Asia, Australia, Costa Rica, Destinations, Europe, Inspiration, Lifestyle, North America, Relationships, Thoughts on Travel, USA, WITW Stories

A Letter To The Parents of a Traveler

As I sit here flying over the Pacific Ocean en route to my next big adventure for the third time this year, I can’t help but think about what got me to this point – or rather who got me to this point. Sure, there’s the obvious point that Sam, my Australian boyfriend, would have a lot to do with me flying to Sydney, but there’s also two very important people who supported me in every way possible. I think many travellers out there know exactly who I’m talking about. I wanted to express my feelings to those very two special people, who, whether they like it or not, had a massive hand at me sitting on this very plane right now.

Thank you for letting my little mind wander as a young child, and never put down my craziest dreams.

Thank you for helping me write my first bucket list when I was 5 years old, and for not crossing out Las Vegas.


The Original Bucket List

Thank you for tolerating every Mary Kate & Ashley movie being played on repeat for years and years on end. I partly blame my wanderlust on you allowing me to watch those frequent flying twins jet set all over the world!

Thank you for making a point to take the family on trips at least once a year. Whether it was Colorado, Orlando, New York or even Costa Rica, your desire to see the world only fueled mine.


Costa Rica Trip 2009

Thank you for telling stories of your adventures abroad together when I was young, and for being all around bosses at holding three steins in one hand at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich.

Thank you for making me save up my own money when I was 12 years old to go on a Leadership trip to Washington DC. Those lessons were never lost on me.


My parents in Ireland in the 80s.

Mama Schwan killin it in Munich

Mama Schwan killin it in Munich

Thank you for sacrificing family time on vacations for me to learn how to reach out and meet people on my own.

Thank you for not only supporting me, but entirely encouraging me to study abroad, not just once, but twice. You always used to say, “A university education isn’t complete if my universe is only Tallahassee, Florida.”


Meeting up in Florence!

Thank you for trusting in me and my gut reactions about people. I don’t know how many parents would let their daughter fly to Europe for 2 weeks to meet a guy she only knew for two days, but it’s your unwavering trust and confidence in me that has always led me to be confident in myself.

Thank you for supporting that very same split-second decision, because now I’m in the love that I have always strived to experience after years of watching your relationship grow every single day.

Sam and I in North Carolina

Sam and I in North Carolina

Thank you for dealing with time differences around the world, always making time to video call and chat.

Thank you for putting on a brave face every time I tell you my new adventure or new plan, for fighting back the tears and supporting me in everything I do and everywhere I go.

Thank you for making the most of every second we spend together, for flying across the world to see me for Christmas, for making me feel so loved and blessed even when we’re thousands of miles apart.


Thank you for hugging me tight at the airport and for letting me go, for watching me enter the departure gates of the international airport and for doing what most parents can’t even imagine.

But most importantly, thank you for being my best friends.

You always tell me that I’m so brave and so courageous for venturing off into world’s unknown, but I want to let you know how brave and courageous you are as well. You’ve put all your trust and faith into me and support me while I explore this big world. As difficult as it is for me to leave your embrace at the airport, I feel your love all around the world, and I hope you can feel mine for you.

I love you more than anything in the world, and I can’t wait to be back together in three short months!


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  • Reply Shane Prather August 27, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    SO much love for this.. and you <3


    • Reply KP Schwan August 28, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Haha I was going to send this to you! Thought you may like it 🙂 Thanks!

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