Why My Daughter Is A Wonderful Travel Companion


Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

I have the best daughter on the planet.  This says nothing disparaging against your kids, I’m sure they’re grand, huggable wondermuffins in your eye but I have empirical proof why my daughter is the best.  Well, I actually have many reasons, but this being a travel blog of sorts, I wanted to focus for a moment on that aspect.  Yes, this post may seem all braggy and I’m not in the habit of doing that.  This feeling of wanting to shout her praises from the rooftops is a normal parent thing, but much more so when she loves some thing I love (or at least is faking it well enough for now).

Now then, just a few reasons why my daughter is a wonderful travel companion:

  • She tells me about how badly my sunscreen is applied. And this can be a dignity saver.  Let’s say I was going to meet the Queen, who just happened to invite us to a tropical location where one would require sunscreen.  Certainly not England.  But let’s pick the British Virgin Islands because I’m in a Caribbean mood.  Now most friends or even strangers will tell you you have a big gloop of sunscreen on your forehead if you mention you’re going to meet the Queen.  And my daughter would as well.  But when it really matters, when you’re just heading out for a day of safari and only wild animals will be looking at you, tastily, that’s when it matters.  She doesn’t discern between Queen and wildebeest.  She just knows that her Dad shouldn’t have that funny splotch on his face and tells me about it.
  • Cuddles.
    Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

    Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

    What better attribute to have in a travel companion than cuddles.  Random, unseen and out of the blue cuddles.  For those with children, you’ll get this one.  For the rest of you, you might be thinking, “Dude really needs cuddles that bad while traveling?”  And you’d have it all wrong.  I don’t need them, but when coming from your own kin, they are little slices of heaven.  Whether she curls up on my lap on the bus after a long day along the Mediterranean or surprises me with a charging tackle hug, it’s those reconnecting cuddles that give her an advantage over all my other travel companions.

  • She sees things I don’t. This is true of most kids and why they can be such fun travel companions. Part of it is the height but a bigger part is that they are kids.  Kids notice stuff.  When we’ve been in the rock climbing gym she’s been able to point out shapes in the holds on the walls that I never even noticed.  Obvious things, like a human heart or lion head.  And when traveling her set of eyes helps a ton.  For one thing, they work better than mine, for the simple things like street signs.  For another, her brain is wired so differently than mine in object recognition and imagination, that she can extrapolate context from buildings and streets that I never notice.  She’s also better at spotting monkeys than I am.
  • Her memory rocks. Sure she forgets to clean her room or brush her teeth at home.  But on the road, all those details go in and stick so much better (or are recalled so much better, I’m not sure which).  Her recall, months or years later, is incredible and I’m really glad she went to Africa with me, because it’s like taking along a video recorder without the need for extra tapes.  You do have to make sure her batteries are charged though.


    Zihautanejo, Mexico

Short and sweet, those are just a few of the reasons my daughter is awesome.  I could go on and on, but good parents know when they are starting to bore their audience with stories. They then just stop talking or typing and continue smiling, thinking about how blessed they are to have such an awesome daughter.

15 Replies to “Why My Daughter Is A Wonderful Travel Companion”

  1. Crystal aka Travelers Barista

    What a great post! My daughter is 6 and she is the same way. I have no clue how she remembers the things she does and your right, those daily routines somehow become “fun” while were traveling. So it’s nice to not have to ask her for the fifth time to brush her teeth at night. In Maui…she remembers!

  2. CanCan

    I think kids make travel more fun, too! Especially in 3rd world countries, they open all kinds of doors that a group of boring old adults wouldn’t get to experience.

  3. Everywhereist

    Um … hold on. There appears to be something in BOTH my eyes.

    I’m sure it will go away. As for your daughter, I only met her momentarily, but she seemed pretty damn cool.

  4. Andrew

    One of the best blog posts I have read in a long time. I have a 10 week old boy and can not wait to travel the world with him. Awesome to see you and your daughter have traveled to many exotic locations together already.

  5. Legal Nomads

    Lovely post. Given the pictures, stories and adventures (and errant cats you two pick up along the way), I look forward to when she can post about her memories of travel when she’s older. I’m sure she’ll keep growing up into a terrific adult, no small thanks to the world you’ve shown her.


  6. Audrey

    We often hear stories from our friends of disaster stories of traveling with kids and I want to send this to them and say, “well, maybe it’s your kids and not the travel.” Thanks for sharing and here’s to many more adventures together!

  7. Travelogged

    What a beautiful piece! Your daughter is lucky to have the opportunity to travel with you and you’re lucky to have such a wonderful daughter to accompany you.

  8. soultravelers3

    So sweet and I hear ya! We have been traveling the world non-stop with our young daughter since 2006 and think she is the most wonderful travel companion in the world. Visiting Africa with a child is particularly powerful on so many levels.

    I’ve traveled as a single, as a couple, with a group, with friends, with 3 generations of family,and all are wonderful, but the travel I love best has been with my two best beloveds on our open ended world tour.

    Can’t beat those cuddles and special shared memories! Love these photos!

  9. MaryT

    Great article – my daughter is 13 and is also a great travel partner! There is definitely hope for everyone worried about traveling with surly teens. Some of them actually turn out to be delightful. Thanks for the article

  10. Carrie

    What a great post! I’m sure your daughter is going to look back on this in years to come and remember every special moment together with you.

  11. Jeremy B

    This is a post I can totally get behind! You may have the best daughter but I have the best son! 🙂 No really I do – anyone that has met him absolutely loves my older son and I couldn’t ask for a better little boy. As your daughter gets older, this will be fun to go back and read. However, if haven’t told her these things in person, do it now! Just encouraging you to not only share this with others but share it with her too! 🙂

    One thing you really hit upon…whether it’s travel or life, kids have a great way of showing you how to look at the world differently. And it’s awesome!


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