Full Disclosure

Dad and me from a family vacation to San Francisco when I was 13.
My dad and me, from a family vacation to San Francisco when I was 13.

I’ve been reading travel blogs for over a year now. This became one of my hobbies not long after I returned home from my semester abroad in Barcelona. My father had just been diagnosed with cancer, and I needed an escape. Dreaming of a future WWOOFing in Australia or tour guiding in Spain was a welcome change from the drudgery of coursework and the disappointment of weekly trips home to see my father while I still could.

I mention all this in the hopes of honestly explaining how a 22-year-old is privileged enough to become a world traveler. I’ve read many blogs whose authors recount how they saved money to travel or how they work student loan payments into their travel budgets. I think this information is invaluable and worth seeking out, but it’s not a part of my experience right now. My father had plans to retire and had been saving up for that next phase in his life. Instead, he died last June, and left my brother and I with a nontrivial amount of money.

I had plans to travel before I lost my father. I even had plans to blog, and would have written posts about saving money or applying to teach English abroad. Inheriting means I have more flexibility to travel where and when I want than I’d have otherwise had. Inheriting also means a lot of other things.

Emma Holliday is well-traveled. After 5 years in Boston, she and her husband upended their lives to move to Berlin where she is currently writing a (funny) book about travel and grief and attempting to learn German.

No Comments

  • The Traveluster

    My Mom died of pancreatic cancer in December of 2011. While I didn’t inherit any money from her (her estate was absorbed into my Dad’s investments for us kids), her death did spark my blog and my journey through 10 countries in Africa and SE Asia…. (I’ve traveled much, throughout my life, but this is the most “territory” I’ve covered in such a short time since Semester at Sea in 1999). Many friends have commented on how “jealous” they are of my life, with “I wish” comments, etc. etc…. And honestly, I have to say back to them, “I would give it all up, all the travel, all the adventures, I’d gladly never have done any of it if I could just have my Mom back.” So, yes, inheriting (proverbially) means a lot of other things 🙂 I’m looking forward to meeting you in just a few short hours at Bloghouse!

    • opportunemma

      I know we talked about this in person, but I just wanted to say thank you for leaving this comment. It means so much to me that other people understand where I’m coming from, and I appreciate you sharing your story. Everyone experiences grief differently, but I feel a lot of kinship and empathy towards others who have lost parents while they were young.

  • Karen

    Thank you… I lost my Mom to Pancreatic Cancer. I hear your pain. Know your dad would want you to strive, be happy, explore the world. I try to remember my Mom when my plane lands… she was always the first person I called. I read your blog on a day I needed it most… at a time I needed it most.

Leave a Reply