I miss my Dad.
One morning after a very very long summer of working full time and summer classes I woke up and I knew I needed an adventure. At first I thought maybe I would go on a cruise, but I didn’t want to be stuck on a boat. I looked into Europe but Ben and I were talking about visiting for our honeymoon the next year. Every day I would walk by a local travel agent company in lovely old town Sugar House where I lived. I would stop and look at the travel posters posted in the windows. This morning there was one listing an “African Experience”. I knew right then and there that Africa was where I was going. I went inside to get a travel brochure with pricing and talked with the agent about plane ticket prices. Yes come on people, this was the year 2000. I’m sure some people booked flights online but not many. I sat down with a pad and paper and computed how many extra hours I could work in the upcoming weeks to make enough money to go. I needed to earn $3,000 plus enough to keep my bills paid while I was away.
I called the agent, booked the next available group travel time, and paid my $500 deposit. All of this happened in about 5 hours time. My flight would leave 4 weeks later.
Africa was calling for me!
As I shared my intent with family and friends few could understand why I would choose there instead of Europe for my first time traveling out of the US for the first time. “What about Mexico? Everyone goes to Mexico.” Not me. I still have never been. When everyone else was panicking about my safety and sanity my dad never questioned me he just packed a Rubbermaid container with medical supplies he thought I might need and labeled it First Aid. He bought me a new camera as an early Christmas gift and sent me on my way. He always knew I would make the best choices for myself.
I spent a month traveling through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. It was a life impacting experience. I only spoke to two people from Africa-Ben and my Dad.
Namib Desert, Namibia 2000
My dad died three months later.
17 years later this container with his handwriting is still making the rounds. Serving out its existence with memories from my heart, filled with soup, and going to visit a sick friend, in Africa