When I was ten years old I noticed some of the kids in fourth grade were going on family vacations. They would talk about how they saw minnie and mickey - how they visited different beaches - how they would have so much fun as a family.
Family vacation was something I REALLY wanted to do! I came home and asked my dad why we never did anything like this. My dad peered over his newspaper, slid his glasses down, and said...
"You know how much that cost? Jess, if you got the money you can go where ever the hell you want."
He put fuel under my butt and I was going to show him.
When I was 12 I started helping out with the paper route, saving every cent. When I was 14 I began to referee and umpire different sporting events. When I turned 16 I even flipped burgers in McDonals believe it or not. They actually fired me after 8 months because they told me to wear shoes that matched my uniform, I came in with golden sparkly flats -- I thought it matched the golden arches and spiced up the uniform lol My manager disagreed and made me scrub toilets - the shoes were totally worth the bathroom chores.
I got my drivers license (which is another crazy story in itself) -- and drove directly to Walgreens then to the court house to apply for a passport. It finally came in the mail! And when it did -- I dropped the BOMB.
I was sitting at the kitchen table with my passport and money for the flight. My dad came inside - I looked at him and said pridefully
"I'm going to Europe."
I sound like a snot when I say I wanted to "one up him" but I did. I was motivated to go above and beyond - I wanted to go further, fly higher, to experience different cultures, and wanted him to recognize that I didn't need him to take us because I will figure out a way to do it myself.
I am really thankful for tough love because it created my passion - traveling. I love it and if it wasn't for my dad being a hard ass towards family trips -- I wouldn't have made it to 23 different countries.
My moms mouth dropped open, she looked at my dad and said...
"Oh my gosh. Joe...Joe...Did you really tell her that?"
I booked my very first flight to PRAGUE CZECH REPUBLIC -
I boarded the flight and took off -- 6 weeks in Europe at 16 years old.
it is the most beautiful country I have ever seen. Since then I have been there 3 different times.
It was happening, and no one was going to stop me.