So far in our Travel Inspirations series we’ve been all over the world, including Italy with Robin Locker, to England & Italy with Lisa Fantino, to sunny Naxos, Greece with Mike Sowden, to Hiroshima with Abigail King and Australia’s Gold Coast with Cecil Lee. We’ve heard tales of beautiful travel moments and life changing travel experiences. This week, Cherrye Moore from My Bella Vita invites us back to her hometown in Texas and shares with us how this small town has made her the person she is today.
So you want to know about travel inspirations … the place that has inspired me, the one place that has made me the person I am today?
Hmmm … .
The obvious answer to that question for an expat like me is Italy. Or maybe, southern Italy or even more precisely, Calabria.
If I wanted to explore that more deeply, I might look back to my first international travel and expat experience and tell you how the City of Lights changed my life.
(It truly did. I met my husband there , moved to southern Italy, opened a bed and breakfast and embarked on my new career, all a direct result from that first trip to Paris.)
But still. I think I’d like to go back even further and talk about my hometown.
My real hometown.
Population 2, 171.
Three stop lights, two dollar stores and one Sonic Drive-In, Dairy Queen and Crawdad’s Convenience Store.
There was little for a growing girl to do in the big metropolis of K-Town, as it is affectionately referred to by the fans of our state champion basketball team. I spent my childhood playing outside with any one of my 28 cousins-in the dirt road that passed by grandma’s house, no less-writing plays, videoing our adventures and making up stories to tell the younger kids.
In that day and time, there were no 500+ Satellite channels to choose from, there was no Wii this or X-box that. There was just me and my family and our grand ideas.
We’d talk about the places we wanted to go, the things we wanted to do, the people we wanted to become … and we couldn’t wait to get out of that place.
Away from the small-town, everybody-knows-everybody-mentality and into the real world.
The real world-where we could walk down the street unnoticed, meet people who don’t say “ya’ll” and “fixin’ to,” and where we could grow into the adults we wanted to be.
But in reality, no other place captures my heart like that dusty little town in southeast Texas.
It made me the person I am today, taught me the things I needed to know and instilled in me the dreams that would one day carry me far away.
And for that I love it.
Now that I’m gone, my heart aches for those bumpy dirt roads and big ‘ole pickup trucks-the familiar accents, friendly faces and welcoming embraces of the people who live there.
The people who never left.
Because in the end, life is more than the towers you’ve climbed, the frequent flyer miles you’ve accumulated and the historical places you can check off of the proverbial list. Like Dorothy said as she clicked her heels together three times … there’s no place like home. And that’s the most inspirational place, of all.
Cherrye Moore is a freelance writer and Calabria tour consultant living in southern Italy. She writes about travel for MNUI Travel Insurance and about living and traveling in Calabria on her site, My Bella Vita.