Daily Post: Wishful Travels

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

January 3, 2011

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Steps of St Paul's
Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

Given Topic: List three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go.

This reminds me of Mrs. Gress’s creative writing class. 11th grade. English department. High school.

Every day we walked in, and we had one topic, and we had to write for five minutes. I loved it. It challenged me to think about things I never thought of before, and gave me the idea for my first tattoo – although I changed the placement.

I have visited England and Italy. Fabulous. So, where do I want to go now?

  1. Canada
  2. Greece
  3. Slovenia
  4. Back to Italy
  5. Back to England
  6. Australia
  7. China
  8. The Continent of Africa

I will begin with places 4-8 since those are the lesser mentioned countries in my ranking. I really enjoyed my Sustainable Study Abroad, and I want to bring my family to Spannocchia where we spent our time. It was enchanting, beautiful, and simply Italy. I needed a lot less Italian to get by than I thought I would, so it gave me courage. I really think my introverted, hermitish husband would enjoy the English and Italian countrysides, now I just have to get him to believe that! And, of course, Levi was 4 months in my tummy when I travelled, so I want him to visit the places he’s already been.

I worked in a design-build form six years ago that did a lot of work in Australia. I am enchanted. Likewise, Asian cultures, especially the very large China fascinates me so – the Great Wall to Red China, I want a glimpse.These big beautiful places that have such interesting stories of beauty, oppression, ingenuity, stagnation, humanity. All defined differently than the US of A where I have lived my entire life. I want to see, through a tourists eyes the beauty, and if I’m lucky, some sanitized behind-the-scenes.

As such, I am intrigued by the heat of Africa, the diversity, the coffee, the war, AIDS, South Africa – and I want a glimpse.

But, where do I really want to go and why? I have lived in four states in this U.SA. 1) Michigan, where I was born and raised. 2) Kentucky during my first summer selling books door-to-door, and 3) Pennsylvania for the second. Finally, I am here in 4) Oregon. Save Kentucky, each state I have lived in has been a stones throw from Canada – yet the only place I visited was an overnight stay in Windsor, across the Detroit River so we 19-year-olds could drink, legally, in good company with our 21-year-old friends.

I want Levi to like and enjoy travel. But, to do so, we parents need to approach it without fear, or with a desire to have adventure. Canada, while we live here in Oregon, is still a simple 5 hour drive away – it seems silly to not make this our first adventure in international travel for the living Levi.

Greece – I find exoctic and enchanting. I studied Art History, missing the minor by one class, to further educate and empower my love of Art. I enjoy Classicism with its symmetry and beauty in form. And, then through Art History you learn of the illusions to create that perfect Greek Symmetry. Some argue that Western Civilization begins in Greece – and that’s where I want to visit. I want to see the ancient ruins, the beautiful white cities and azure sea. Always, too, I want my son to experience cultural differences to learn that we all evolved from some place and decided to chart our own paths – but again – we have come from somewhere. Plato, Aristotle to Machiavelli had their discussions beginning with Socrates. Our society is built on the shoulders of these giants – where are we today, in comparison? How can we make the world a better place given what they knew then and what we know now? What environment were they living in that helped shape their thoughts?

To Origins I list Slovenia, but I really mean all of the Baltic Peninsula. I was told I am 50% Yugoslavian. I held to that belief until Yugoslavia fell shortly after its leader, Tito, died. What am I now if 50% of my heritage is split apart? (The other 50% is comprised of Polish (one quarter of the whole), and a mix of French, Scottish, Native American). Where did my paternal grandparents come from? I did not know them as they died before I was born or when I was very young. I have fragmented figments of a memory of my paternal grandmother. My father has his own story that is mostly absent from my childhood – so part of my feels that visiting this chunk of a continent will be a clue as to who I am and where I came from.

Thank you post-a-day-2011.

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