My dad and I spent a lot of time together, traveling all across the United States as a family of 7 (with mom and my 4 younger siblings) - visiting National Parks, playing sports games, and taking a vacations to the Ocean. What started out as trips in the United States turned into more exotic trips to Canada & Mexico, and even the opportunity to go on a cruise (which I had never done as a 16-year-old girl from Idaho). When I left for college those trips with my dad turned into visits home, or to nearby cities where I was playing a basketball game with my University. It wasn't until my first time studying abroad, that my dad came on what I would call my first "Acanela Expedition" to Portugal and Spain. To honor my wonderful father, I want to share little pieces of that experience with you so keep reading!
I have learned that almost all Dads like to spend time on the beach - especially mine! This is probably a product of them spending so much of their time in a career (my dad is an optometrist) so when they travel, sometimes they just want to have time to relax! There are so many beautiful beaches around the world from Costa Rica to Bali, and Australia to Portugal. I am probably biased, but I think Portugal has the most beautiful beaches of them all. My Dad decided to visit me for two weeks while I was living in Europe, and we spend a lot of that time on the beaches of Portugal!
My Dad loves to learn, and is always open to trying new experiences (even new foods). For some people who come to Portugal or Spain for the first time, the food can be very different. Seafood is a staple, and many Americas are not used to the variety of different fish and seafood that is available. From Cod to Octopus, Squid, and Cuddlefish - there are fun (and delicious things for everyone to try)! I was so glad that my dad was up for the adventure!
Sports are fun to participate in, even when you travel! I grew up playing every sport from basketball to fishing, and find it interesting that sports games are a huge part of every culture around the world. My dad also loves sports, including basketball and fishing. While we were in Portugal we spent a day learning how to fish, including visiting the local fisherman's shop to get outfitted with all the proper gear. Even though we didn't catch much, we had a blast (just like we did when I was a young girl).
When are visiting a new place, I feel that it is really important to immerse yourself in the local culture. This includes meeting the people, trying their foods, and exploring the beautiful highlights that the country (or city has to offer). During our Father Daughter Trip we decided to spend most of our time in the Capital City of Lisbon, as we only had a short amount of time and there is SO MUCH to do in that city. One of the highlights was taking the time to tour each of the neighborhoods in the city, where we made so many local friends, and even got to try the famous Portuguese Egg Tarts.
If you ever get the chance to go on a Father Daughter Trip, just know that it will be one of the highlights of your travel experience.
My dad is my hero. He taught me how to be brave, confident, and pursue my dreams - even when those dreams seemed impossible. I remember late nights practicing my free throws, softball pitches, and volleyball hits with my father - it was the nights that were long and hard that he was there cheering me on. A phrase of my Dad's that I will never forget is - "If it is to be it is up to me."
My dad also taught me how to be loving, kind, and giving. There is no one in this world that I know who gives up as much of their time to serve than my dad. He gives up time at work to serve his family and those around him, helping review homework assignments, put together video projects, coach sports games, and even take photos at every single event (even when his children are not involved). I learned that building up other people, only make us better people ourselves.
My dad taught me resilient even hard times come, and to laugh and have fun when joyous moments come. Some of my most joyous moments are: Winning a game (or an award) and the loudest person in the audience cheering me on is my dad. Nights on the Lake sitting around the campfire, waking up really early in the morning to go for an early morning wakeboard run when the water is smooth as glass - and Dad always being the most excited to get on the water. Playing Taylor Swift Songs on the Guitar, singing them over and over again until my voice hurt and fingers bled - after which Dad would come to the rescue on the backup guitar so that I could keep on singing.
My dad continues to teach me something new everyday, and as those lesson have changed from homework edits to investment & marriage advice - the lessons only become more and more beautiful. My Dad has always dedicated his time to helping me become the best person I can be and realize my full potential.
I can't wait for the next adventure, as we set off on a Tour of Eastern Europe this summer!
XOXO - Kylie