My Children, my Travels

It’s father’s day. I catch myself researching my next Asia trip as I’m about to pick my kids up from school. The phone seems about to freeze with so many open apps and brower windows: Agoda, Travelfish, Google maps, Skyscanner…..the usual travel dreaming.

And then the thought catches on: my children, my travels. My travels deep not wide, into myself and yet outside of myself and into the presence of other human beings. The most ambitious trip, if you ask me.

Traveling by car from my daughter’s birthplace in the Spanish South, to glorious views of sunsets and olive trees. It felt like I was transporting the most fragile atomic bomb, that, somehow, the center of the universe traveled on the wheels I was steering. Thank God she only woke up four hours later, a few minutes away from home.

And so many trips that would follow – to most European countries, to Canada, their other home. It’s funny how travel has become second-nature to them, so much part of their family imagery.

And how a small, no frills tent pitched in Courmayeur or in the French Pyrenees can serve as just the right image of fun and freedom.

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Family hiking in Sierra Espuña, Murcia

Travels in time. Not all went well, and a good part of the journey was sad and confusing, but somehow somewhere they got their share of love from their parents and now it feels like it’s overflowing and they’re giving some of it back, steadily, through the cracks of daily routine and yes, the occasional trip.

The music starts and the kids begin to pour out from the school buildings – haphazardly, no line-up required. (My daughter, I know, will be the last one to come out. She’s the quintessential slow traveler.) 

I can wait. The afternoon light shines gloriously on the budding trees, and, for the slightest moment, my most boring suburban town reeks of excitement. I wonder if it’s the power of all the other dads anxious to see their kids proudly handing them their father’s day school artwork?

Whatever – it’s time to put away the cell-phone, forget about train transfers in Southern Thailand and, simply,  take it all in. 

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River pool close to Cañamares, Cuenca, Spain.

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