Wednesday, 7 July 2010

A Ramblin' Woman

   When I was young I wanted to see the world.  Though I loved them, I ached to get away from Canada's forests and lakes, and I feared I never would.  I was not from a family that went off on foreign holidays in summer, not even to visit family in other countries -- they came to us. 
   I swam all day, sat around bonfires nights, and it was wonderful, too, of course.  But I had letters and postcards from Poland, that made me think it was the land of my dreams.  I had tiny, souvenir sacks of lavender from Italy, stories from everyplace, and a mysterious silence from all the girls I knew who went to see their families in China, who said only that it was polluted and people called them fat, though they were thin as could be.  I passed a summer where I worked all day next to a Romanian woman in a factory, who told me it was the best place on earth and made me promise to go there one day.  And I wanted nothing more. 

   The day I married was one month after graduating university and exactly one week before my husband started a job in Japan, and I left to meet him there a month after that.  Since then I've only been home on a few visits which, while longer than I expected at the time, were still only visits, with all of their foggy transience.   

   It seems as though everywhere I look the people I know are settling down, buying houses and cars, having babies.  Though sometimes impermanence frustrates me: not having a home of my own, and at this moment not knowing where I will be in even two months' time, I am still itching for roads and seas, movement.  There are weeks (like this one) when it seems to come up over and over again from every direction -- babies, more and more degrees, a proper career, brick and mortar, time is passing -- but even if it is uncertain, I want to wrap myself up in a life I choose.  I do not want to regret. 



  1. Heisann!
    When I was at an age twelve, I was dreaming about to move to Australia after finished school- it was a secret, because my mother would be sad if she heard about it, and I dreamed of traveling to Alaska., as well, to wash gold.
    I've never been to Alaska, but went to Australia, not as a settler, but as mother visiting a son who I had encouraged to go. Maybe it was my own dream I wanted to fulfill.
    My son found himself a girl in Melbourne. He talk a lot with me about the relationship and whether to settle there. The ties to Norway were too strong and he moved home after ending studies. The place where we are born, is more important to us than we realize. Not having relatives and family around we can understand for the first moment the importance of the distance to them. The older one gets, the roots and to settle down become more and more important. But take your time to experience different cultures and foreign places as long as you are young. Then one day when the time is ripe, it is good to move back home to family and friends that are no longer what they once were ....!
    Then you look back and will be thankful for the life you have lived.
    Have some nice days in Paris... or whereever you are ;:OD)

  2. Babies and mortgages aren't for everyone, and plenty of people who do have them dream of the life you have chosen for yourself. Who knows what the future holds for you but right now, at THIS moment, you're following your heart where it leads. I'd give you a pat on the back if I could. Right now you're where you're supposed to be and your adventures make me smile from where I'm supposed to be :)
    Nellie x

  3. yes, either way you go, there will be days like this: that itching frustration to do the opposite :)
    you are where you should be, doing what you should be doing; i am certain :)

  4. I'm nodding in agreement with the others. Home is where the heart is, whether it's rooted to the ground in bricks and mortar or the wheels on an open road. It's doing and being where you are happiest. Family and friends have a knack of questioning the life we choose to live in subtle ways with news of whose had a baby, changed jobs, etc, I think they do it to validate their own choices *!*

  5. For many years I lived as you are.... landing places, dividing time between the U.S. and Greece, traveling. I wanted a home of my own to root into, to hang my art on the walls, to make gardens and more beauty, but I also wanted to see, be, explore, learn. One day it was just time to stay. So, I did, and eventually, after MANY years of wanting, I've landed in a magical forest.... and feel so rooted that the days of exploring seem like another lifetime, but they have also enriched my world in wondrous ways and I'm glad that I didn't root myself earlier, because as an artist, I don't have the resources to travel and own a house.

    Reading your post, I am reminded of the days when I deeply longed for roots ... I now feel them twining under the ground all the way to the island I lived on in Greece - another lifetime entwined with this one.... I feel lucky to have lived several lives in one.

  6. Hi, I've been following your blog for a few weeks now, but I don't think I've commented before.
    I am in Canada right now, surrounded by the lakes, forests, and prairies, and I long to get away. So far I've only managed a few short escapes (one to France and one to Brazil & Paraguay.) I love reading your posts and hope to visit some of these far away places someday.
    Oh and I don't believe babies and mortgages are for everyone. Not for me anyways. Well I guess as a senior I would like to have a house that I no longer have to worry about the mortgage on. Far superior to shelling out ever increasing rent payments every month when on a fixed income. But ya, we definitely get some blank stares when we tell people we have decided not to have children.
    Hope you are having a lovely day where ever you are! :)