Recently I’ve been watching Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father on Netflix, if you don’t already watch it, you should definitely check it out as it’s both hilarious and cringe-worthy in equal measures. Thankfully my Dad is nothing like Jack Whitehall’s father and is the reason for both my wanderlust and the fact that I have seen so much of this wonderful world we live in. Watching the Travels With My Father on Netflix, however, got me thinking about some of my favourite memories from travelling with my parents and brother growing up. For context, my parents took us on holiday every Summer and my Dad doesn’t believe in short holidays so all our getaways were between four and five weeks long. To this day I still don’t know how my Mum, who is now retired, managed to get her place of work to approve her time off!
So, in no particular order, here is a collection of my favourite travel memories with my Dad:
That time we got ‘mock’ charged by an elephant
Here’s a thing you need to know about my Dad, he loves photography and video and therefore is constantly photographing or filming whilst on holiday. So we were in Kruger National Park in South Africa and my Dad was driving the rental car down the road and there was an elephant ahead. Awesome, right? Except my Dad wanted to get a good photo so parked the car across the road blocking it and I’m guessing the elephant saw that as a threat because it definitely began charging towards us. A guide later said it was probably mock charging but either way, my Dad moved the car pretty fast.
When the rickshaw left without him in China
I think this was in China but either way, we were in rickshaws with the rest of the tour group and since they only held two people per vehicle, I was sat in one with my Dad. The rickshaw stopped and we all waited in a line most probably for a car to pass or something and my Dad thought he’d get out quickly to take a photo of the rest of us in the rickshaw – are you sensing a pattern here? Except the problem was the cyclist driving our rickshaw didn’t see my Dad get out and moved off leaving my Dad to run a couple of feet to catch up and get back in the rickshaw…
When he tried to get closer to wild rhinos and walked out from where we were all hiding behind the trees and bushes
Again, this was in Kruger National Park and we’d gone on this amazing walking tour and found a herd of rhinos. Our guide was telling everyone that rhinos are pretty blind so as we were a little way away, we would be fine if we stayed hidden behind the bush. We could still see but my dad wanted great photos so he kept wandering out into the open and we had to keep calling him back.
That time I got a massive bruise from falling off a toboggan
Ok, so this isn’t specifically my Dad but we were in China and you could chose to take a metal toboggan slide down a mountain or walk so obviously, I chose the toboggan along with my brother and a couple of other members of the tour group – my parents decided to walk. I was going at a moderate pace and another person in our tour group was behind me and told me to take the brake off entirely and just go. So I did and then I flew off and scrapped my arm all along the metal toboggan shoot resulting in a huge glorious bruise that features in all our photos on the Great Wall of China. My parents weren’t that sympathetic..
That time a car hit our bus in China so he ‘interviewed’ my mum and another person on our trip
We were in a mini van from one destination to another in China with our tour group among lots of traffic. A car hit the side of our van but thankfully it wasn’t serious at all. No one was injured and the van was completely fine but my Dad thought it would be funny to pretend to interview my Mum and a couple of other people who were sitting on the side the car hit whilst videoing them.
When we all climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and it was the best thing ever
Enough said really. I absolutely loved the five weeks we spend travelling in Australia and climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge was just amazing, scary but amazing.
When we stayed in a ryokan in Japan and I didn’t eat anything
I used to be way more fussy with food than I am now. I wouldn’t touch sushi and I am still not the biggest fan of rice. Staying in a ryokan for one night, however, was an enlightening experience and I’m glad we got to do it, even if I didn’t eat much at all!
And Mount Fuji was covered in cloud so we never really saw it
My Mum was super upset that we couldn’t see the peak or really much of it at all. Oops.
That time we rode horses on a gaucho ranch in Argentina and his horse went the opposite way whilst he was trying to film us
Everyone on the tour of the gaucho ranch got to ride the horses. It was only a short ride round the paddock but for some reason my Dad’s horse wanted to go the absolute opposite way to everyone else’s horses. It resulted in his horse facing one way whilst he twisted round to video the rest of us on our horses that were going in the exact opposite direction!
When we were in Typhoon Lagoon and he absolutely didn’t like the rubber rings river ride
When we were little, my parents took us to Walt Disney World and it was obviously amazing. We spent a day at Typhoon Lagoon, going on the zip line into the water and the slides. We also went on the rubber rings where it was one to a person, it was pretty tame as we were kids and it didn’t have any massive drops or anything, just a rubber ring down a water run. My Dad doesn’t really do swimming or snorkeling or any other water based activities but somehow we convinced him he should come on the ride. It ended badly. He was way behind us and he fell out of the ring and absolutely hated it. #fail
When he made my mum put chicken wire in her bag in Johannesburg so we wouldn’t get mugged
In theory, it was a great idea. We were walking around Johannesburg and he’d heard it can be a bit rough so as we were on our own without a guide or anything, he put chicken wire in my Mum’s backpack so even if it got slashed by a pickpocket, they wouldn’t get our valuables. It worked, we didn’t get robbed or even threatened but what did happen was that we were all on high alert the entire time and therefore didn’t enjoy the experience at all (the rest of South Africa was amazing!).
When we all went piranha fishing in the Amazon and my brother and dad caught one and me and my mum didn’t because them piranha’s be quick yo.
We were on a canoe, sitting pretty low in the water, just us and our Amazon guide and we were piranha fishing. As soon as I felt the string pull, I yanked it up but I was never quick enough – my Dad and brother were though!
That time somewhere in Europe, possibly in Brugge where he tripped over a cat and twisted his ankle
I have vague recollections of staying in a house for part of our holiday where there was a pet cat. My Dad isn’t really an animal person and we never had a pet growing up. He was carrying stuff out to the car and the cat ran between his feet and he tripped down the step and injured his ankle. He hated the cat even more after that.
When he had awful sandals that somehow got left behind in Brazil
They were these cream sandals, kinda like jelly shoes. They were awful! He thought they were amazing. Somehow they didn’t make it out of Brazil, I’m not actually sure what happened, whether they were accidentally left behind or what, but that was the end of those. He still doesn’t let us forget. RIP shoes.
When we made him order pigeon in a 3 Michellin star restaurant in Paris
For my 21st birthday my Mum and Dad generously took my best mate and myself on a trip to Paris for a couple of days and we went to a 3 Michellin star restaurant for a meal that consisted of so many courses including clensers in between courses! For our mains, we were trying to decide what to have and since we hadn’t tried pigeon before (obviously this was before I went vegan!) so we convinced my Dad to order pigeon and then tried his from his plate. He eats most things so actually didn’t mind!
When he got a speeding ticket in Swaziland
My Dad has been driving for forever and he has never got a speeding ticket, except when he drove the hire car in Swaziland… In his defence, the police car was waiting at the bottom of the hill so it was basically a trap and no amount of my Dad telling them he was already giving the country money as a tourist would convince them to waive the ticket.
When we nearly got locked in the Cape of Good Hope National Park
My Mum isn’t the best at navigating and this was back when we still mostly used paper maps and didn’t have phones with GPS so my Mum was a bit apprehensive about navigating us from Cape Town down to the Cape of Good Hope whilst my Dad drove, so my brother and I did it from the back seat. The thing is we were planning on doing this in a day and we stopped at Boulder Beach on the way so by the time we got to the Cape of Good Hope to take photos by the sign, it was nearly dusk. My Dad drove pretty fast to get us to the gate of the National Park so we didn’t get locked in – eek!
So there you have it, some of my favourite travel memories with my Dad, Have you ever done a trip with your family? What are your favourite memories? Let me know in the comments below.
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