The Travel Bug: Nature versus Nurture

History of a Traveler

When I was six years old, I knew that at about ten o'clock every Saturday morning I would hear my father call my name. That was the signal that my parents were ready to load my sister, Kathy, and me, and a picnic lunch, into the family Buick Century. We were about to begin our weekly trip into the world around us, learning about New England's historic and scenic wonders.

Near at hand, we visited the U.S.S. Constitution (known as Old Ironsides), the Old North Church, and Thoreau's Walden Pond. We climbed on the stone fences in Lexington from behind which the Minutemen fought for independence from the British. We strained to hear taxpayers cheer at the Boston Tea Party and sniffed for whiffs of the acrid smoke from cannons fired during the American Revolution.

Standing in famous historical sites brought life to the dry stories we read in school books. As a bonus, those Saturday trips always included treats like Toll House cookies and cool apple cider.

Those weekly trips certainly weren't grand adventures and they cost little more than parental time. Almost any parent can do the same, no matter how small the scale.

My parents felt that introducing us to the world beyond our nest was both their privilege and their duty. They set an example, established values that had a powerful effect on us. Their goal was to provide experiences that developed confidence and curiosity.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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