Before you go any further, this isn’t a post about the latest deal or promotion that you need to register for or the latest way to save a few bucks. We all spin our wheels on such things and get great value from them, but the real focus is of course why we do what we do.
One of the things I have noticed about getting older is how the passage of time is increasingly startling. One minute you are a young kid just figuring things out and the next thing you know ten years have passed by. Where did that time go? Perhaps more startling is the realization that the same time passes for our loved ones as well. Our parents grow older too and just as we start to feel old they become old.
It was nearly 10 years ago that Jasmine, Shawn Reece and I left home for our 18 month around the world journey. Since then we haven’t looked back. They have been my travel partners and I have been blessed to visit over 70 countries, most with them. Every time I would return from a trip and often when I was on a trip I would share details of our journey with my father.
One of the most powerful travel memories for me was our three day journey down the Mekong from Phnomh Penh, Cambodia to Saigon, Vietnam. This was the water way my dad spent years of his life fighting on. Cruising down the water I could see how exposed we were and felt how scared he must have been. As we would pull into a random town, I would recognize its name from his stories. I had never felt so connected to my own family history.
When in the Navy my dad was also stationed for periods in Japan and Hong Kong. During my frequent trips to those places he would always take the opportunity to share his stories and tell me how things used to be. From the fishing villages in Hong Kong to the gardens in Tokyo, he would ask me to “See if it is still there.” In most cases I never did.
A couple of years ago I was inspired by Ben at One Mile at a Time who took his father on a surprise journey and blogged about it. Recently I was also saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Scott’s (Travel Codex) dad. These events got me thinking and I ultimately decided that my dad needed to “See if it is still there” himself.
One day earlier this year I called him up and told him that I wanted to take him on a trip to Asia. I told him to clear his calendar and he did. We leave on our two week trip to Japan, Hong Kong, Macau and China on Monday. Unlike Vietnam where I had to live his history through my memories of his stories, this time I will get to live it with him. How cool.
My father will turn 71 on this trip. While 71 certainly isn’t ancient, it is old and I don’t know how many more opportunities we will have to take a trip like this. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll share some of our travels here as I treat him to the finest experiences that
money miles & points can buy. We start with a Singapore Suites First Class flight from LAX-NRT and then go from there.
Over the past decade I have made so many travel memories with my immediate family, but not enough with other loved ones. I can’t change that, but hopefully I’ll let this serve as a reminder that things can change. Sorry if you think the title is clickbait, but I feel the message is as important as anything else I write about on the site!
What is the most memorable trip you have taken with loved ones? How have miles & points helped to make it even more special? Let us know in the comments!