Monday, May 5, 2014
When I have had to tell people I'll be out of town for a while and can't commit to a particular event or task, they naturally ask where I'm going. Saying 'Paris' and 'London' receives a strong reaction--especially when they ask who I am going with, and it doesn't include Mike!
My mother-in-law has spent many of her adult years traveling the country and world. You name the place, she has likely been there at least once! After going to Paris last September, she decided she wanted to go once again with her daughter, Kristin (who has traveled quite extensively with Laurie over the years). Having been deemed a decent travel companion myself last spring in Boston, I was invited to go along with them to Paris. Thanks to our Skymiles and a very kind husband who said, "Why wouldn't you take this opportunity to go?" I'm off to Paris.
As for London...
I'm simply "going home" for a few days while "in the neighborhood." It just so happens returning to the place of my childhood sounds fancy, but it really is no different than if I were visiting a small town in Nebraska or a city in Texas.
It's hard to describe my feelings as I anticipate returning to England. It's been 10 1/2 years since I was last there. (I moved in 1988, visited in 1991, 1996, 2000, and 2003.) I unequivocally call Utah home now. It's the life I know filled with the people I love and where I have lived the majority of my life. But where I lived for the majority of my childhood, the first 13 1/2 years of my life will always be a part of me.
Sometimes in groups of peers, I have no idea what childhood cultural things they are talking about. There are few things and places I can replicate or show my children from my own childhood. Few of my peers and certainly my children can relate to the experiences of my youth... street games in alley ways, the tastes and colors of Battenburg cake, not being allowed to wear jewelry or even nail polish to school, going to church with only 2 other young women, or attending school on grounds that once belonged to Henry VIII.
A part of my heart and life will always be in England. I feel blessed to return and walk the streets of my youth, to sit down and visit with dear friends with whom I have the longest friendships. I will feel even more blessed when I return to my family awaiting my return at home.
Home is as much a piece of our hearts as it is a place.