ou would say my dad and I are an unlikely father-daughter combination -- especially if you knew the first thing he ever said to me about international travel.

When I was about 10 or 11, I told him that I would like to visit France some day.

His response? "Why would you want to do that? You never lost anything over there."

Which just shows there are times when parents have to be ignored.

It is not as if we knew nothing of travel in our family -- even if it was all domestic and undertaken in the Plymouth. We drove all over the South and parts of the West, visiting family and friends.

Years later, after my mother died, my father visited me in New York. About a year after that, I asked him to visit again, to which he said, "I've already been there."

I guess he knew I would come to him.

But after he was widowed, Dad did travel alone on motorcoach tours operated by AAA.

He never considered any other travel company. I once sent him some brochures from other tour firms that also offered domestic coach trips, but I guess it was trust in a household name that kept him with AAA.

Finally, Dad was faced with the option to travel overseas, to places where he, too, had never lost anything.

This was after my mother died, and my father was about to remarry. His bride-to-be had laid on plans with her extended family to spend a few weeks in Germany with a grandson who was stationed there in the service.

She told my dad: "You are invited to come along if you want. If you don't want to go, I am going anyway" ... or words to that effect.

He went.

And he had a great time, although aside from getting a narrated viewing of the photos, I did not hear too much about details from my taciturn father.

However, he and my stepmother always kept in their living room a tangible reminder of that trip, a cuckoo clock. It still is the main timekeeper there, but it is a little, well, cuckoo because while it chimes at the hour with, say, three chimes for 3 o'clock, four chimes at 4, etc., it chimes only once at 10.

Now, my father is terminally ill and no longer sitting under the cuckoo cuckoo.

This column is a kind of eulogy for him, but not quite. For one thing, in this context, I looked at his life based only on his travel experiences and attitudes. That's a narrow focus.

And it seems fair that Dad should know what I would write about him for my colleagues to read. So I wrote this column sooner rather than later -- now he can see it.

Nadine Godwin is the editor in chief of Travel Weekly.

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