Posts Tagged ‘wanderlust’

One evening in the spring of 1997 I was sitting cross-legged in front of the television on my family’s living room floor.  I was watching a PBS program with my mother.  My mom has never been a big TV-watcher and living in the country we were limited to channels the weather-afflicted-antennae felt like presenting us but every now and then we’d stumble upon something wonderful.  Today, it seems cable television gives us whatever we ask for but when I was 12, shows about great sandwiches from US cities and documentaries on the pyramids in Egypt were something to be treasured.

On this particular evening we were watching a captivating program about Venice.  The show featured beautiful glass work and chandeliers that had been hung over canals and under bridges.  I’d never seen anything quite like it and I was instantly smitten.  I think Venice is intrinsically magical.  Don’t you?  There’s something about a city that appears to float that suspends reality.  On childhood road trips we’d often listen to the Classical Kids Series (Beethoven Lives Upstairs and Mr. Bach Comes to Call) and Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, set in Venice, was the most mysterious of them all.  I was no stranger to Venice but I’d never seen it quite like this.

A segment focused on tourism in the city and talked about the amount garbage accumulated by visitors alone and all the other physical damage the industry was causing.  Venice was drowning, we were warned, and one of the precautionary measures under consideration was to prohibit tourist travel to the city.  Honestly, this terrified me!

Yes, it was concerning that the city was sinking but it was most alarming to hear that tourists might not be allowed in.  I might not be allowed inside this magical city!  I don’t know if it’s possible to pin point the origin of my wanderlust but that moment and the months of Venetian fascination that followed might just be it.

In high school I spent a month improving my French in Paris and when Queen’s University visited our senior class and handed out booklets on their first year abroad program at a castle in England it was love at first sight.  Whether or not I’m fortunate enough to be travelling in a particular moment, I am always engaged in the activity: thinking about places to explore; seeking out adventures in familiar neighbourhoods; giving unsolicited travel advice to friends and family and strangers on the transit line.  It’s this intent to travel that keeps me feeling like a traveller when I’m not doing much travelling at all and it’s what makes me feel present and connected and rather sponge-like when I am on an adventure.

Whenever I’ve been away for extended periods of time I’ve kept an online record.  These journals live all over the interwebs, though some have been lost to technological growth (RIP GeoCities) and it’s my hope that this new space will take on the memories of my next journey and all the adventures that may follow thereafter. 

Oh, and I did make it to Venice.  Twice, actually.  And while it hasn’t yet been swallowed by the sea, I will say that it lived up to every expectation… both times.

With Erin in Piazza San Marco, March 2004


Enjoying gelato and Grandma on the canals in March, 2006


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