I recently became a member of the Generation Fabulous group of midlife bloggers, which runs a monthly bloghop. This month’s topic is “Transformative Travel.”
I rarely went anywhere in my 20s and early 30s. I was too focused then on trying to stay employed in the entertainment industry… and looking for love in all the wrong places.
And then: I finally found it, with someone who was here on a student visa. And a few years later, I found myself on a plane to London so I could meet his family.
It was Christmas, and as a lifelong Californian, I expected to be cold. That frightened me.
“I’m kind of a hothouse flower,” I reminded him.
But you know what? Weather conditions that would keep me indoors here in Los Angeles didn’t phase me in the United Kingdom. OK, there was that one outing on the top of Caerphilly Mountain that brought tears to my eyes that I swore at the time were frozen — but I discovered that I could handle freezing temperatures, rainy weather and cold, blustery wind just fine… so long as I was experiencing them anywhere but California.
That trip taught me a few other lessons:
- That my American accent was just as incomprehensible to my future in-laws as theirs was to me.
- That the United States and Britain are indeed two countries separated by a common language. (Helpful tip: Do not put “salad cream” on your salad — unless you want said salad to taste like cole slaw.)
- That socialized medicine is a beautiful thing in action. (Both of my husband’s parents ended up in the hospital – for separate ailments – over my two weeks in Britain on that first trip. And the care they received was impressive. With no scary bills to pay.)
- That I love to travel.
I love seeing new places, trying new foods, learning new histories, taking photographs (prior to that trip, I did not even own a camera). And as the years have passed and we married and became a family, this love is something we shared with our daughter. She made her first trip to meet her British grandparents when she was just four months old and we visited as often as our budget would allow — until the economy crashed. By then, my father-in-law had passed away. We could have saved a lot of money by staying home, but I’m proud that our girl has a relationship with her cousins and wonderful memories of her grandpa.
She has also been to big cities like New York and Paris and natural wonders like Yosemite and Alaska’s Glacier Park. And I know she won’t wait until her mid-thirties to get out of her comfort zone and see the world outside Los Angeles. Because we are a family of travelers.
Read the rest of the BlogHop Entries at Generation Fabulous: