Thursday, December 15, 2005

My Dad's Dreams

My Dad's Dreams.
Friday, December 09, 2005 (18:09:55)
My father was an amateur geographer and theoretical traveler. He would often seat me in front of a short wave radio and make me listen to announcers speaking different languages and telling me : "This is French, this is German. This is Arabic." After one year, I was able to tell one language from another with reasonable accuracy. Later he would instill in me love of maps and made me read books about different countries and how people in those places lived.

In my childish naivite I thought that other people must be just as enchanted by the wonders of the world in which we all lived and that they wanted to travel and explore it as I did after my Dad taught me all these things. Naturally, though, other kids were much more into playing sports and fishing and other such things. Most could not tell one foreign language from another, nor did they want to taste the many enchantments of the foreign lands the love of which my late father took so many pains to instill in me.

My father was a big dreamer. He would announce that in the future we would move to live in this country or the next and would tell me great stories about it . He would tell me how super it would be to go and live in Latin America and enjoy the local music. Or how great it would be to buy a place in Crimea, for one. Or, later, he would tell me about Australia and say- “Son, one day we will go there !“. I would have wild fantasies imagining myself going to all those places, visualizing myself there; traveling, meeting the local people, and making new friends. My father’s voice sounded enthusiastic as he dreamt out loud, and I was thoroughly convinced that we were actually going to move to all these destinations, and I would start an exciting new life in a new location.

However, most of his dreams were just that: dreams. Somehow he would get busy solving all sorts of petty problems that were immediately in front of him and postpone the move. The deferral would last a year and then two, and then three until he would forget about it.

In my mind however, I would not forget. The fire of foreign adventure that he started in me and the almost realistic images of me in those places stayed on in my mind.

Now, when I finally reached the state of personal independence which makes it possible for me to move around the world more or less with ease, I have set a goal for myself which is to visit all those places he talked about. I was in them in my day-dreams, so I might as well just convert those to reality.

The trips began slowly- first- Africa, including riding a camel to the great pyramids, then Latin America. Then, as my father would once tell me- “You should fall in love with a girl from some Pacific Island“, and I have done that, too. The list before me is quite long but I am determined to follow through on it. I was once a starry-eyed child who had such goals planted in me. If I do not make them come true, then I will not be able to say that I have lived a full life.

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