Where did the traveller in me come from?
If there's a gene for travelling I have it. Granted, following and reading multiple posts on social media, I may not have the full complement of travel genes that some others may have. I know that it's in my bones, heart and soul to travel, explore and experience the world in all it's wonders, sights, sounds, tastes, smells and textures.
Whether you believe in either nature or nurture, or a combination of both. Travel has been a part of who I am, and have been since before birth,
My mother in her early twenties travelled Europe and the US for months, my father travelled to Europe for sporting tours in his late twenties as well. Both families originally came from the British Isles two or three generations, sometimes four, before my parents. A member or two of the previous generations only came to SA after a number of "hops" between other countries and continents. Whether the moves were based on economic or survival needs, the inclination to leave the home shores, to venture out and explore the possibilities have been passed down in the generations.
My brother has recently moved to London; my aunt and her husband moved to Australia almost 30 years ago now. And all cousins on both sides have spent time overseas, from a few weeks at a time for work or adventure to a couple of months or two years for experience.
I grew up in the vibrant city of Johannesburg, and from an early age, we (my parents and I; and then subsequent siblings) travelled the country. My maternal grandparents lived at the coast in a chilled out city of Port Elizabeth, and so a regular trip down to visit them wasn't unheard of growing up.
But considering my parents experience with their own travelling, their love of learning and ensuring that we were exposed to a number of places and processes, enabled our love of exploring and learning and the need/desire to keep learning and keep exploring.
I remember a trip to Mossel Bay to visit the replica of Bartholomeu Dias ship, that sailed around the tip of Africa (first known European to do so). Mossel Bay was the first place he set anchor after passing Cape Point. We visited the "Post Office Tree" - where a sailor left an important letter in box or shoe under the tree, and from there it became the place to leave letters to be take in another direction to the writer of the letter - such as letters to loved ones back home.
I remember visits to a Coffee Farm in Kwazulu - Natal; a Cheese Factory in the Eastern Cape; an Ostrich Farm where we rode an ostrich; a Butterfly Farm; the Cango Caves; Table Mountain; river rafting trip down the Orange River. And a number of trips across African borders to Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Lesotho.
From the age of 9, we ventured internationally for the first time. As a family of 5, we travelled internationally 6 times before the kids got too big and had to fend for themselves.
I never looked back after that!