What makes some people want to hit the road while others are content venturing no further than their own backyard? What would compel a perfectly normal woman to put a pack on her back and head off to the other side of the world where she neither understands nor reads the language? What would make an otherwise average 50-something-year-old woman do such a thing? Sure I know people are out there doing far crazier things than I but it is not these people I seem to have difficulty understanding, but rather the ones content staying home or repeating the same vacation again and again. What is it that leads one to wanderlust?
I guess I would have to go back to the beginning; back to when I was smuggled into the US by my mother. I wish she was still around to ask if she knew she was bringing an undocumented citizen back into the homeland. I came across the three passports issued during her lifetime tucked safely away in a firebox where she kept her ‘important’ documents. The first issued just a month before her marriage bearing her maiden name and a studio portrait. It is my opinion a passport is the most important document a person can possess; these are the papers that expand life’s possibilities and deepen our understanding of humanity. I simply cannot imagine tossing an expired passport in the trash. Our passports holds the record of the places we have seem, lives that have touched ours and the dreams we have realized. Memories of what happened between the birth and death certificates.
Sure I knew my parents had spent the summer of ’59 traveling Europe on their honeymoon but I guess I hadn’t give much thought to my beginning forming on another continent. There is the eew factor when one thinks about your parents and conception…eew…but I was curious so I pulled out a calculator and looked for the closest possible visa stamp date that would correspond with my eew date. Calculations completed and the answer is Brussels (Bruxelles).
OK, so I was barely a bean in my mama’s belly but shouldn’t I still be granted dual citizenship? Some reward for starting life in another country? I didn’t leave the US with my parents on that prop plane but I most certainly was there for the return trip. Perhaps this fact simply explains the fact I like the sprouts named after this town or that I have an insatiable appetite for chocolate. Or, perhaps it was the seed that started my desire to travel.
Mom and Dad somewhere on their honeymoon – perhaps Paris?