Weekend Travel Inspiration – Jane WilsonHowarth

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Weekend Travel Inspiration - Jane WilsonHowarth

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I have wandered, traveled my entire life.  My entire life.  I still cannot tell you where home really is.  I claim my mother’s hometown as my own.  You see my mother and father met in Turkey.  She was a teacher, and he was in the Air Force.  Two Americans living overseas.  They fell in love, they got married, and then I came along.

Because of this life of travel, I have a hard time really picturing home.  Connecticut is the place we’d go every few years to visit my grandmother.  She’d welcome us in the middle of the night with a tray of triangle-shaped sandwiches which we would wolf down and go to bed.  In a way, that is always the place I return to in my heart when I think of a hometown.  It’s small, with two traffic lights, and there are a few places in town that I look forward to seeing every time I go, but everyone else in the town would never think of taking a drive to see these things.  They are just that normal.

In other words, I cannot personally relate to the beginning of the quote, because I have no normal. Instead the second part of the quote is what resonates with me.  “Being in another place heightens the senses…” This is so true.  I love that first time you arrive some place.  Often for us, that means the middle of the night in some airport.  We grab a ride and we drive through darkened streets, hardly any traffic, and we see the city for what it is before it wakes up.  I love this!  Since our senses are so heightened, it gives us an opportunity to get our bearings without too much added stimuli.

Weekend Travel Inspiration - Howarth

A hop over the Adriatic, and we visited Greece when I was about 11 months old.

I love walking down a street for the very first time.  I notice the buildings, the yards, the flowers and trees, the cafés, the people walking to work, the joggers and dog-walkers.  Everything is new, and even though it really is the same world-wide, it’s also different.  To begin immersing myself into this new city, I go into a restaurant and try to order.  Now, let me tell you something.  If it’s a language I have no idea about, I’m in heaven!  Weird, I know, and yes I will probably revert to English.  It doesn’t really matter how I get my point across, but the more I struggle or feel unsure, the more “new” and exciting it feels.  And what an achievement it is to be able to talk and make myself understood, and then of course eat some amazing food.  The next steps are easier, I begin talking, interacting, looking for conversations with locals, and before you know it, I’m comfortable.

As I become more and more comfortable, in creeps the “normal.”  It doesn’t take long.  As I find myself snuggling into that cocoon of normalcy, the stimulating scenes in front of me become part of the background.   Guess what?  It’s time to move on, knowing I now have another “hometown” to return to.

Does this quote resonate with you?  Why or why not?

Here are a few posts that I hope illustrate the old and the new!

Taking it Easy in Buyukada

Reveling in Memories of Trier

Moldova?  Where’s That?

American Diner




























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  1. For me this doesn’t resonate though I can see why it does in your situation. I had a stereotypical upbringing and we moved once, about 3 kms away. Though I have always had a home base, I think I see it differently now because of travel. I see the very good things and the not so good things about my home town. I think if you look, with an open mind, you will see this ‘scenery’ in your own back yard as well as every where else that you wander. Some people travel and see nothing. Sure they might be able to tick off lots of ‘things’ but have they actually opened their eyes and walked in someone else’s shoes. End of todays diatribe, Corinne 🙂

    1. Paula, I like it, and even though I didn’t think about the fact that people don’t necessarily “see” when they are traveling, I certainly agree! Cheers!

  2. The quote isn’t entirely true for me – I wasn’t born here, but I’ve lived in Glasgow half my life now so I count it as my home town. I still find it full of scenery – particularly since I’ve started looking at it with a blogger’s eye, I spot new details all the time. I agree about the benefits of going somewhere new though: it does add excitement. But it’s great to come home too.
    PS Cute baby photo!

  3. Definitely agree with the second part too, being out and about you’re more aware of new things, at home they’re just there. I’m tending to disagree with the first part too, because there’s so much to see where I live (in London and in Greenwich too) and I’m still discovering parts of both of those too! Thanks for hosting, have a great weekend 🙂

  4. I have never heard this quote before but I like it. I understand the first line as being so used to your hometown that you do not see any scenery. You have being there for a long time, that is what you know and have experienced and are molded based on that place. When you go to another place, things are different. You are force in some way to pay attention to your surrounding because everything is not as expected. Being in that situation over and over again teach to to see the world with a different lens.

  5. HI Corinne, Wow, you definitely started very early. You were already a world trekker at 11 months! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your family’s story. I enjoyed reading it.
    There’s definitely a truth to the first part. We tend to take our home for granted and fail to see the beauty in the normal. But in my case, every time I leave home, I have a better appreciation of it when I return. I tend to see things in fresher perspective. And of course, the second part is always true. We always get excited with the new, the unfamiliar, with connecting to something and someone different.

    1. Marisol, Everywhere I move to, I ask around for things to do in the local area, and very few people have any suggestions for me. I find that very telling. Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. I can absolutely relate to the quote but I don’t think it is just the newness of strange places. I think it is also that when you are travelling you leave all your day to day jobs and concerns behind. When you’re away you’re not constantly thinking – I need to do the ironing/cooking/shopping – or – if I don’t tidy the house today I won’t have time tomorrow. Ditch all that baggage and you get to appreciate your surroundings in a way which is difficult at home.

    1. Lyn, Yes! Before the age of cell phones, getting away was much easier. Today, however, you have to usually go a little further or turn off your phone.

  7. I love that picture of your dad and you! It’s nice to get to know you better as your story is more remarkable than I remember. What inspires me to travel? Just seeing something new (as you beautifully described). It’s as simple as that. I’d be the first to sign up for space travel, too. Great linkup and post!

  8. I’m so like you Corinne, with no home town, parents meeting and marrying in a third neutral place and me born in yet another, so I can’t relate to the first bit but totally agree with the second bit and just like you I love being somewhere where I don’t speak the language with the challenge of communicating. It feels properly foreign. Love the photo of you in Greece!

      1. Actually Corinne, I really do! When I first came across the “label” a few years ago it was a eureka moment when I realised where I belonged! Funny that you don’t. How come?

        1. Phoebe, I think I’ve pretty much lived an American culture my whole life. I do like living in other cultures, thrive on it, but I’m not sure I qualify!

  9. I am like you. I moved around so much growing up that I don’t have a hometown either. But yes, the second part of the quote rings very true to me. 🙂

  10. It’s so true Corinne. I’ve recently been writing about Milan and had a really hard time sometimes. It made me love and hate my town at the same time – and many times I just had nothing to say. Glad to go travelling in 4 weeks!

  11. I really enjoyed reading your post, Corinne. The two of us have so different backgrounds and still share the same love: travel. I was born in a communist country and couldn’t travel anywhere until I was 33, while you traveled your entire life – basically since you were born (by the way, I loved your picture in Greece). What is interesting is that we both have a difficult time calling a certain place “home.” You, for a good reason. I, on the other hand, have lived in California almost as long as I lived in Romania. Which one should I call ‘home’ then?

    1. Anda, We do live in a transient world. I know I’m certainly not alone. I would love to swap stories with you sometime. Personal histories are fascinating to me.

  12. My first reaction was to completely disagree with the quote, as I have been writing about Auckland for a while now. Then I read your words and realized this isn’t my home town. And thinking back, while I was there, it was boring.

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