You Only Go Around Once…

Let the countdown begin.

I’ve successfully blogged for 24 days. Today makes it the 25th day in a row. I wish I could say, “I can’t believe how easy it’s been,” but there have been some late nights, staring at this WordPress New Post page and trying to find the inspiration that goes along with the prompt.

Take for example, today’s prompt: family. I’m sitting here wracking my brains trying to find a clever story to tell. My family is so important to me, and shaped my life and outlook in such a profound way that I’ve already mentioned them in more than a few blog posts relating to the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project.

What to say, what to write…

Day 25: Family

Family shapes who we are, but sometimes the family we create plays a bigger role in our lives than the one we were born into. Tell a story about how either of your “families” have impacted your life and your travels.  

I could recount a zillion stories from my childhood about our Graves family adventures — whether it was camping at Yosemite for the first time or standing with Dad alongside one of Paris’ many bridges while he told my brother and I some terrible pun about “being in Seine.” But of all the travel gifts my dad gave us, the one I’ll take always take with me?

“You only go around once kiddo.”

I can’t even recall the first time he uttered this pearl to us. And it’s not as though he’s advocating us to throw caution to the wind and make an unwise decision. On the contrary, it usually comes towards the end of lengthy conversations. What will make you the happiest? What about this destination makes it so important for you to take this trip, right now? After thinking through the scenarios, he’ll utter the phrase. It’s so simple and one I can easily remember on my own, but when he says it during the course of a conversation, something just clicks.

Funny too, how even after all these years, I still bounce my travel ideas off my dad. Take for example the conversation we had a few weeks ago. My friends, Rob and Taryn, invited me to join them on their annual sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands. I could hardly believe my luck, a whole week sailing along the majestic turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. But then I thought about my commitment to paying down my debt and not incurring any additional expenses. I sat with my budget and charted a course, sat and ran through the scenarios with Marc who nodded as I spoke and offered me his sound advice, “what’s your blink?” (his nod to Malcolm Gladwell). I was torn. My blink was telling me two different things, depending upon the day and the balance of my checking account. Thoroughly exhausted by thinking in circles, I called up my dad.

“Dan Graves.”

“Hey Dad, I need your advice.”

From there I launched into my tale. He patiently listened as an unending stream of consciousness escaped from my mind. The free ticket on American, the cost of my cabin vs. the cost accommodation in the BVIs, the what ifs that accompanied me deciding not to go (most importantly, what if this is the last year they take this trip?). We sat and discussed it all, until there was nothing left to say, except, “you only go around once kiddo.”

And you know, he’s right.

We leave January 14th.

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4 thoughts on “You Only Go Around Once…

  1. Pingback: The Best of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel | BootsnAll Travel Articles

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