Jay Kwon Yang was only 52 years old when he passed away In Virginia from stomach cancer back in 2012. He had one dream before he passed away: to travel the world, anywhere really – Europe, Africa, or even somewhere inside the United States like California or Florida. Recently, however, his 25-year-old daughter, Jinna Yang, has made sure her dad could visit these places in some form, as she has brought a life-sized cutout of her dad with her as she has gone on a dream trip across Europe.
Yang had tried to get over over the grief of her father’s passing for over a year, but it was incredibly difficult to say goodbye to him. Her dad had raised her, her brother, and their half-sister essentially single-handedly. That is why she decided to get on the trip of his dreams for him.
Yang left New York in April and traveled for a month across Europe, carrying the life-sized cutout of her dad with her. She posed for pictures with her father’s cutout in front of some of the continent’s most famous locations, like Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Yang posted these photos to her blog, which is entitled Grease and Glamour.
“I took the time to appreciate the little things,” Yang said. “In every city I went, I took time to sit and soak in sights. Whether it was a huge waterfall in Iceland or a local cafe in Florence, I just sat. I loved watching the couples pass by in the romantic city of Florence, water crashing against rocks on the Italian Riviera, even the peacocks I saw on the island of Lokrum off the coast of Croatia.”
“The purpose of this project was not to make the perfect picture,” Yang continued, “but to bring peace to my family and inspire people to find hope and the courage to continue.”
Yang has since returned to New York but hopes to visit Europe again sometime this summer.
“Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to know which direction to go,” said Yang. “I was broken, and because I allowed myself to accept that, I found the strength to make a change.”
All I can say is that both Yang and her father should serve as inspiration about what it means to be a child and a father – it’s all about putting the dreams of your family above your own and doing your best to make sure they’re achieved.
Photo via Grease & Glamour