grade school, I worked hard for mine by selling hand painted stationeries and other knick-knacks. I remember being 8 years old selling sweets at our church because I was trying to raise pocket money for our trip to the states. I ended up saving $200, which apparently I hardly spent because I worked too hard for it! Because he taught me how to work for the things that I want, in return, I am more frugal and careful about my hard earned savings. When traveling, being frugal is an important skill that will dictate how long you can travel for, because every last cent counts (for beer money, of course!) I learned way before the value of being resourceful and frugal, which to be honest were the only reasons why I got to go on that big trip in the first place.
My Father Taught me How to Enjoy the Little Things in Life
If there is one thing that I would remember from my father, it would be his laugh. The way he makes other people laugh with his (very) corny jokes, and the way he would laugh about anything and everything! The look on his face when he is eating an ice cream cone, or the way he endlessly does silly stuff to make my sisters and I giggle when we were little. From his many stories (many which are far crazier that mine), I learned that life should be enjoyed. Life is short. Do what makes you happy. Laugh a lot and live A LOT. Learn how to appreciate moments and treasure all the experiences that come your way. Because of him, I realized the value of enjoying the little things in life. Good company on the road, a clean bed to sleep on, a home cooked meal, and most importantly, a good laugh.
I hope that one day, I would be able to tell my stories of life and travel to my kids, and I hope that they will look at me with amazement. I hope that they will learn from me how to pursue their dreams, how to be independent, how to be resourceful, and finally, how to enjoy the little things in life, just like how I learned from mine. To my father, who I know doesn’t always approve of my crazy dreams and world traveling, please know that everywhere I go, I take a lot of you with me, after all, I am my father’s daughter. Happy Father’s Day!