50 before 50

wanderYesterday my dad accomplished a big goal. He went to his last 2 states out of 50! He has now been to all 50 states! Ever since I can remember he’s been keeping a list of the states he’s been to, saying that one day he was going to go to every single one, even the boring ones like South Dakota (sorry to all the South Dakota folks out there, but it seems like a pretty boring state.) I’m so proud of him and excited for him! How many people can say they’ve been to all 50 states before they are 50 years old?! My guess is, not many!

I wouldn’t necessarily say my dad loves to travel, but I would say he likes to see new places. He traveled a lot for work when I was a kid and he would always bring me and my sister something cool, like chocolate eggs with toys inside from England and meditations balls from China.

I think I got my love of travel from my dad. As a kid he took me to a conference with him in Buffalo, New York. I thought it was the best trip because I walked around the tech conference, the only kid there, collecting little gadgets from each booth. While there he took me to Niagara Falls (the Canadian side) and taught me about Canadian coins and introduced me to the Hard Rock Cafe (my dad always tried to hit up Hard Rock on trips so he could get a milkshake in their souvenir glass and bring it home to his collection.)

As a senior in high school he said he would take me and my mom on a trip as my “Senior trip,” which has now become a tradition in our family. We went to Italy where I experience my first taste of Europe and gelato. It was such an amazing experience and one I will never forget. It gave me the hunger for culture and seeing the world, which led me to go to Europe with Mark.

So, congratulations dad! And thank you for opening my eyes to the world.


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