Me, 30 Years Ago
Right down to the hippie parents
Hi little ones! Whatcha up to in Hostel Central? Is that geometry and creative writing? Are you doing schoolwork here? Does that mean you’re on the road with your parents? Are you traveling Central America for a year instead of sitting in class? Might you be me thirty years ago? Might this be an education of a lifetime.
Yes, Elijah, Chloe, and Jodi, you are having a life changing experience and you don’t even know it. I sure didn’t at your age. I was too young to realize that one day in Granada is equal to three days in Washington, DC. Maybe Pina and Andy know what they are giving you. Maybe they know how it will give your life priceless stories, dreams, confidence. Maybe you’ll be me one day, addicted to travel above all else.
Just be sure that if you are, you pass it on, to another Nicole or better yet your own kids. Playing with you, in the Laguna De Apoyo or in UNO, I feel the ache, the emptiness, the failure not to have my own brood yet. I have the fear that the traveler chain will be broken. That there might not be little Vota’s to carry on my family’s spirit of adventure.
Esprit de familia that took Giuseppe Vota across the Atlantic, Jose Vota across the deserts of Mexico, Carlos Vota across the world one way, and Wayan Vota across the world another way.
But this is not your worry. You’re more concerned with finding another mojito than a mother of your children. Your parents worry that even though you only taste the mojito ice melt from finished drinks, you might be getting a taste for drink or get them arrested for having minors in a bar. It is only I who is lost in sad long range thoughts.
It is only I who envies your grandfather, alive and involved in your life. It is I who failed to give his own father the experience of grandchildren in his life, who hopes to honor him with ones before my death. It is I, who as I type this on a random Tica Bus through Costa Rica, is crying for his father.
You, little ones, are the next generation of travelers. Enjoy the ride.