November 25, 2007

En route

I'm wrapping up a very fun long weekend visiting the Chicago suburbs. In the spirit of the day, here is a brief history of me, as a young traveler.

6 months old: My parents move from Niagara Falls to British Columbia. I make the journey laying in a bassinet on the passenger seat of my mother's powder blue VW bug.

2 years old: We are in Norway visiting my father's family. On a long train ride from Oslo to Oppdal my mom entertains me with paper dolls that she arranges on a plastic comb.

6 years old: On a transatlantic flight I climb up the spiral staircase to the lounge to find my father smoking and playing cards. We are served smoked salmon for lunch which I refuse to eat.

8 years old: It's summer and I am sitting in the back seat of our brown Dodge Dart between my mother and my aunt. We are on a car trip to Washington state to visit my grandfather's brother who he hasn't seen for 30 years. I get a souvenir necklace at a petrified forest and develop chicken pox on the way home.

12 years old: Every weekend I travel by Greyhound bus to a riding school 45 minutes away. My mom gives me a check for $20 which pays for my lesson plus room and board for the weekend.

14 years old: I accompany a friend and her parents to their summer cabin on Okanagan Lake for three weeks. We swim every day and I get the only tan I've ever had.

15 years old: While on a month-long school exchange to Quebec City I see autumn colours and go sailing. I dream that I am saying "je ne comprend pas" repeatedly.

18 years old: Before starting university, my high school friends and I attend the Carmanah Valley Music Festival. Under starlight, we dance to Bruce Cockburn to save an ancient forest none of us has seen.

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