My parents have recently retired which, when they are still in their very early 60s/late 50s is really bloody early. I had like 5 mins worrying about what they would do with this new found freedom of the daily grind then I realised they are going to be even busier now than ever before.
You see my parents don’t sit still.
They get involved, they travel, they give back to the community, they find new places, they see different sides to places they already know, they challenge themselves.
I spoke to them last weekend and mum reeled off a list of everything they have planned till Christmas and every month they have something exciting planned in. New places, new experiences and new adventures and that on top of everything they have already done this year I just don’t know how they ever had time to work before.
Being the offspring of such inspiring, caring, empowering, sometimes cringy, overly energetic, life loving parents I wanted to write them a little letter…
A letter to my travel loving parents,
As I sit here in my lounge room on the other side of the world from you I think about how I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. Not because you created me (ew that’s a bit weird) but because you brought my sisters and me up to be adventurous, fearless, inquisitive life loving women and more importantly you brought me to this little village that I now call home all those years ago. You set my path in motion over 20 years ago and none of us would have ever expected the decisions you made then to have had such an impact now.
You took us overseas before we even knew there was another side of the world and although you had to wait till your 30s to see outside of Australia we got to see it before we even hit our teens. We now know to do this you needed to sell the house, that the opportunity to do it happened at a really unideal time and that you were both scared about having to leave your families behind with little to no way to contact them with three temperamental little girls. The world was a different place then and it was either too expensive or the technology hadn’t been invented to keep in touch like it is now.
In doing what you did then and what you continue to do now, you taught us so many lessons. Seeing as you both are teachers seemed kinda adapt. Lessons such as an awareness of other cultures and religions, how to get to the airport way too early, how to not tackle roundabouts when driving on the opposite side of the road, how to be respectful of others beliefs, random acts of kindness especially when travelling speak volumes, how to be polite when eating new local cuisines, how trying to speak a different language with a thick Aussie accent is extremely hilarious and how to enjoy and relish the moment of being somewhere new.
I want to thank you for bringing exchange students into our lives. From our ‘sister Sophie’ when we were much younger to our ‘brother Hannes’ who helped fill the void for you when we all left home. We learnt about the world and other countries from having them in our life. We not only had them become (and still are) part of our family but we also became a part of theirs. I love how you are actively involved in rotary exchanges to help give other young adults the chance to explore a different culture and way of life. The way you help others is so inspiring and I only hope I can do something similar if I’m fortunate enough to have children.
Thank you for being involved in community projects and especially The Tumba2Kokoda Project that takes students in our small town on one of the most exciting adventures of their lives. The months of training, fundraising and organisation that you commit in itself is enough but then to do the trek along the Kokoda trail 7 times with the students must be one of the most rewarding things you do.
For always having a camera on hand to capture our moments and filling the spare room with more photo albums you could ever imagine. My obsession with photos started from you Dad! As much as we joke and laugh that you’ll make a ‘blurb book’ when you get back from a trip we know the value of having those photo books and love the stories they’ll continue to tell years from now. Mum, you have always been my biggest blogging fan you helped me, critiqued my posts, liked my photos, fixed my spelling and guided me on my own corner of the internet.
Thank you for being the type of parents that my friends make comments like ‘ can’t your parents just have a relaxing holiday’, ‘your parents go to amazing places’ It gives me something to aspire to. You don’t sit still you keep going and keep pushing to see more of the world.
Thank you for the long drives to Grandma and Grandpas every summer holidays, the long camping trip around Europe when all we wanted to do was stay at home with our friends. We learnt the joys of ‘boot picnics’, how to make friends and communicate with other children when we didn’t speak the same languages and that you don’t need to always get on a plane to have an adventure.
For making friends wherever you go and then actually keeping in touch with them. You did this long before Facebook and email were around to make it easier.
For having the type of holidays that push you outside of your comfort zone. Hiking in Nepal, exploring India, cycling through Croatia, solo travelling to England. You’ve shown us that you’re never too old or too scared to give something a go.
Thank you for not stopping my sisters and me when we got on all those many planes taking us away from you to let us continue our next steps in the world. I now it was and is still hard but thank you for being the parents that know you raised us to make the right decisions, to learn from our mistakes and to know who we are and that it’s ok to be whoever we want to be.
Thank you for now not crying until I’ve gone through the departure gate when we say our farewells. It’s funny how saying goodbye never gets any easier even though we have done it more times than I can count. The horrible goodbyes make the G’days so much sweeter.
For helping at times to fund our travels but also saying no and making us work 3 jobs to make the money ourselves. We know to have and enjoy something we need to earn it. Travelling isn’t an expectation or right it’s a privilege and that is a lesson I will always be thankful that you taught us.
I am who I am because of you and I am where I am because of you. For sacrifices, you made years ago and sacrifices you still make now and for that, I will always be so very grateful.
You are the best role models a little traveller and young (well kinda still young) woman could have.
‘At rejse er at leve’
Your favourite daughter
My mum is also a blogger and you can find her at www.debs-world.com she blogs about lifestyle, fitness, family and her and dads travels and you’ll find some hilarious stories over on her blog. So do check it out if you want to read more about these wonderful humans.