“Tea parties” have been at the forefront of The Little Mermaid blog the last five months. These are blogging challenges that span the entirety of each month. These are free and encourage participants to blog on a specific theme along with the rest of those joining in.
This month The Little Mermaid has asked her participants for their thoughts on travel. Where have you traveled? the Little Mermaid asks. What’s the best part?
What’s the worst part? What tips might you offer up to someone grappling with wanderlust?
The furthest-reaching of my travel experience was done in my life in the nineteen nineties. I have traveled to the United States, to the United Kingdom, to France, and to Belgium. These are the countries where I have gone, done in my adolescence and later in my early twenties.
The best part was the excitement of going to locations completely new. For example, when I was going to the United States, passing through Detroit, seeing Walt Disney World in Orlando (and cheating a touch by going through Universal Studios, too). Spending a little time in Chicago, staying with family in Nashville, visiting a friend in Portland, Maine, lodging in a traveler’s stop in Memphis, visiting New Orleans, visiting New York, all this was great. I was seeing a little more of the world.
One of the happiest times in my life was my twenty-first birthday, an important birthday if you are an American, in Memphis, Tennessee.
I would say I was taking a “walkabout” on that birthday, and it made for several nice weeks. My father’s brother-in-law thought of the label for what I’d done. He mentioned it to me at the wedding of one of my cousins, at the reception. The gentleman, my godfather, mentioned to me what he said was spoke about by aboriginals in Australia, a country I’ve never seen.
Years earlier, spending days at Walt Disney World in 1991 was a fine time. The members of my particularly as my immediate family went aboard “Star Tours,” an interactive cinematic ride like being in a Star Wars spaceship.
It was very exciting as come 1987 I’d got to VCR-record a tenth-anniversary television presentation of Star Wars on Fox. At that age, ten, Star Wars was my favorite film.
The worst part of travel, I’d offer to say, is the end of the “moment” when the time for travel ends, as it generally does, and it becomes time to return to more ordinary things wherever you are spending your life. For me, I live life in the gritty small town of St. Catharines, in the Canadian province of Ontario.
What I know at my age, which is something like an unfulfilled forty, is that if you are in the midst of wanderlust, you should listen to the word itself and observe what is the best part of life in most circumstances–the people you meet and how they take to you. I know I have not had the luckiest of experiences in my travels. I felt unprepared for Nashville, my handsome friend in Portland eventually killed himself, I believe, despite his promise and ambition as a musician, the lodge in Memphis finally burned to the ground, where I’d left friends behind, my idea to hustle in New York led to me being escorted out of a nightclub where I had thought to pose as an NYC resident.
These weren’t great times, especially when I returned to St. Catharines from New York and my girlfriend was angry with me when I told her how it had gone.
When I saw London, England, though, in 1999, when Y2K was only months away, it was exciting, but even with my experiences in America under my belt, I felt quite the novice with only a little money in my pocket and quite clearly to locals a foreigner. My embarrassment deepened in Paris, the City of Lights, when I realized I was in my youth and seeing the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile. I knew it would never come again, and I’d been learning French since the third grade and could barely communicate in it–it was as if my aspirations were quickly coming to naught, and I was overwhelmed by the absurdity.
I didn’t spend much time in Belgium, but I liked it a little better than France, enjoying chocolate and also seeing grim war trenches from World War I when Belgium soldiers defended their nation from Germany.
Eventually, my younger sister married a Belgium gentleman. That was a nice occasion. Here is a photo I took at the wedding ceremony.
The photo of myself I am showing is of a time in 2003 in a hotel in St. Catharines. I was meeting up with the friend who had introduced me to MySpace (before it blew up to become entropy) and speaking, as intended, of American writer Charles Bukowski, the beauty of whose work she wanted to impress upon me.
She and her boyfriend were gracious visitors. It was, again, a “moment.”
I am grateful to The Little Mermaid for thinking of these tea party posts that are interesting for me and for other bloggers on WordPress to organize new blog posts. If you are a touch keen on this, feel free to “like,” to follow, and/or to comment. I wish you well if you travel yourself, and, what’s more, I wish you luck if you have a blog.
All the best.