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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wanderlust

My grandmother and grandfather (St. Patsy's parents) were born travellers. They both had the blood of nomads in their veins, and nothing made them happier than to be part of a caravan headed out across the country. There were epic treks to Canada for fishing camp, yearly pilgrimages to Florida, and vacations with as many of the extended clan as possible to see whatever sights there were wherever we hadn't been. I dimly recall a trip to Michigan, I think it was, and stopping to be photographed with an enormous statue of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox Babe. I also have a snippet of memory in which I see myself running in sand and driftwood along a beach with my cousin Laurie, who is my age. We were chasing little chipmunks. Everyone got food poisoning on that trip, by the way, and my mother loves to tell the story of my cousin Ruthann lying on the side of the road, crying weakly, and saying, "Just leave me here. Leave me here to die."
Grandma and Grandpa even went to the Alaska Territory--it wasn't a state yet--although I don't exactly know what they did there. Grandpa liked to gather rocks and driftwood and other pieces of flotsam and jetsam from beaches and significant areas and paint on them the place and the date. Those were his mementos of his trip. Those and about ten thousand slides.

Grandma and Grandpa had seven children, and all but perhaps one inherited their Traveller Gene. My aunts and uncles have travelled the world, sometimes in campers or trailers, other times by air. They have taken ocean cruises and river cruises. I doubt that, at this point in their lives, there is any place they wanted to go that they haven't been.

St. Patsy and my dad used to love travelling by car, taking a week or two at a time to go up to New England or take the Skyline Drive and decide en route where they might end up. Dad got seasick and disliked air travel after his time in the service, so the car was their major conveyance. They camped in Quebec, hung out in Key West, and hobnobbed with the hoity-toity at the Greenbrier(with my mother saying every moment, "I don't think we belong here.")

I have a somewhat mutated version of the traveller's gene. I love travelling, but I don't pursue it. It's hard to explain. Travelling was a...a sort of drive inside my grandparents. It's that way with some of my aunts and uncles. There is a restlessness there, a need to leave their home environs and see something else, whereas for me, I enjoy travel, but I don't ever feel like I'm between trips. For some of them, travel is a way of life. For me, it's a big deal and a somewhat unusual occurrence, although I have been travelling more now than before. So! Let's get to today's question (and I'm running out of them, by the way):

Where is one place you haven't yet visited but would absolutely love to go someday?

I know the question says, "One place", but I'm going to try and cheat a bit with my answer. Because all of my earlier literature study in high school and college was concentrated in British Lit., I would love to go to England, Ireland, and Scotland. And, what the hell, let's go ahead and toss Wales in there, too. How can any English Literature major not want to go there? Of course, England is the land of Shakespeare (even if you are an anti-Stratfordian, someone who wrote all of the Works lived here!), but also Keats, Byron, Marlowe, and that's just for starters. Ireland gave us Oscar Wilde; Scotland, Robert Burns; Wales, Dylan Thomas. And the history! As some Britisher once said to an American, "Dearie, we have loos older than your entire country!"

In time, Rick and I will go to all of these places, but we have to be patient. It's important to us to go when we'll have time to enjoy seeing them without rushing to cram them into a small time frame. I hate waiting for pretty much anything, but I've learned how. And I think they'll all be there when my turn comes.

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6 comments:

  1. Pacific Northwest, Greece, Africa, Spain, Scotland, France, pretty much in that order. I've been to England, Wales, and Ireland, and they were beautiful, so I'd go back if I ever complete the afore mentioned list!

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  2. When we were younger we travelled a lot. Now that we're middle-aged homeowners, we don't travel much. I enjoyed seeing and experiencing places; but like you, now I only want to go somewhere if we can take our time about it.

    That being said, I'd like to go to: Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Peru and back to the UK, if the opportunity ever arose.

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  3. Wanderlust: I was a military brat, so some of my childhood summer vacations consisted of moving on to the next state. I can only remember 3 actual family vacations that did not involve moving. (Which isn't to say we moved almost every year, just that we did not take a vacation every year.) My favourite was a camping trip to Cape Hatteras with another Coast Guard family who had 4 kids, nearly all the exact same age as the 4 children in my family. We took our "snow saucers" and had a blast riding down the sand dunes. The only other memorable vacation I took was with my BFF friend's family. They DID go somewhere different every year, and recorded it all on 8mm film. The summer after we moved away from Maryland, I was invited to go on vacation with her family. I think they basically wanted at least one of their kids to have a companion for the trip, and I was known to be a fan of camping as well as being willing to do chores. We went up to Michigan (Ann Arbor area where they had some relatives), and spent most of the time camping. Had a fabulous time, and a few years ago, in our 50 year reunion of having met, my friend treated me to some 8mm footage converted to video (still waiting for DVD!) of that trip. I was stunned to see myself LIVE on film at the age of 13. Kids nowadays will think nothing of seeing themselves in a bazillion photos, videos, etc., but to see my own self at that age, cavorting around the campsite... priceless.

    OK. Went off on the subject of wanderlust and lusted for too long. Places I haven't visited but would love to go to someday: Basically, any part of the world I really don't know (and that would be a lot!)--- China, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, India.... If I had to pick one specifically, it would be hard, as they all intrigue me for one reason or another. There is also a very strong pull to go to Norway, Denmark, Sweden or Switzerland. And, good heavens, so much of the U.S. that I don't know, but my bucket list would include getting to the Grand Canyon one day, and also Alaska (as long as I do not have to run into S.P.!)

    P.S. Thanks for commenting on all of my belated comments made yesterday on recent posts. I had a rather rough week at work, and felt bad about having missed so many posts, so did my best to catch up, but that was a lot to have to respond to in one day, and I do appreciate so much that you took all of that time to respond to each and every comment when I should not have bombarded you with all of that in one go. A typical example of "DoN Kindness"--- and your own innate graciousness.

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  4. Ortizzle--Oh, heavens. There was no need to thank me. I'm so happy when my commenters take their time to read and chime in on what I have posted. I was flattered that you read and commented on them all in the series thus far. I accept with much appreciation your thanks and issue one massive YOU'RE MOST WELCOME.

    I, too, would like to see the Grand Canyon one day. I was lucky enough to see part of Alaska when Rick took me there on our anniversary cruise, and I wouldn't mind going back after I've seen a few other places first.

    India intrigues me, too. And I only want to go to Australia if I can actually hold or pet koalas. I don't see any other compelling reason to go.

    As a matter of fact, I'm starting to feel the same way about China. It's a no-go with me if I don't get up-close Panda Time. There.

    I might start predicating all foreign vacations on their wildlife.

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  5. I've been an Anglophile since I can ever remember,and reading Sherlock Holmes in high school fanned the glowing ember into a giant bonfire. I had a MENSA penpal who lived in the Midlands in the late 80's and she invited me to visit and stay for a week. That was my first visit to my "homeland" and I can still see, like it was yesterday, my first sight of English soil through the small window of the plane as the clouds parted. I rarely wax poetic but that was one of the highlights of my life. I've been back a few times and it was magical. London, Manchester, Scarborough, Herriot country, Stonehenge, York Minster. I would love to go back, but too many commitments make it very difficult to travel. Plus my idea of travel is a fair amount of time and a lot of money, neither of which is in big supply at this time in my life.

    The one place I've always most wanted to go would, unfortunately, require time travel as well as actual travel. I want to go to the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, but only in around 1500 BC (or earlier), when the Egyptian culture was at its most glorious. That era calls to me on so many levels. In the current time frame, I'd like to see New York City and Sydney, Australia, and, of course, go back to England. When I went there in 1990, I went to a pub outside Windsor Castle that was built in the 1300's. Still standing and still a pub. That feeling of so much history is wonderful, and something you just don't see in this country. I would love to go back for more of the same.

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  6. LaFF--Oh, how wonderful! And I know exactly what you mean about the aura of history surrounding things. The USA cannot possibly have that, not yet.

    It's a big reason why I want to go there.

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