An Unexpected Education

This week I was at R’s basketball game and I was talking with another mother from the team. Somehow, different areas of the country came up in conversation. I had been to all the places we talked about, so I had experiences and knowledge to contribute. She made the remark at the end of our conversation that she felt really sheltered after talking to me because she had only ever lived in the Northwest. I felt flattered because here was a woman who looked very put together. Here I was, who, if truth be told, takes pretty much any road but the one most taken. This made me reflect on the unique insights and education that I have gained from these experiences.

I LOVE to move. (Except of course for the physical moving of boxes of course.) I love seeing new places, new cultures, meeting new people and having adventures. Many people feel that America, doesn’t have the accents, the regional cultures like it used to. But I would beg to differ.

My life has taken me from California, Utah, Missouri, Virginia, up to Alaska, and down to Washington state. Those are just the places I have lived. I’ve visited much more. My favorite thing is to move to a new place and be able to immerse myself into the culture, the food!, the people for several years and then move to the next place. For years I had hoped to extend that to overseas through my husband’s work, but D isn’t going to pass a State Department physical anytime soon, so I’ll have to content myself with new places in the US and visiting other countries outside of the US.

I have to blame my maternal Grandfather, or maybe there is an illusive gypsy in my ancestors somewhere that has passed down the love of moving around? The joke when my mother and her siblings were growing up was, that when the house got dirty they moved, and they literally did. He mostly kept his moving to Orange County in Southern CA, but he always had to move and see if there was something better.

With this moving and traveling it has ended up giving me an education of sorts that not everyone gets. I have learned to understand different people and cultures on a more intimate level. I’ve come to understand the unique challenges particular areas face, and that in spite of the unique challenges and differences we all generally want the same thing. A safe place to live, food for the table, a chance at happiness,  and loved ones to cherish.

I keep hoping one day we’ll move to the Deep South so they can knock some manners into my children because I seem to be like the teacher on Peanuts for my children in regards to manners. But I’m a little afraid of it too, as the last time I visited Alabama and Mississippi, I felt like I needed a passport. Everything was so different.

I’m looking forward to my next big adventure next month when I get to travel with my sister to Ireland and Scotland to the home of my ancestors, and I have my eye on many more adventures to come! I can’t wait for the knowledge, education, new friends and fun it will bring.

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