Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Where would you go if you could travel to anywhere you wanted?
From early childhood, I've been fascinated with reading and learning about different cultures. As a child, I used to pore over coffee table books about other countries and regions, and loved meeting and hosting international students, something my mom did regularly as a "Friendship Family". I always imagined that as an adult, I would travel a lot or live in another country. I am often surprised that I ended up spending most of my adult life living in the small city I grew up in (despite its many attractions).
However, although I haven't travelled as much as I dreamed of as a child, working as an ESL instructor was a little like travelling without leaving home. I was also lucky to study for 6 months in Beijing during my undergraduate years and travel quite a bit in China at that time. Talk about culture shock!
Minou is from France (Southern France--it's different, he would add) and we were fortunate to spend almost a year living there together with G1 when I was pregnant with G2. I have some difficult, mostly fantastic memories of that year, and some great stories. (Like the one with our obstetrician sipping espresso in her red minidress 10 minutes after catching G2...) I'm happy that my boys have had some travel experiences they can remember as they went to visit Mamie, M1 & M2 the last few years. Just to know that somewhere else, people are living differently from the way you know and do yourself, and at the very same time, is an important lesson.
I've been saying for a few years that when I turn 40, I'd like to take a trip to a country I've never been to before. I'm not sure if it will really work this year, both for financial and practical reasons (I miss that academic vacation schedule, and am now the primary breadwinner), but I have started a savings account labelled "Travel" and try to put a little money in it each month. Someday it will be big enough for a plane ticket!
So...where to go? It's fun to daydream about it. I went to the travel section at the library the other day and randomly pulled travel guides that called to me off the shelves.
Where would you go if you could take a trip and money were not an issue? Another country? A region nearby? How about with real-life budget constraints?