This week, Gary Murphy and I recorded a special video for our travel partners and guests in celebration of Father’s Day. We each chose to talk about a special travel memory we had with our fathers that had an impact on our lives. Both Gary and I were very fortunate to have had the opportunities to travel frequently with our fathers, so it was difficult to pick just one memory each to share. Gary shared his father Jimmy’s (late Co-founder of AmaWaterways) wonderful message of resiliency and optimism in face of life’s inevitable ups and downs. Mine was a message of learning more about my father and his childhood by taking a trip with him and my brother to visit his birthplace, Litoměřice, today part of the Czech Republic. As I relived those moments from that special journey, I once again realized how much of an impact my father has had on my life; he gave me strength, courage and integrity; he taught me how to ride a bike, to enjoy challenging hikes and to appreciate and respect nature. He helped me to establish goals, set specific plans to achieve these goals and to overcome any challenges that I might face along the way. He taught me to be self-sufficient, honest and independent and to establish and follow my own values and always respect others.
In preparing for that very personal message, I was reminded of how lucky I am to still have my father in my life and how much I am looking forward to seeing him once I am able to travel again. I also thought about the many people whose fathers are no longer with them or those who may have grown up without their biological father in their lives. Father’s Day is an important opportunity to remember cherished moments you shared and also to celebrate all the father figures - stepfathers, uncles, teachers or mentors - that provided love, guidance and a steadying hand over the years.
For all the “new” dads out there - and we have many in our AmaFamily this year - your first Father’s Day will be very special. How exciting it is to start down the path of fatherhood guiding this wonderful little person that has changed your life forever. The role of a parent to ensure that our children grow up with a respect for diversity and equality and optimism to bring about the changes that are necessary in the world has never been so important. And there is so much joy of being involved in a child’s life…teaching and guiding, playing sports, attending school events, encouraging them to pursue their passion and of course, traveling and sharing the discovery of the marvels in the world with them. Dads are important role models for children, and I am so encouraged to see how young fathers today are deeply involved with all aspects of raising their children and enjoying the close relationships they have developed with their children.
Like many celebrations that have been altered this year by Covid-19, this Father’s Day may see many of us not able to reach out in person to our fathers to tell them how much we love them. However, I know each of you will find creative ways to remind them how important they are to you. Hopefully it won’t be long before we start planning to make new travel memories with our fathers and children. If Gary and I are any example, these travel memories will last a lifetime!
I hope you enjoy the short video we prepared to celebrate Father's Day . Below are a few images to celebrate dads everywhere (a big thank you to Rudi, our Cruise Managers Rolf and Dragan and Khanh in our Calabasas office for sharing)!