There are a lot of reasons I like traveling.

And there are a lot of reasons I like traveling with this guy.

Ish on shore

Rare moment of solitude

This is one of them.

In Winnipeg we went to a baseball game. The kids and I took our seats and watched the game. Ish, however, spent most of the time being Ish: Chatting with people, introducing himself, sharing sports views and laughing, always, always, laughing.

He told anyone who had the bad luck to even look in our general direction all about the Round the World Trip with the kids, where the trip was taking us and why we were doing it.

He is, and has always been, the family’s built-in PR agent and the Davis family Mayor. And while it almost always makes me cringe at first – worried that someone will feel he’s being boastful or interrupting their enjoyment – it always results in a great experience.

At the Winnipeg Children’s Museum we were invited to dinner 3 minutes after he chatted up a father of six (the man also offered Ish the shirt off his back but that’s another story;)). And after we  spent the afternoon fishing and chatting with Todd from City Cats, Todd called a pal to get us tickets to the local Goldeyes’ game. And once there I watched Ish charm his way up and down the aisles as I sent him for drinks and then mini-donuts … and then more mini-donuts. (Don’t judge me. It was $4 for a huge bag of the warm deliciousness and the kids ate most of it …kinda). And then there was yesterday, when after I stepped away to take a phone call at lunch, I came back to find tables pushed together and a couple from Florida joining us.

Jack and Jo

Lunchmates and new friends

I usually shrug it off. Chalk it up to Ish being Ish and wrangle the kids while he chats. But almost always I get pulled into the conversation and I’m reminded of how amazing it is to meet people as you travel and have exchanges that lead to letters like this.

Good morning on this the 4th of July.
My name is Randy and we (my wife Susan and I) were sitting at a few rows behind you at the Goldeye’s game on Saturday night in Winnipeg. You gave me your card on the way out.
I have checked your website and found it most interesting. Making memories, (like fishing on the Red River – that river has many stories attached to it, usually sad ones and it is nice to have the opposite ) – that is just so very cool.
Thanks for letting me get a glimpse into your lives and what you are doing.
One of the things I always say to our grandkids is ‘ ABC ‘ and if you will allow this grandfather to pass that along to you and your children – ABC  (always be careful).
Again, thanks and wishing you safe travels.

With warm regards,

It also leads to emails like this

Hello Ish, Heather & kids,

It was really great to make your acquaintenance today.  We wish you the very best on your round the world trip – what an awesome plan!… Cheers, Jack and Jo

and photos like this

Blue Man Group

Hamming it up with fellow CTV Saskatoon guest Kalen Allmandinger from the Blue Man Group in Saskatoon

Traveling with Ish broadens our entire experience of a place. Our stories would be a lot different if he wasn’t along.

We’re grateful to have Randy’s advice and the kind words from Jack and Jo and the others who’ve shared their well wishes and travel tips with us.

And I for one am  grateful for Ish.

How does your travel partner impact your vacations? Are you ying and yang or oil and water? Let me know in the comments below.