|With my sister Gwen, by our tent trailer. I'm the one wearing the groovy pants.|
Given the family I was born into, it was almost a foregone conclusion that I’d love to travel.
My mother journeyed to Europe with her sister and best friend in 1958. In those days you didn’t fly to Paris for a week; you sailed there and back and spent two to three months seeing the continent. Not only did she save for this trip on a secretary’s budget, she also drove out west with a friend in 1956, and later visited Jamaica with my aunt.
As a young man, my father drove to Florida with his soon-to-be best man. Although that was the extent of his travel, he longed to see more of the world. One of the things he loved about my mother was her spirit of adventure and interest in visiting new places.
Once my mom and dad got married, they realized that they wanted to make travelling a key part of their lives, and of their family’s life. Early on, they bought a tent trailer, and most of our family trips were taken by trailer. Every August we took two weeks' holiday and saw a new destination – generally in central and eastern Canada and the U.S. What a dream childhood to have visited both the Anne of Green Gables house in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island and Louisa May Alcott’s home in Concord, Massachusetts! (Really, how could I have become anything but a writer?)
And my dad was always the trip planner. He spent hours in the basement, poring over maps and guidebooks that he picked up at the Automobile Association. It was from him that I learned the importance of having something for everyone in the family to look forward to. The year we visited Ohio, for example, he may not have enjoyed the doll museum, but he certainly loved the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
So now when I sit hunched over the computer, poring over reviews on tripadvisor.com, trying to find a holiday that everyone will like, I know that I’m following in very distinguished footprints.
|Paul, Gwen, Beth and Joyce Baker|