Thursday, March 27, 2014

World Traveler

My mom was determined that her children would see as much of the world they could possibly see.  As an Army wife, she and my father had the ability to make that happen.  But for the first few years, we just moved to places in the United States.  We stayed with my mom's parents while my dad got to go to Korea and Viet Nam, then moved between Kentucky and Texas. 

Finally, however, my dad got orders.  Orders are a bunch of pieces of paper all saying the same thing:  where a soldier's next home will be.  This time my dad brought home orders for GERMANY.  We were all kind of excited and scared to be traveling so far from what we knew. 

Once we were in Germany, my mom immediately started planning our first family vacation to an actual country. She chose the Netherlands.  We drove our Volkswagon Beetle to Amsterdam and stayed in a hotel.  Our car was broken into, but we saw Anne Frank's house, visited a brewery and saw lots and lots and lots of tulips.

After that, every chance we had, we were on the road.  My mom insisted that we travel to places we'd never been.  My dad was only a Captain, so we had to be frugal.  We camped out in a tent and ate canned food that we cooked on a propane stove.  We walked a lot of places.

My family visited Austria, where we hung around Mozart's house and visited a salt mine.  I spent hours pretending I was an archeologist in Italy, and was mad when my mom wouldn't let us walk up into the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  We camped next to Lake Geneva in Switzerland, and ate tons of chocolate.  We camped on a beach in Spain. We drove into Monaco to see if we could see Grace Kelly.  I got a heat rash in Norway because I was wearing so many pairs of long underwear.  We stood at the Acropolis in Greece and marveled that anything still stood at all after all these years.

All told, we visited most of Europe.  I gained my love of history walking through the old castles and ancient battlements and cobblestone streets.  I ended up with a love of old folk stories, no matter what the country.  And, I learned that the world isn't just what is happening right in front of me.  There are lots of different cultures and people out there, and they all make the world go round.  My horizons were broadened, my education enriched, my life improved.  All thanks to my mom.


Mama’s Losin’ It


3.) What countries have you traveled to?

8 comments:

  1. What a blessing to have seen all those sights! Your mom was so right to insist on all those adventures. You have memories that can never be replaced.

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  2. Wise woman, your mama. Those trips sound fantastic.

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  3. What rich memories! Your mother's insistence to travel while in Europe was a very wise thing! Great post!

    My hubby is stationed in Germany right now and we have been taking advantage of seeing as many countries as we can. I am with you. Travelling broadens your horizons and gives you experience that you could never get otherwise. There's just something magical about being "there". Visiting other countries and cultures has changed me for the better, too.

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  4. Well done to your mom, I was born in Belfast, moved south of the border, lived in New York, Back to Ireland, visited Paris, London, NY, and Salem Mass.

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  5. What great memories and what great opportunities you had. Stopping by from mama kats kelley at the road goes ever ever on

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  6. I love travel. Your mom was a great mom to have, ever learning. Folk tales touched my heart. I have always read and collected them. Quite a few were kept by student. I never kept a record system. One book was a Christmas gift a child took, I bought it back in a yardsale by his parents and it did not last two weeks before it was permanently borrowed again. Good thing I had no real interest in a 400 page tome of optical illusions.

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  7. Oh my gosh, what a childhood! I always feel bad for kids who have to move around a lot, but you make it sound like maybe it's not so bad after all!

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