Throw Out Your Televisions

I finally made it to Italy

Growing up, my family didn’t have much money and travelling was considered a luxury that we simply could not afford.  I remember wanting to go on family vacations as a kid, like most of the kids in my class would, but it just was not feasible.  Not to say that my parents didn’t try, they did try.

I received my first quad motorcycle for my eighth birthday.  It was given to me by my father mostly as something that would keep my sister and I occupied when we had to spend the weekend with him and he was in a race.  My father drives and builds off road race cars for a living, and is actually quite good at it.  He has placed 1st and 2nd in the Baja 1000 (that is me bragging =).

So, all my family holidays were inevitably in the desert with my quad motorcycle and my little sister clinging on to me as we explored unknown territory.  We would come back with so much dusty sand on our eyelashes, they would be a light sandy brown colour and our faces would be covered in dirt- it was magical.  Despite how fun this was, my mind often wandered to other far off places.

Due to my mischievous nature as a child, I was often grounded.  Being grounded in my home meant: no television, no phone, no outside contact with friends other than when in school.  It was boring to say the least, until I discovered the joy of reading.  In my repetitive seclusion I would read and read, I belonged to a book club that would send me 4-5 books a month and my Mom would buy me books often.

Books took me to far off places, provided me with insight and apathy, educated me and instilled a desire for more in me.  It led to me loving art, I loved all the typical painters and sculptors as a child: Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Monet, and Manet.  I loved renaissance art in particular, and it made me long to travel to Italy and see it all for myself.  I had posters of David, The Creation of Adam and Frittilaria plastered on my walls.

I would often tell my Mom and anyone that would listen, that I wanted to travel to Italy when I grew up.  My Mom wouldn’t have much to say in response to these wild ideas, I believe this is because she herself never had a chance to travel.  She had us at such a young age (nearly 19 when she had me) and she never had the resources.  Travelling is a concept that feels far off and out of reach for my Mom.  I wish I had the money to take her somewhere…

I attribute this desire to travel and see more of the world to the time spent reading as a child.  My curiosity was awakened, my understanding and perceptions of the world changed.  It has led me to a life of exploration and adventure, something that I absolutely treasure.  The people I have met, the places I have seen, touched, smelled, the sounds; no one can take this away from me.  It has all shaped who I am and who I am evolving to be.

I have to admit that I have not been reading much in the last year and after writing this I feel quite inspired to do so.


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