Growing up, I was mobile, we were about as mobile as they came. My Father got his marching orders, we packed, we moved, and we plunked ourselves in a new country, with little contact to the rest of our family. My Father, orderly to a fault, would make sure our basics were met, food, clothing, shelter and school. The rest, was up to my insane Mother, who was blind to all warts, she saw every new country, even in its war torn stage, as a new, beautiful adventure. Between the 2, we were immersed in a countries art, food, language, and political state. It is how I fell in love with the anthropological side of every country we ever stepped foot in.
That state of mobility, had its advantages. I never had roots, I never had to make a deep and lasting friendship, I never had to love a country or a people for longer than 3 years, I knew I had an escape. That mobility, that sense of needing to leave, would later bite me right in the arse when I met my husband, and had a baby of my own.
My need to see the world, but also give my son a sense of community, and a sense of place has been so important to me. I have had conflicting emotions over the last year, full well knowing, I need to stay, I need to create a home, something stable for my son to always come back to. I wanted him to feel that he had other adults, friends, mentors, and sports that he could lean on. I, having grown up mobile, never had any of that. I was talented, so talented in keeping people at a distance, that my Father groomed me, to keep that distance in pursuit of a career that truly made me ill. What I learned in all of it, was the day my Father died, I had no one outside of my immediate family. I had made sure I kept everyone at a distance, and my parents mobile life created the perfect opportunity to not have my own community that I could lean on when I was grieving. In fact, our mobility, crippled my core without knowing it, while also making me need that sense of adventure that only travel gives.
So, I have set a plan. I have been reaching out to old friends, and I am going back to my past. I am revisiting countries that were significant to me, and finding those souls that meant something to me, but were long forgotten. We are making a home in one place, and I have opened my heart, for the very first time, to having people visit, to us being mobile enough, that we hop on a plane and visit friends.
I want my son to see, I am not afraid of having roots, but also making those connections around the world, because my roots are in fact, around the world! It dawned on me, I can have both, and I can love the adventure of both.
So where is my first stop. Well, it will have to be Ottawa of course!