risky business and travel

I was reading this blog post and there was a suggestion regarding blog content. The suggestion was to sometimes take a risk, be creative and fun, and present a blog post that is a little different to what you would normally post about. It was posed to me (the reader) that without the risk there can be no reward. So today I am going to be a little risky.

And when I think of today’s post, there just isn’t any way for me to shorten it. I promise to try and keep it entertaining, so as not to lose you – but I honestly will not be offended with the many parts you’ll choose to skip over…
I mean, how am I gonna know, right?!?! πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰
BUT IF YOU’RE AMERICAN, you may want to read it all πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

Picture it. (No, not Sicily 1922 Golden Girls style) It’s 1983, actually – the place I am taking you to. We’d had television in our home since its introduction in South Africa in 1976. By 1983 I was five (and yes, now you know how old I am) and thanks to my lovely grandfolks I was constantly singing about hills being alive and the trouble with Maria. This would be because my grandfolks had a video machine, and had recorded The Sound of Music from one of the few channels our TV industry sported back then. It quickly became a firm favourite and was enjoyed a multitude of times. Naturally, I passed that down to my children πŸ˜‰

But there were others that they recorded too. Mostly for the older grandsons – things my mother would not allow me to watch at home. But so long as I played a good game of scrabble with the grandfolks, there was always the opportunity of glancing at the screen in their house πŸ˜‰ (Yes, I could read and write from an early age – but of course they always beat me. It’s how I learnt the bigger words!)

I was eight years old when I convinced my brothers to give me the pull out posters of my favourite actors – they were going to throw those parts of their silly teen magazines away anyway. (I did have Katherine Kelly Lang adorning my wall too though, even though I didn’t know who she was at the time. I had decided that when I grew up I was going to look like her. Boy, am I disappointed! πŸ˜› )

My little girl love was spread out evenly for these guys :
David Hasselhoff – Knight Rider
Richard Dean Anderson – MacGyver
Tom Selleck – Magnum PI

And naturally my enquiring mind wanted to know all there was to know about them, within reason, because I was still a kid πŸ˜‰

By age 10 my love for American TV shows and movies had grown. And actor obsessions changed from ”just the looks” to something a little more meaningful – I wanted to meet all these stars!

But more importantly, another obsession had begun to grow within me.

THE USA!

I ate up all I could find regarding the US in those days, and dreamed of being there – many hours locked in my head in a daydream of the US, many a morning waking with a smile because I had been there in my dreams. I didn’t know anyone there, and neither did I know of anyone who was travelling there. But the USA was still a part of me, I felt.

The internet created a whole new hunk of love. It was like I was there, and the information at my fingertips was a lot broader than what I’d had in the past. It was both wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. Wonderful that I could ‘go there’ at any time, heartbreaking because I wanted it to be physical.

Shortly after my daughters birth, and a two year stint in another town, we moved back to my hometown. A broken computer became the biggest blessing of all! Enter the computer guy – and another whole new world, way better than anything Aladdin promised πŸ˜›Β  The day that he came to fix my computer was a day that changed a very large portion of my life, and my heart.

He introduced me to the world of blogging. He even went so far as to set up a blog for me on a platform he was using – Xanga. He didn’t charge me for the extra two hours it took to teach me the basics, and show me where I could develop my skills. Personally, I felt he just enjoyed the fact that while I was not completely technologically challenged, I was slightly stupid in some of the ways of the blogging world. πŸ˜› He later told me that it was actually my excitement of being able to ‘be in touch’ with actual US citizens that amused him the most πŸ˜›

(There’s a standing joke that I am an American in my heart πŸ˜‰ )

That was 13 years ago. And within a year I had American FRIENDS. Our contact had gone beyond simple blogging – we were emailing each other too. The bizarre thing about all those connections was that those ‘strangers’ knew me better than the people who had my physical presence. (I think it helped that we were all very honest about ourselves and our circumstances – instead of creating a false online persona we were very real with each other.) And when I just couldn’t put any more heart into blogging due to circumstances, we took another connective step and added each other on Facebook.Β 

Facebook is, and always has been, my private place. When I look at my profile pictures collection, I often laugh and say, ‘the many faces of Meg’. BUT, my appearance is the only thing that really seems to change. Some people keep ‘a place’ on social media completely private, because that is where they are ‘real’. That’s not my reason. I am not hiding parts of my character that I don’t want anyone to know about. What you see here is pretty much what you’ll see there – but in a LOT LESS words πŸ˜›
The difference between here and there is that there I share more pictures – including ones of my kids. And there I have family watching – yeah, it’s complicated. I’ve successfully managed (I think) to keep my blogging world separate from the haters πŸ˜›
ANYWAY…. I am not one of those people who accept random friend requests….and I also take my time to really know someone before I am prepared to take that sort of plunge, so this was a big step for me.

Soon our communications were Facebook, regular emails, and even telephone calls.

Of those fourteen new friends, who I have never met in person, I have lost two in the past four years – not due to termination of friendship,Β  but sadly due to their deaths. And I cried a lot, and felt real pain at losing them – as if they’d been right here, interacting with me in physical presence, daily. But in a way they were. They were with me, thanks to the internet, in my home for 9 years +. And they’ll forever be in my heart.

One of those 14 is my sister, L. No, not biological. (Her mom was one of my friends too – sadly, she now keeps an eye on us from up above instead) L and I used to tease her mom and say that she’s lucky we weren’t biological because she never would have coped with both of us πŸ˜›

L and I found our common ground in the fact that we had children almost the same age. Her oldest is a year older than my son, her youngest is a year older than my daughter. Once we’d established that, we discovered a whole lot of other common ground in our lives. And for 13 years, we have journeyed through our lives together. We have watched each others children grow, and shared in the moments of elation and devastation that that sometimes brings. We’ve shared the triumphs and disappointments of life and the circumstances we’ve found ourselves in. We’ve both had moments where we’ve lost our way, and we’ve kind of disappeared on each other – only to pick up a few months later as if no time has passed at all – and share the learning experiences with one another.

She is me, but different. I have my strengths, but she’s stronger. She’s the fit one (she runs), I’m the fat one πŸ˜› (I don’t know if I could even run if something was chasing me these days!) She’s successful in all the ways that count, I still have moments where I’m waiting at the airport for my ship to come in πŸ˜› She’s braver than me, and more assertive. I admire her so much, and often look to her for advice and opinions.Β  For Grey’s Anatomy fans – she is my person.

The bond that has formed is so strong that even my children ‘know her’. And they mention her often, just as if she really was their aunt.Β  I know it all sounds so crazy and unrealistic. But it’s true.
(And yes, I asked her permission to share all this.)

My American friendships have made me love the country even more. My passion for the USA has gone from being a glowing ember to a full blown fire. It’s no longer just the places and famous people though that fuel that fire. It’s the REAL people! While it would still be great to meet one or two of my now many favourite actors and actresses, and while there are still places I’d like to see; my heart yearns to meet my American friends, who are scattered all over the US.

And I cry every time I entertain the thought of the day I will get to hug my sister and tell her in person that I think she rocks, and I love her dearly!

This blog post is actually based on a blogging question I found :

IF MONEY WAS NO OBJECT, NAME ONE PLACE YOU WOULD TRAVEL TO?

I think I made my answer clear πŸ˜‰

Of course, there are many beautiful places in this world and I have a list of destinations I’d like to visit, and things I’d like to explore.

But my heart lies with my faithful American friends who have been a big part of my life for a long time. So the USA would have to take precedence πŸ˜‰Β  With money not being an object, I guess I could go everywhere. But first and foremost (even to the point of moving there) the USA would be my choice, time and time again.

And with all the different places within the US we’d have to go, I think we’d do them proud with tourism πŸ˜‰ Yes, my kids have caught this passion of mine to a large degree – my daughter a little more so than my son, but I think it’s LA that calls to her most πŸ˜›
Kansas, Oregon, New York, Texas, West Virginia, South Dakota, Arizona, California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and more!

Oh, how my heart longs for it, and I think I’d find a deep, booming voice inside me yelling out loud for all to hear if I could say :

I’M COMING TO AMERICA!

But. Sigh. Money IS an object.

I have not lost hope though – I still believe it will happen one day. And of course, when that day comes, EVERYONE will know about it πŸ˜‰

15 thoughts on “risky business and travel

  1. That’s the joy of the internet and blogging. People from all around the world can come together and make lasting friendships. I agree with you. Even though you might not have met someone in person they are still close. I’m actually not sure where I’d travel to. Maybe Europe. Thank you for the mention in your post. I appreciate it πŸ™‚β€οΈ

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree that the Internet and blogging are a really good way to connect with others.
    I also think that the USA is probably one of the countries that a lot of people would like to make their home 🏑 I have always thought of it has being the land of opportunity and certainly it was billed as being the land where dreams come true ❀️
    I really like the way that you connect with people to me you come across as being a really warm and caring person in a very genuine way.
    I hope that you and your family have a really enjoyable and productive day 😊 πŸ˜‰β˜•πŸ’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yip, that’s very true. Perhaps that’s what attracted me to the US in the first place – the patriotic spirit πŸ˜‰
      Here’s hoping you have productive and happy day too πŸ™‚
      And thank you for your kind words πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your kind words, predictive text is really beneficial πŸ˜‚
        I have to say that I was asked to walk my Landlady’s dog home 🏑 and because it was cold ❄ I put my gloves on and just walked out of the office and was halfway home and thought oops I forgot something πŸ˜‚
        A very blond senior moment πŸ˜Šβ˜•

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Smiles, sound of music vibe. I was so into it myself. πŸ™ˆ

    And have loved US for a while now. And yeah you get to see pictures and interactions with folks over there via WordPress and social media had been cool. Lovely folks I have connected with. πŸ’―

    You can look at creating a piggy bank for it. Save in advance. So your dream is still very possible. Just plan in advance for it. πŸ€—πŸ€—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, it’s one of those seemingly impossible dreams. As a single mom with only one income and two kids to support – and unforeseen expenses as per life – saving is extremely difficult.
      I’ve explored all the possibilities – and I’ve been saving 5% of what I earn for over three years now. But my currency is pretty much worthless… so we still don’t even have airfare to get us there, let alone visas and required spending money, ha ha ha!

      The thing is that while it seems impossible, I refuse to accept or believe it. There IS always hope. And I believe that at the right time, things will fall into place.

      For example, at the moment, there is a huge airport strike on in my country, which has led to many flights being grounded – including international. I have a friend who has spent the better part of a year training for an international mountain climbing expedition – her tickets were bought and everything was paid for. And now she can’t go, because the flight isn’t happening.

      Can you imagine the disappointment if we were scheduled to leave now???!!!!
      There’s a purpose for everything. I am not in the US yet for a reason…. but my turn IS coming! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sighs. I understand ma’am. πŸ€—πŸ€—
        Absolutely.. I believe same too. Nothing is impossible for God to do!. πŸ’―

        Wow. So sorry to hear about your friend.πŸ˜ͺ Will there be a refund for her??

        Yes, I totally agree with you – all has a reason for a great plan!

        Like

      2. They’ve announced that the strike is now over…but she’s ‘missed her flight’. Waiting to hear if they’ll refund…but admin is, of course, way behind – and there are a lot of angry customers 😐

        Liked by 1 person

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