Father - Daughter Relationships

June 13, 2013

Father -Daughter relationships start by time together like this happy pool jump photo

 As we celebrate Father's Day this Sunday,  I think about what I learned from my father and the magnificent father -daughter relationship that we have given to our beloved daughter Mozart, by choosing to take the risk of retiring early to travel the world these last almost 8 years. ( As well as Mom & daughter bonding time too).

"That evidence shows that a father's relationship with his daughter is one of the key determinants in a woman's ability to enjoy a successful life and marriage." Kevin Leman

A loving dad and daughter hugging this Father's Day


Time is the very best gift one can give to a child. Time to play and learn and explore and hug together. Since we have been on our RTW trip, we have had to mourn on the road and say good bye to our own precious dads, so we know what it is like to be fatherless on Father's Day. Childhood years go by so fast and the parental relationships shapes us forever. Most experts say the father-daughter relationship effects a females entire future.

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." - Sigmund Freud

Dad and 2 month old Baby Daughter at  beach


One of the joys of being an older parent, is maturity and being aware of the speed of life, thus one of our main purposes of world travel is to have time together. We waited almost a decade to have a child after marrying late and we didn't want to miss a second.

Backpacking dad and daughter exploring Paris at night

We both always wanted a daughter and we wanted to raise her in a loving, peaceful home with two supportive, involved, connected parents who cherished the value of family. We think one can actually add to world peace for generations by raising a deeply loved and supported child, so take this sacred family bond seriously.

Daddy and baby daughter working in their vineyard

"A father who has a good relationship with the mother of their children is more likely to be involved and to spend time with their children and to have children who are psychologically and emotionally healthier. Similarly, a mother who feels affirmed by her children's father and who enjoys the benefits of a happy relationship is more likely to be a better mother." Wilcox Bradford

New Dad, Mom and baby


What could be more important? On their death beds, nobody wishes they spent more time working, but almost all dying men regret working too much and not spending time with their children and loved ones.

"Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring" Dr. David Popenoe

Dad and daughter pool time bonding


When our daughter was born, DaVinci took two months off of unpaid leave from his high-end executive job in Silicon Valley so we'd have time to babymoon together. That was unheard of for a woman, so shocking for a male to his boss and peers. But that was perhaps the seed that gave us the impetus to take on our world travel lifestyle because it felt so right and wonderful to have that much time to enjoy the gift of parenting and deep family bonding without worrying about work duties. It was idyllic so we wanted more.

Father and daughter relationship love means being silly together


After months of sacred closeness together, we felt a huge difference when he went back to work, often leaving before she woke up and returning when she was asleep, so only seeing her on the weekends. Sometimes we went to work with him so we could do things together like Gymboree or swimming before work or visiting the zoo or museum at lunch time.

We wanted and deserved more. He didn't become a father to see his child so rarely. So we plotted a dream life fantasy where we sold our much loved home and almost all of our belongings, retired early to travel the world together, to educate her as a fluent-as-a-native  multilingual global kid and enjoy "24/7" time together each and every day of her childhood.

RTW family fun in Asia - hanging out at the pool


Truly, it was the best decision of our lives and one of the reasons is the quality of time we have together. We didn't want him to be a dad who missed this quantity of time. He is a stay-at-home-Dad and I am a stay-at-home-Mom...only we do it in many homes around the world. She was a long term breast fed kid, so she is a bit of a Mama's girl, but her relationship and attachment with her Dad is outstanding too. She has had more time with her Dad and Mom than almost any kid on this planet. Perhaps we are giving her the dream childhood we always wanted and it heals each of us.

#1 dad trophy made by a kid shows the love of this father daughter bond


She thinks that is normal, because it IS her normal. But we parents are especially grateful for this bond of endless summer time together. It is the greatest gift of this RTW journey. I would have been a stay-at- home Mom had we stayed, but by going, we allowed HIM to have that blessing as well. Thier father daughter relationship would have still been fabulous, but time at work would have eaten away at their time together and so much would have been missed.

celebrating the gorgeous sunset


We enjoy watching our home movies often on our travels and I took a LOT during babyhood and preschool years, so that I could share her days with him when he was working, but it is just not the same as having the time and freedom together.

Dad and Daughter shopping in Morocco

Recently DaVinci turned 60 and Mozart is 12 now and these recent photos were taken during our little family, "simple pleasures" birthday celebration in our latest Penang apartment home. These kinds of age milestones, make us even more grateful for our choice of a life of quality AND quantity time together. The days and years have zipped by and are slippping through our fingers as we age and she gets older.

Family fun - simple pleasures of healrhy food and family bonding


Many people might not want a 24/7/365 kind of family togetherness, but it suits all of us to a T.  Mozart and DaVinci  could never have had this kind of father -daughter time, had we not decided to travel and retire early. For us, giving up over consumerism for time, freedom, relationships, education and adventure has worked well. We didn't know that for sure when we sold our home in 2005, but we know it now, so we are overjoyed that we took that risk.

Daddy walking his daughter to school in Spain


It's not just the big adventures like climbing the Tiger's Nest in Bhutan together, swimming with sharks in Bora Bora or a camel trek overnight deep into the Sahara in Africa; nor touring icons like  visiting Olympiathe Great Wall, Cappadocia, Sydney Opera House, Petra, or Santorini etc; or going on roller coasters and water slides together at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Tuscany,   Tivoli Gardens in Denmark , Paris , Italy or Portugal etc..

Father and 6 year old daughter doing a camel trek in the Sahara

Nor is it just adventurous travel like cargo ships and overnight trains and bus rides and the endless time in nature with camping Europebike rides and hiking.

Dad and Daughter taking the train


Those are all so incredibly enriching, too much for words to convey.

Pehaps though, equally important, are the every day things like going to markets together, shopping grocery stores around the world, doing advanced math together daily and discussing money and currencies, piano and violin practice monitored by Dad, playing chess, cards and monopoly etc together, watching movies and educational shows together, doing art together, teaching tech skills, reading shakespeare aloud together, cooking and cleaning together, dancing, joking, meditating, silliness, talking about life and values and on and on.

traveling dad and daughter sharing  a laugh in Norway

Dad, who was a world class swimmer and many-medals-and-trophy-winning ball player teaches her those skills. Dad, who doesn't have perfect Spanish, helped her become multilingual from birth, by stretching out of his comfort zone to give her this heritage language that had been lost from his own parents.

Father helping Daughter with math outside while camping in Barcelona

He started reading to her in Spanish from the womb, took her to Music Together classes, Spanish reading at the library, went to a Spanish church an hour away just so she could immerse in their Sunday schoool and so much more these last 12 years. When I've dealt with health issues and traveling when sick, he has taken on more.

"My dear father; my dear friend; the best and wisest man I ever knew, who taught me many lessons and showed me many things as we went together along the country by-ways." - Sarah Orne Jewett

Dad and Daughter math geeks having fun with advanced Geometry and Algebra homeschool at the dining room table ( fake glasses for her)

We love family celebrations...especially Mozart, who plots and plans weeks ahead with total delight.  And we love making our own gifts and a special meal. We adore the trophy for #1 dad that she made out of cardboard in secret in her room for him and have it displayed now in a place of honor in our home. Note she topped it with a favorite photo of her kissing him on his birthday in the middle of the Adriatic Sea with Venice in the background as we were taking a ship from Venice to Greece and blessed with a rainbow.

Yum! healthy grain free pizza and salad
They went to the store to get the goodies and I made some grain free, sugar free food that was delicious while staying on our cavity prevention and curing diet. Yummy paleo veggie pizza, salad and homemade  banana bread and DIY chocolate ice cream made with coconut milk.Recipes coming soon!

Healthy, DIY homemade chocolat  ice cream, walnuts, bananas and paleo grain free banana bread

How are you celebrating this Father's Day and what are you thankful for?

healhy yummy grain free, sugar free birthday cake

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Those are some sweet photos. :)


Wonderful, inspirational post. I'm so glad that things are working so well for you, in spite of the health issues. I hope (and I'm sure) that Mozart and Da Vinci's relationship will grow stronger day by day and year by year.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Happy you like them Anne!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks so much Elizabeth! I slowly make progress on my health issues ( and learning soo much daily...fascinating!) and it certainly has impacted all of us, but life goes on and we are quite resilient and flexible types. ;)


Lovely post !

We also made some choices, very different from the mainstream, so that we could equally share parental joys and duty and both spend as much time as possible with our kids... Just hoping to fit more travels in there.

Oh yes, recipies please !

Glad you had a nice little celebration. Here the kids were so excited to say the poems they'd learned for the occasion and give their handmade gift that they presented them to their dad the evening before father ´s day (and got to give them again on the actual day - still as excited LOL)


Wow! Such an amazing post i totally love what you guys have done and the experiences you have given your daughter. I think a father daughter relationship is important, but for me it has been my older brother. We are actually going on a roadtrip soon for a few weeks. I think he is doing this trip for me, so I can have that relationship and experience your daughter has.

Jeanne @soultravelers2

Thanks, Gabrielle and good for you!! Homemade gifts are the best, aren't they? ;)

Recipes coming soon!

Jeanne @soultravelers2

Aw thanks, Henna for you kind words! Aren't you lucky to have such a great big brother!!

I was very close with my younger brother and once hitch hiked cross country with him. He died young, ( 40) so I am grateful for our memories together.

We must enjoy life fully while here.

Have a wonderful adventure with your big brother!!

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