As previously mentioned, I grew up smack dab in the middle of Texas miles and miles from anything you’ve probably ever heard of, such as Austin or San Antonio. In my tiny little town, everyone knows you and your family all too well. For those of you not having the fortune of growing up in such a place, I once found a tea towel that sums it up perfectly: The nice part about living in a small town is that when I don’t know what I’m doing, someone else surely does.
Now, please know that I LOOOOOOOVE my hometown (and you’ll see plenty of posts about it!) because, as Dorothy says, “there’s no place like home.” However, I could not wait to get out and start exploring on my own and my first big adventure without my family was as a Rotary Exchange Student to The Netherlands.
I can only imagine all the thoughts and feelings and anxiety going through my parents’ heads as they are about to put their firstborn child on a plane to another country. I know all the thoughts and feelings and anxiousness I was thinking/feeling as I said good-bye, gave everyone one last hug & kiss, and handed my ticket to the flight attendant. As I am walking down the ramp to board the plane trying very hard not to cry or panic, I hear my mother yelling out:
HAVE FUN! USE CONDOMS!
Looking back, GREAT advice!
At the time, of course, I was 18, mortified, and quite sure that the entire plane was now staring at me. This was confirmed by the lady sitting in front of me, when she turned around and not-so-quietly whispered “was that your mom?”
Yes ma’am, yes ma’am it was.
But–when the mortification went away–that is what gave me a little boost of excitement and encouragement to embrace this new journey–and at that very moment in time, planted the seeds of wanderlust that I will carry with me forever and always.
Thanks, Mom 🙂