…Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
My mother used to sing this song – Those Faraway Places – to us when I was young… It’s wonderfully evocative and poignant. No wonder I love travelling so much.
Far away places with strange sounding names
Far away over the sea
Those far away places with the strange sounding names are
(My father’s favorite song too)
I was born in England, and moved to Wales when I was two years old…to a small fishing village called The Mumbles. Back in the day, you’d find it if you followed the tramline from Swansea, along the sea to The Mumbles pier… The pier is now gone, but in those days, it offered us arcade games and penny loaves and rock candy, and wild tumbling sea beneath the structure. The Mumbles was everything you’d ever dreamed of as a kid…a village of small cottages and shops, including a tiny grocery store, the front window of which was always literally blanketed with wasps. We were surrounded by sea and mountains, cliffs and green fields full of buttercups, hedgerows high and filled with brambly scrambling vines and flowers. Red currants and peas from village vegetable gardens were plentiful, and we were able to play among the sheep wandering everywhere. We were able to be free and wild, rambling over cliffs, coastlines and farms, and in so doing I developed a deep love of the countryside. The fragrant scents of high green lanes, gentle grassy meadows, and delicate wildflowers – I’ll never forget as long as I live.
We left Wales to come to Houston, the other side of the world and I thought, a land of cowboys and not QUITE as green. Since then I’ve travelled more or less throughout my life. I took up hiking when a friend and I decided to do a two-week walking holiday that took us from chalk carvings on the hills of Wiltshire to the magical coast of Cornwall. I was able to walk the causeway from Marazion to Mount St. Michael, visit Mousehole where my grandparents were born, and return to The Mumbles decades after I first lived there. Cornwall is one of those wildly beautiful places that never seems to be completely tamed… one of my favorite places of so many beautiful places in the wide world.