What country or trip has most influenced your life?
If you are anything like me, there will be a few places that hold a very special place in your heart.
For me, there’s Scotland, home to my kin, place of birth, resting place of my ancestors and the root of my culture and heritage. There’s also Cambodia where I spent many years living and working for the U.N and now Chile, a country I’d happily live out my life and raise a family. These places and cultures have played a huge role in who I am today. I can also think of a dozen or so cities and smaller locations that make me smile and have shaped my personality and soul in some way or another.
What places and trips have most influenced who you are today?
The Netherlands, the country I was born, my husband was born, my best friends and family still lives and where it still feels like home, every time we come back. And then there is Australia, the country our son is born, were we can create a better and more active future for our family and which we call home as well for the last 4 years.
Somebody once said: It`s beautiful but also hard to have your hart in 2 or more places 🙂
More than any particular place that’s shaped me, I’d say it’s been the process of moving that has. To settle and resettle, to be thrust back into the unknown – something many of us are familiar with I’m sure. To become comfortable being uncomfortable.
If I were to pinpoint specific locations though, at 18 I headed over the the US to work in a summer camp (from my home in New Zealand) and again (this time in my early thirties), I relocated to Abu Dhabi in the UAE. It’s empowering to be reminded that you can pick your life up and make a change – love it!
Although as much as I would like to say my home country is the one that has influenced me the most, I have to placed it second on the list. I was born and brought up in Spain until my early teens, when I moved to London with my dad and my Spanish lifestyle had to change. Although I was still raised by Spanish parents with strong cultural attachments to our home country, the experience of becoming an expat with 13 years old changed my life forever. London’s lifestyle led me to a very multicultural adventure for which 18 years and 40+ countries later, I cherish it as my most life-changing experience.
So far, Paris. Weeks before my mom passed away, she expressed regret that she’s never made it there with my father. I promised that I would travel there some day and decided to go last year, on her birthday. It was a very moving time for me, traveling in her memory and honor.