Travel is in my blood, literally.
Nomadic gypsy stock runs on both sides of the family tree so it’s really no wonder that international gallivanting has dominated my life.
Through a mix of conscious design, knocking opportunity and random serendipity, I have somehow managed to reside in nine countries, have journeyed through countless others and have carved out a career as a travel writer. At this point I don’t really know what to say when people ask me where I’m from. I’m one of the growing tribe of global citizens – a “nowherian,” to borrow a term coined by travel writer Pico Iyer.
And while home is ephemeral to me, I don’t feel I have a particularly rootless or disconnected soul. I’m a proud Canadian, but I am able to embrace and adapt to wherever I happen to be – perhaps an offshoot of my immigrant roots or a factor of that elusive Canadian identity us Canucks are always grasping to define.
In today’s world, it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that people will stay in one place throughout life’s course, so I consider the fact that I’m a moss-free rolling stone an evolutionary advantage. Wherever I lay my hat (or is that toque?) is home, for now.
However, I have always struggled to comprehend my insatiable globetrotting drive, as it seems a little more extreme than most people’s satisfaction with the occasional two-week holiday or weekend getaway. The Germans have a word – fernweh – which poetically translates to far ache. Maybe that’s it – as opposed to homesickness I have farsickness, a persistent yearning for “elsewhere.”
This is not because where I am is so bad; I’m just chronically curious to discover what else is out there. Whenever I’ve been entrenched in one place for too long, I start to get itchy feet (full blown psoriasis, really) and I begin opening myself up to opportunities that might take me someplace new.
At various incarnations I’ve edited a magazine for expats in Japan, written guidebooks to the Australian outback and taught at a university in rural Mexico, interspersed with years of freelance writing/corporate communications work and blissfully aimless wanderings throughout Asia, Europe, the South Pacific plus North and South America.
Flash forward to my most significant incarnation as mother to two young daughters, age three and five – American-born citizens of Canadian parentage currently living in the Caribbean. Fellow “nowherians” by default.
My girls are veteran travelers of multiple journeys by plane, car, cruise ship and catamaran and seem to have inherited my wanderlust gene. I have nieces and nephews ranging from six to 16, so I’ve got the whole spectrum of family travelers in my sight range.
While my personal leanings are towards active, adventurous, extended excursions to exotic locales, now that I have kids I carefully consider issues like safety, comfort and convenience when planning a trip. The former budget backpacker in me would cringe at this, but family cruises, all-inclusive resorts and Disney vacations are now part of my travel roster. Parenthood alters priorities.
My goal with this blog is to share some practicalities and perspectives gleaned from the trenches of my own travels, along with relevant news, reviews, recommendations, rants and ramblings on all aspects of family travel. Feedback and collective input is welcome.