Life is built upon a unique sequence of ‘before and afters,’ much like DNA is made up of a unique set of genes.
In my life so far, there has been life before and after my parents’ divorce, life before and after relocating to Ghana, life before and after my time at University, life before and after I exchanged vows with Ev, life before and after kids, and then, there is my life before and after Paris.
Paris is where the travel bug bit me.
I was no stranger to flights, passports, and new cities before my summer in Paris. However, being in a totally new city, of my choosing, by myself, helped me identify my adventurous streak in my developing psyche. This time was a major shifting point in my life. Before Paris I was asleep to a world outside of the one I knew; after Paris, I woke up to a bigger, wider, more interesting world.
Naturally, this shift occurred in college; where I met new people, made new friends, learned about old philosophies and developed some of my own. Paris gave me the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts; piecing together where I fit in this big, wide world. I people-watched behind cafe au laits in ubiquitous French cafes, ate crêpe nutellas by the pound, and allowed my perspective to be enriched by a magnificent city with beautiful people.
Traveling, to seek out new cultural experiences is in my DNA. I’m only taking cues from my great great great great Dutch grandmother who probably arrived in Cape Coast, Ghana as a missionary or colonialist but stayed long enough to fall in love and give birth to my great great great grandpa Nana Tekyie (the first black station master in Elmina and my little bother’s namesake); then there’s my grandfather who converted to Buddhism and pilgrimage to India to pursue nirvana; and my grandmother whose first trip outside the African continent was to Las Palmas, Spain (on my list of places to go). She visited for the hell of it, and lives to tell us about the incident at a shoe store where she verbally assaults a suspected stalker with the only spanish she knew, “que pasa?! que pasa?!” (I assume the suspected stalker thought she was crazy and went about his business stalking someone else. Lol! It’s one of those stories that are too funny to even want to know how it ended. One of those dot, dot, dot stories.)
And while luck played a role in my mom’s migration to America in the early eighties, I believe our adventure gene gave her the guile to carve out a new life on a new continent.
Now I understand what made me even think of, and follow through with signing up for that six-credit study abroad class in Paris.
Travel and adventure make up a huge part of who I am. Outside of books, travel is my favorite way to stimulate my mind, challenge myself, and engage with nature, culture, and history.
I plan to slowly travel the world—one trip at a time, no matter how small. The goal of sharing new sights, sounds, culture, people, geography and history with my girls and Ev, motivates and excites me!