My Grandmother’s Travel Stories
My grandmother has always been fascinated by travel, though she didn’t get to do a lot of it in her youth. To her, nothing is more moving than the view of wide, untamed lands. The very first glimpse of a new place from her seat on the plane is something that sticks in her memory forever, never losing its magic and grandeur. She remembers each time she landed somewhere new; what it felt and looked like; the things she thought to be strange… down to every peculiar sight. I admire how her sense of wonder won’t wear out. She still recounts the stories of her travels whenever I see her. She’ll tell me about the blue plastic bag she had to wear at Niagara Falls and about the snake on the road in Guyana. It brings a rare twinkle in her eyes, one that replaces – for a moment – the pains of her age.
I wish to be more like her. I have probably already travelled about as much as she has but I don’t feel like I treat those experiences with as much reverence as I should. Travelling is almost a given for my generation and things don’t strike me as exceedingly different from home. Perhaps I am easily adaptable; perhaps the places I know in the world are blending together. But maybe I just don’t pay enough attention. I wish to be old and marvelling – not blasé of all the things I have seen and thought to be ordinary. This may be a privilege of the age – hardly realising how very lucky we are to find the world so accessible with our cheap flights and international opportunities. But I think that along with our privilege comes the duty to appreciate what we get all the more. Let us listen to the wishful elders that keep exclaiming ‘Youngsters are so lucky these days!’. Let us find ourselves lucky, because we are getting to go further than most people ever have.
Have you ever been cavalier about going abroad? Or do you make a point to savour it whenever you do? Writing down what I’m up to always helps me realise how great my experience is, so I shall do more of that in the future.