Airplane ticket: check
Luggage claim checks: check
Dressed to kill in my new travel outfit, hat, gloves, purse: check
Train case with book and two teddy bears, Mama and Baby: check
Excited: heart-fluttering checksssss
At age eleven, I stood at the boarding gate, Idlewild Airport, NYC, my mother at my side holding me, knowing she would not see me for at least two years. She was putting her only child on that looming-on-the-tarmac TWA Constellation.
Destination: Athens, Greece
School: Orlando Child’s Pierce College
Goal: To expand my world of education
That day, September 28, 1955 was witness to the beginning of my lifelong education and citizen of the world, aka nomad, ODYSSEY.
But Athens was my Ithaca, where it all began but never ended. My Odyssey in education took me to the beyond, to: Thessaloniki, city of Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman splendor; Saint Germain-en-Laye, bordering one of the many beautiful forests and hunting grounds of the kings of France; Châtou, sleepy suburb of la gaitée Parisienne; Vienna, where I saw my first opera; Ankara, capital of the Turkish Republic; Istanbul, the pearl on the Bosphorus that continues to hold my heart; Milwaukee on the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan; Honolulu, home of gentle Hawaiian breezes; and finally the idyllic Ann Arbor.
When my marriage to my French husband ended, my rootless existence returned to haunt me: I the nomad happily returned to my rootless life and introduced my daughter to the footloose, joyous, nomadic life of a blissful academic. The world was our oyster, and everywhere we went, we found new and more beautiful pearls of all shapes, sizes and colors: Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, summers on Greek islands and in the Loire Valley.
Today, St. Helena is my oasis. But the Odyssey is far from over. I the nomad continue to seek new adventures, be they real or in the vault of my imagination, in the treasure coves of my memory.
Friend: Join me on this new chapter of my Odyssey as I explore the past and the present: reflections on what was and what is today.