17 June 2012

Thanks to my dad I enjoy learning through travel.

This Father’s Day I am contemplating my love of travel because my dad instilled this love within me.

Always on a tight budget growing up, our family still did not lack for travel.  Dad always found a way for us to explore various regions in the United States.  In fact, we not only traveled, we also resided in four different states in the first sixteen years of my life--Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida  (When I left for college, the family moved to North Carolina, where they still reside).  The whole family (6 of us) traveled to multiple other states, always by car, but we were continually looking for adventures to as far-away places as Mexico while traversing Arizona and the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and Canada while driving through New York, Washington D.C., the White House, all the memorials, and the Iwo Jima motel (infamous story in our family), St. Louis and Houston to visit relatives,  see the sites and Disney World, Sea World and various beaches in Florida, in my birth state, the Great Lakes, and Mackinac Island.  Through all these adventures, my dad instilled in me an intense love of travel and, to this day, he loves to go, to see, and to experience learning through travel, and so do I.

What did I learn from my childhood traveling experiences?

To dream.  Dad is a dreamer, and his dreams are often realized because he works hard to achieve them.   I am a dreamer because dad is a dreamer and working to achieve dreams brings me satisfaction and enjoyment.   Many of my travel dreams have been realized, and I continue to dream of adventures and journeys I will have in my lifetime, adventures I will provide my children, and adventures my husband and I will have as we live our life-long journey together.

To keep a positive attitude.  Dad taught me to always look on the bright side of life when we traveled and when we were at home.   Even when life was sometimes tough financially growing up, dad always modeled a positive attitude by being grateful for our close family and by (forgive the cliché) turning sour situations into lemonade.  We still joke about the trip to Washington, D.C. when we ate fast food three times a day in an effort to keep travel inexpensive.  Boy, were we sick of McDonald’s!  But we had a positive attitude about the very fact that we were exploring new places and learning about our country.

My reflections and pondering in education frequently include musings on various in and out of state travel experiences because I enjoy traveling as much as I enjoy learning, and I believe you can learn through travel.