Girl Gone -Wanderlust

For those of you who don’t know me well, you may not be familiar with the wanderlust that permeates my soul. When did it happen, you ask. I tend to believe I was born with it; it’s in my DNA. But others may argue…

As a very young girl from the working class suburbs of northeastern America, travel was not always accessible for my parents. Air travel was out of reach and out of the question for my father who never stepped foot on a plane in his entire life.

Yet both of my parents secretly dreamed of “far off” places. I found a slide projector tucked away in the basement, where my mother had left it many years before. The slide trays that accompanied it were chock-full of images of “far off” destinations from 1950’s Hawaii to the trails of the Grand Canyon.

Just like the one in our basement.

I propped the projector on a stack of National Geographics on the basement floor, and anxiously aimed at the wood-paneling. That magazine pedestal was the proof of my father’s dreams of “far off” places that would never be realized.

I would stare at the dimly lit pictures of volcanos, Hawaiian turquoise surf and craggy southwest landscapes for hours. I’d later find out that these were my mother’s dream destinations. I’d drag my friends down to watch with me. I’m not sure if it was the vintage projector or the worlds that it unfolded that tempted me more.

As a young child I had to settle for road trips and most within a three hour radius. We visited historic forts, landmarks and nature walks in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I learned to love history and nature, both favorites for my father as well.

My First Flight…

I was six, when my parents divorced, and that’s when I learned that my mother was the more adventurous one. She was the one who dreamed of travel. As soon as the divorce was final, she whisked me away for a Disney vacation with my cousins. It was my first plane ride, my first glimpse of a palm tree, and the beginning of my love affair with the tropics and the wanderlust that permeates my soul.