Hello fellow wanderers!
Travelling is beyond going on a vacation. It is a journey of the heart and mind, and sometimes even of your soul. Seeing the world, experiencing new sights and smells, meeting unique and extraordinary people among the ordinary is something I am passionate about.
Before I share about my up-coming travels, here is a bit of my backstory, where I’ve come from, and where I’ve been.
I have already experienced a great deal of travelling (though not as much as other wanderers!), and it all began when I was 5 years old. I find it very amusing when I come across parents who are very concerned about moving, thus “up-rooting” their children and ‘affecting their childhood’. I think this worry transfers towards children and is added by the Hollywood movies that depict moving as a terrible and traumatic thing.
I, however, was not the average 5 year old. As my parents packed up our meagre possessions in the Sunshine state of Florida, I was bouncing with excitement, proudly proclaiming to anyone who would listen: “I’m going to Canadada!”.
That was my first experience travelling. My mom and I took a train (SO exciting!) all the way to a small town near the border between the States and Canada. We stayed near a nunnery and I met Sister Justina, bless her soul. I don’t remember what she looked like, or much at all really, but between her and Sister Act I developed a great fondness for nuns. I do, however, remember running around a very old building with neat intricate hallways and passages, almost Hogwarts style, and it felt like an adventure!
I was hooked.
Fast-forward only three years later, we moved once again, this time to Saltillo, Mexico! While most people think of Mexico as a vacation destination (particularly during the cold Winnipeg months), I can’t help but shake my head and remember how much more Mexico means to me. The friendly people I met, the friends I made, the schools I went to, the shows I watched…So much more!
We lived there for 2 and a half years, and when I came back to Canada, I experienced a few things that changed me forever and have stuck with me most of my life:
Firstly, I felt out of place. I never knew what exactly was different, but I just knew I was on a different wave-length from any of my old friends. This feeling ebbed and waned, but never truly went away as I grew up. Secondly, Canada no longer felt like ‘home’. I wish there was a way to explain it, but once I felt out of place, I was not as comfortable, and felt like I needed to go ‘out there’ to find my place, whatever that meant.
Maybe it was counter-culture shock, maybe I was growing as a person with very different experiences from most other kids, maybe it was because the world changed after 9-11. Or maybe it was the beginning of God’s call on my life to follow a path that led me to where I am soon heading…
Fast-forward another 5 years and I have now also travelled to both the Ukraine and Peru to meet my mom’s and dad’s side of the family (and no, I did not get to see Machu Pichu! Which naturally means I shall have to go back!). Having a diverse cultural upbringing is very likely partly to blame for my growing wanderlust as well.
My love for languages (inspired by my mother and fellow wanderer) accompanied my growing hunger to see the world. Many years later, it would lead me to a flyer on a University news board that would land me an English Assistant job in France a year later, where I spent 8 beautiful months with nothing but one adventure after another.
And there, my friends, is when the travel fever hit an all-time high…After my return from Europe, I re-experienced similar feelings I felt after returning from Mexico, but this time I had close friends who were going through the exact same feelings, amazing friends that I had made during my months in Europe. I soon found out that I was not alone in having that ghostly ache in your chest wrapped in nostalgia that keeps you off balance when you return to ‘normal’ life. But why did I have it? What did travelling do to me?
One day, while on Pinterest, I came across this quote:
|Photo credit: Pinterest|
This, I believe, perfectly explains what is ‘wrong’ with travellers, why we are the way we are. The world is both big and small, but when you see enough of it, and you fall in love with the people, places and cultures, a piece of your heart becomes a part of it, and while it hurts when you are away, it is totally worth it. I find great comfort in this. If you are a fellow wanderer, I hope you find comfort in it too.