I convinced my Daddy Dearest to go on a trip with me. And then I asked him to write about the adventure from his perspective. So this blog was written by him. A�(and yes it made me cry).
Vietnam & Thailand: I love that girl!
I am setting in the corner of a posh Bangkok Airport Hotel crying.A� Kara and I just spent 12 days together touring Vietnam and Thailand.A� I went to the airport with her today to say goodbye to my precious daughter. A�She’s on her own for the last 6 days of her trip to Southeast Asia.A� She wanted to see Chiang Mi and Phuket, Thailand, but I am on my way home.
Some people have asked me if I worry about Kara traveling so much, to so many places, sometimes by herself.A� Before I didn’t.A� Now I do.A� I am feeling bad about leaving her today.A� “What a heartless father,” I think to myself.A� But, I must stop to realize the reality of her life and travel; I will not always be there to protect and shelter her.A� She sometimes complains to me that we raised her in such a sheltered environment.A� That she was unprepared for the real worlda��Real World?
Is this the real world?
Actually, on this trip, I think that she spent more time taking care of me.A� I would have been completely lost many times, without map or compass.A� Why worry about her now?A� I don’t worry about her in a feeble, hope-she-is-ok type of worry, but I worry in the way of hoping that she finds the things in her journeys that she is searching for.A� The thing we all search for; finding meaning from life.
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Let me tell you why I love my daughter so much…
That’s why!A� She is a dreamer. A�I had the privilege to go with her on her first Asia Trip.A� What an honor.A� So why am I crying then?A� Here is why:A� LOVE.A� Not just any love but a father’s love.A� “I love her so much!” and she sometimes wonders if I really do.
Wish I could say the trip was perfect, but it wasn’t.A� Second day, I got pick-pocked in Hanoi.A� My camera was stolen, and I didn’t realize it until blocks later down the road.A� There were many times of uncertainty and stress dealing with the immediate situation.A� I often wished the language barrier didn’t divide so much.
Quiet Hanoi Street
We visited Hanoi Hilton where John McCain was taken prisoner.A� There was a picture on the wall and the flight suit he was wearing when he got shot down.A� The museum’s perspective emphasized the fine human treatment the American pilots received.A� Pictures of prisoners getting medical care and playing games in the courtyard.A� While in Vietnam, I began reading articles about the war and soon realized there are two sides to the story, each conflicting with the other.A� Would be nice if the truth was apparent.A� At least no one was hostile to us.A� Everyone was so polite, but then again, maybe it was because we were staying in the Hanoi Sheraton.A� Kara commented one time observing the fact that the Hilton chain never built a hotel in Hanoi.A� Curious thinga��
McCain’s Flight SuitA�
We went to Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island and stayed there two days.A� I love the “putt-putt” boats that filled the bay always coming and going for only God knows whya��
Cat Ba, Island
We rented Scooters:)
From there we took the overnight train to Sapa, Vietnam.A� The mountain village people have created some of the most amazing farming creations on the planet.A� The terrace rice patties spotting the landscape make a beautiful mosaic of contoured colors.A� To realize that all that mud was moved by hand one shovel at a time.A� There was mud and water everywhere.A� The Sapa range was one big spring coming from every part of the mountain.A� There were even terrace mounds layered into what looked like a huge wedding cake hundreds of feet high.A� How does the water get to the top of that wedding cake?
In the morning, we met our tour guide in the city for a “trek” into the villages of the Sapa mountains.A� We were joined by what looked like 5 or 6 village women who just happened to be walking our direction.A� In the end, they expected us to purchase their products.A� In Vietnam everywhere you go it seems like there are street venders harassing you to buy their handmade goods.
We went to several food markets, and I cannot believe these people don’t have severe food poisoning issues!A� Raw meat of every type sitting out at room temperature. Flies and other varmints, like mice and rats, finding a gold mine of delight.
As I head back home hoping there will be enough seats on the airplane, I wonder to myself would I do this again?A� Yes!A� Great trip, but next time I am staying for the whole journey!A� Be safe Kara…
“I love that girl!”
Praying for you!