Family is Not First

As you read the title, you’re probably a little mad at me.

You don’t know what it’s like to have a family!”

“You are too young, one day you’ll learn! Family is the only thing that matters”

“You’re wrong.”

If you found yourself with the above thoughts, this article is meant for you. On the other hand, if you read the title and your first thought was that of approval and agreement, this article may also be for you.

Over the last few days, this topic has been weighing on my mind pretty heavily. It is undoubtedly the result of my constant wanderlust, and my recent planning for the upcoming year. I find myself looking internationally and locally all at the same time. I’ve been invited on trips, and I’ve sent out invitations of my own. In all of my travels, one thing has always stood out to me. Family is not family.

My father taught me loads. My mother is a beautiful woman of God. My brother is the ideal husband and a master of business. My fiancĂ© is about to graduate medical school. Even surrounded by these great people, I find myself trying to get further away from them. I spend time trying to plan trips they aren’t on, with people I know very little about. I know for a fact that it frustrates my betrothed, and I’m sure that my family wishes I would spend much more time travelling to see them than attempting to fly to a new country to catch a single fish.

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The picture above is the entire reason why this article exists. In the photo above, are five guys that I will consider family until the day I die. We’ve spent days and nights together, shared caves and tents, weathered rain and snow, and survived some things that should have killed us. Most of the time in a hammock. Without these guys, I wouldn’t have my travels. Without them, I would believe that my goal in life was to spend my time with my family. Because of them, I honestly believe that my life’s purpose is to grow my family.

I want as big of a family as one man can reasonably ask for. With that said, I’m not interested in children, and I’m less interested in having multiple wives. I want my family to be made up of a man named Gustavo from Spain, and a woman named Diane who loves to fly fish the mountains of Montana. I’d love to spend my time meeting people who I may never see again. I yearn to share lifelong memories with people who I may never see again.

Call it click-bait. Call it false advertising. This article is what it is. I travel to fish. I travel to hunt. More than anything, I travel to meet my family. Family isn’t the people you leave behind at home. Family is others you meet in the world, with whom you share a love and a passion for similar things.

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