Sitting in my living room, a 14-year old me, watching a movie with my pops that I wasn’t really paying attention too, I remember him saying, “when I end-up passing away, I want you and your brother to do what these guys are doing–go to Asia together and spread my ashes in the most beautiful places you can.”
Conversations of life and death with my father was pretty natural, so this sort of comment was probably not as strange as it would’ve been with most other families.
“Sure,” I said. Shrugging my shoulders, I wasn’t really surprised at all with the comment, especially with my Dad being the globetrotter that he was.
Fast forward five years, a few months after the emotional roller-coaster ride that followed his passing, this conversation resurfaced again in my mind. It didn’t just resurface, it took over my thoughts every time I would think of the old man. It reached the point where I knew it was just something that I needed to do, something me and my brother had to do together–go to Southeast Asia, my dad’s stomping ground for the past two and a half decades, and follow his wishes based off of a 15-second conversation we had while watching a forgetful film.
So, after a couple months, there I found myself on October 31st, 2013 (just a couple before my birthday) flying over Vietnam, looking down at fields of barren farm land and shanty old homes. My brother sitting by me, both of us pretty damn broke, questioning our decision on doing this $25 all-in a day budget trip. Sure, as a kid I travelled to Indonesia regularly to visit family, to visit my Dad–but doing this month long trip, hitting Vietnam, Cambodia and multiple parts of Indonesia just seemed crazy.
Not only was it something we’ve never really done, but to do that much in a month was also pretty ridiculous. Nonetheless, there we were. This somewhat unexpected month-long trip to South-East Asia dedicated completely to my pops.
Yet, no matter how broke and unprepared we were, this was just something we needed to do. It was inescapable. Not only to spread his ashes and pay our respects to a man who had such an impact on both our lives, but also to do this together, as brothers.
That was one of his wishes, to try and bring us closer together through his passion in life–travel.