Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wander — AKA wanderlust

Andrew finally assigned a word I felt an innate response to.

Wanderlust —  I think it is in my DNA. When asked when I was in grade school what I wanted to be when I grew up, I proudly said a painter/stewardess and drew myself in a beautiful blue uniform with hat, remember this was the 1960's, & holding an artist's palette.

My parents drove from Toronto to Mexico in 1956 for their honeymoon — pretty cool in those days. Both wanted to travel. They researched and explored different cultures. My Mom had a fascination with the Mayan culture, and I can remember doing a grade 3 project on them because I developed an interest in the old culture. Our family explored Mexico, the way most families explored Florida.

My parents instilled a curiosity about the world around me, and the yearning to want to see other cultures. When I visited Expo '67 in Montreal, and was introduced to the world, so to speak, I was wide eyed about how they looked, what they wore, how they sounded and what they ate. My parents bought me a set of Russian dolls, that started large, and by opening them up, descending down to one tiny doll. I just thought that was so neat, and yet, so unique to Russia. I also got a doll from the China pavillion, which, I think for the first time showed me that Chinese people don't look or dress like me. China seemed so far away, so exotic, who knew I would one day visit there.

Growing up in the suburbs of Toronto, I had different cultures around me in school, but they all meshed into one, until I was shown the difference through a doll. My grandparents all came from Poland, and I was totally unaware they had an accent till my friends pointed it out to me when I was ten. Strange how it took outside sources, to show me the differences.

My grade four teacher was English, and through talking to her, I was convinced everyone ate fish n' chips everyday, and it permanently rained in in London. Well, according to Coronation Street, that stereotype holds true, however, it made me want to go to London in the biggest way.

My Dad and his sister, Jeannie, were very well traveled. I have taken up the reigns and want to see & experience as much as I can in this world around us.

Ahh, wanderlust...

Cycling the hills above Florence with friend Jolijn.

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