This is a Cristina blog. You’re welcome.
Ever since I can remember, I have loved to travel. I think that stems from my family and I moving so much when I was a kid. We didn’t move because my dad was in the military, as most people ask me, but rather because we were just always in search of something better than what we had. We weren’t exactly dirt poor, but we did struggle. Though I don’t really remember too much, by the time I was five I had lived in Ohio, California, Australia, and Louisiana.
In elementary school, I lived in four different houses and went to three different elementary schools. One of those was in Ohio, near Westerville where we lived from October 1990-April 1991. I started off at Audubon Elementary in Kenner and ended at Rudolph Matas in Metairie. I did go to the same middle school all three years (even though we moved houses once during that time), yet by the time high school rolled around, we were moving again, this time to Slidell, where I went to Slidell High. I was very cranky at this point in my life, because I had been with the same group of kids from 4th-8th grade, and finally had some solid friends. I was older and wanted to stay established; I was so tired of moving. As a result of that and my teenage angst, I wound up not talking to my dad for about 3 months. I completely regret that now, but at the time I was just so angry about moving that I couldn’t see past my own selfishness.
I did not enjoy Slidell High, even though I did meet some people who I still consider friends to this day. Luckily, I managed to skip my Sophomore year of high school and go to college at Southeastern a year early. Just when I thought everything was perfect, because I thoroughly enjoyed college, my family decided to move again. My grandparents, mom, dad, and two sisters were all going to Panama City Beach, Florida. I was devastated. That was a five-six hour drive from me. I hated the thought of leaving my two best friends that I had made in Slidell (one of them my roommate in college). I made the difficult decision to stay in Louisiana and finish my schooling instead of transferring to somewhere in Florida.
I am currently on house number four since the end of college in December 2004, which includes a small little apartment house in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I’m hoping this house I live in now will be my last for quite a while, as I made the decision in the summer of 2009 to actually purchase a house.
Even though we moved a lot, we didn’t actually take too many vacations because of our finances. The first real vacation I ever really remember taking was with my grandparents in 4th grade, in October 1991. They were going to San Antonio, Texas, and I jokingly asked if I could go with them. To my utmost surprise, they said yes! I recently found a paper that I wrote to remember what we did. It was interesting to see how my 4th grade self perceived things. Everything was “soooo neat.” The Alamo, the Japanese gardens, the zoo, SeaWorld…all sooo neat!
In the summer of 1992, we went to Disney World for the first time. The lights! The sounds! The characters! We grew up on Disney. Back then, the Disney Channel was a premium channel, which means you had to pay extra money to watch it, which meant we couldn’t afford it. However, every once in a while it would come on for a few days for free as a “preview.” And back then, they actually played real Disney shows, featuring Mickey and Donald and Goofy. My parents would tape these shows on our VCR and ever since I was a baby, I knew how to press play on the VCR to watch my Disney shows, the same Disney shows over and over and over. I knew that Disney World would be a place I would want to visit forever, and even though I’ve been there more times that I can now count (I’ve had annual passes two different years), it is still a magical place for me.
As I grew up and especially after I started making my own money, I have been lucky to be able to go on various trips and vacations. The more I travel, the more I love it, and I know moving as much as I have and being able to adapt to new surroundings helped out immensely. I’ve been to both sides of the country, everywhere down South, all throughout Europe, and I’ll seen be seeing some of Central America soon. Even though I love to be on the go and experience new things, I think the best part of the whole deal is that at the end of it all, I have my own house to come back to. My own place that I know is waiting for me wherever I go. This simple peace of mind, knowing that I don’t have to move again for as long as I want, makes traveling all the better. Not that moving so much was the most painful thing I’ve ever done, not by far, nor was it the most difficult. But as an adult, it sure is refreshing to own a little piece of land that just mine. And to top it off, I have found the perfect man to share it with.
My dear Kurt.