Ricardo, our delightful guide to Grand Bahama Island
One thing about life that absolutely fascinates me is how big and diverse our world is. I remember when I was watching the Olympics last summer, I was so taken by the fact that here were these people who have basically dedicated their entire lives to a sport that never really crossed my mind until I watched them fulfilling their life’s dream on television. Rhythmic gymnastics? Just not something I think about on a regular basis. But there were these competitors who eat, sleep, and breathe it day in and day out. How different their lives must be from mine.
As an American suburban mom within the world of Blogger, Pinterest, and Facebook, I often fall into the subconscious assumption that the majority of women out there are like me- we’re doing crafty things, trying to raise our kids to be good people, looking for new recipes for our families. But then I stop to really think about it. Did you know that Americans only make up 4.45% of the world’s population? And if you consider the fact that only half of those are women and even less than those are suburban stay-at-home moms...well, while we mommies might have a big presence on the web, don’t let it fool you. The world is big, friends. We are but a minute blip on the radar screen.
My husband always thinks I’m weird because this fascination with diversity leads me to watch National Geographic shows about remote cultures in places with unpronounceable names, and shows about drug addicts, people who want sex changes, and individuals with all sorts of other peculiar habits or viewpoints. I like to read books about all kinds of people too- celebrities, people in history, ordinary people who are changing the world (or their corner of it) and so on.
As I read and watch, I always find myself asking how I could put myself in that person’s shoes, and trying to find some common thread that links us. I guess I’ve always been an empathetic person (major believer in the “Can’t we all just get along?” philosophy) and closed-mindedness makes me crazy. I think that the more we seek to understand one another, the more love we can have for each other.
This desire for connection with others of the human race leads me to another passion: travel. I come by it honestly- my mom was a stewardess for PanAm back in the day and she and my dad met when they were both working for the airlines. They were both even travel agents at one time. I’ve always felt this need to see the world. I have a Pinterest board filled with photos of places I want to visit. I spend my evenings trolling travel deals sites and planning itineraries for pretend trips.
Any other fans of author Adriana Trigiani out there? Her books always make me crave Italy. Lake Como is breathtaking.
Sadly, the farthest I’ve gotten is the Bahamas. But while I was there, the one thing I did that I loved even more than the incredible beaches was the kayak tour. Our native tour guide told us the history of the islands and he was a wealth of information about the culture and ecology there (and he was really funny). One of my other favorite parts of the trip was the conversation I had with my masseuse during my massage. She was from another island and we talked about her family (she had young kids too) and what it was like to grow up there. When my husband and I went out shopping in the afternoon one day, I remember seeing all the school children walking home in their school uniforms, and something about seeing them just living their lives there on that tiny island was so fascinating to me.
What does this have to do with writing? Well, I recently got a writing gig that I’m hoping will help me close the financial gap between my home and the rest of this great big world. I’m putting away just a little bit each week in hopes that I can achieve my dream to become more global. I know a lot of it will have to wait until the kids are grown, but I also hope that we can give them the gift of seeing the world when they’re young so that they can develop a more global worldview.
So now you know. Getting published isn’t my only big dream- how about you?
A quick side note: I remember when we were in the airplane flying over the islands I looked down at the incredible beauty below me and I was struck by how varied the landscapes of the planet are. I love how mountain ranges and grand canyons can be just as awe-inspiring and thrilling as ridiculously clear blue water and white sand beaches. Then I thought about how much I love to craft and use different materials and create different pieces. A huge grin crossed my face as I realized how much alike my Creator and I are. :-)