I love my dad, but we don’t have a whole lot in common.
My dad was born in Lithuania before WWII. During the war his family escaped via France and Canada to the USA. They settled in Chicago, which has a pretty large Lithuanian community.
He joined the army. After he married my mom he was stationed in North Carolina and Texas. Then, he was sent to Vietnam. And, I have great photos of him and my mom having a rendezvous in Hawaii while he was there.
After my parents were divorced he did some work for the army in Madagascar and Lithuania.
Once we were in high school, he would take my sister and me to Jamaica or Mexico for our annual vacations with him. Today, he and his wife, Stase, still love taking trips to Mexico and Jamaica.
There is a lot more to my dad outside of his travel biography, but I really don’t know that much about it. And, if you asked him about me, I am not sure he would be able to tell you very much.
But, one thing we have always been able to connect on is traveling. When my sister and I were little, my dad used to take us on vacations every Christmas, Spring Break and summer. We would go to places like the Wisconsin Dells, Indiana Dunes, Jamaica, Mexico. Almost all of our joint memories involve traveling. One of our favorite stories is the time we rented a car in Mexico, and it ran out of gas in the jungle and we had to hitch a ride into town with a truck, my sister and I smashed in the cab, and my dad standing on the bumper, hanging onto a chain.
Now that I can take him places, we have gone to Lithuania, St Petersburg, Moscow, Estonia, South Carolina, Colorado and Peru. He gets so excited to see all these new places, and I love being able to give him those experiences.
The nice thing about traveling is that we have plenty to talk about without ever running out of topics: the new food we are trying, the music around us, etc. etc. etc. We can relax in each other’s company, and enjoy the moment, without feeling awkward that outside of the love we have for each other, we really don’t have a lot in common. We have travel, and that’s enough.