The Making Of A Wandering Soul
My parents loved their country. I don’t mean in a way that they took a political stand or that they were patriotic in any way. What I mean is that my parents loved the land that we call America. They loved to travel and enjoyed sharing their experiences with their children. Something magical would happen when my parents would tell me about the wonders I would see, and then, sure enough, it would be just as they said and even more.
My mother had travel books that she read like many would read a romance novel. The bookshelves were lined with travel references, maps, and atlases. When I would ask how far until we arrived, my mother would task me with finding our destination on the map; thus, I became an avid map reader. I was a wanderer in the making.
My father had a yearly tradition of visiting a museum that would show the Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes. We, as children, thought the documentary film was better than then entire Star Wars series of today. I would say he had his own ‘road lingo’ that made traveling much more fun. There were toll booths where we paid the ‘trolls.’ Round hay bales in the country were ‘sleeping bears.’
Around our house, there was always talk of the next trip, whether it was a small day jaunt or a well-thought-out week-long journey. The place would buzz with a chat about our plans as suitcases came out and packing began. There was at least one time that I can remember my parents had bought a new car for a special trip that took us from coast to coast across America. Our trips often included friends and family, so collaboration was in order.
I consider myself to be a wanderer at heart. The idea of hiking to no place in particular or taking a stroll down a street in some small quaint town lined with specialty shops feels right to me. A museum, an exhibit, or even a festival would suit my fancy as well. Boating on the St. Lawrence River or a day in the Adirondack Mountains never gets old.
There are spots throughout New York State that had become yearly traditions growing up. These places still give me a familiar feeling. It’s like coming home; it feels like a piece of who I am. My parents are gone, but the memories are left in my heart. My heart wants to go back and feel the magic over and over.
It’s certain that my wandering soul was in part the result of my childhood ways. Yet the other side of nurture is nature. I have always been able to lose myself and become part of the moment. When you are ‘that kind of person,’ experiences become more than just average; places hold magic and excitement. From that, I find my love for adventure, both old and new.