Global traveling from a grandmothers perspective
Last weekend I visited my beloved grandmother. She is 94 years old and can barely walk. But she can talk and loves to share some stories. I decided to ask her about traveling then and now.
“My dear grandmother, tell me about your travel experiences.”
She would have loved to travel, but her husband always had serious obligations in the local church. She lived in times when the church was still basecamp for much of the local community. All her life she lived in a small town with not more than 1000 inhabitants. Her view on the world was very different from ours right now…
She traveled outside of the Netherlands only once: to Lourdes, France.
Lourdes is a town where millions of Catholic pilgrims go to each year. In 1858 a young girl, Bernadette, claimed to see Maria, mother of Jesus. Since then, many people (mostly with serious ilnesses) go there for in the hope of getting cured. For her this was the travel of a lifetime!
“My dear grandmother, what country in the world would you have loved to visit? “
Indonesia was the only place on her wish list. Her nieces were on a missionary quest in Indonesia and she loved reading their letters. She would have loved to see how the country looked like: the mountains, the rice fields. She didn’t get a chance to do so. Traveling by boat from Europe to Indonesia and back would take her months!
“My dear grandmother, what do you think of us traveling the world? “
She thinks it’s crazy how far we travel with our children. She supports it to the fullest because she knows traveling is our passion. Her world is smaller than ours and it is hard for her to understand what it is like to walk around in such a different part of the world.
When we mentioned New York City as our next travel destination, she looked at me and spoke the already famous words: “My Dear Emiel, This Time I Cannot Join You…”
“My dear Emiel, traveling to all these far corners of the world, it’s crazy. It’s a mad world today..”
Indeed grandmother, but maybe we actually need these travels to escape from our own mad world…