I grew up in Enugu, Nigeria, West Africa, where travel-obsession is not expected of anyone especially not from “decent” young girls. Though the Igbos are unarguably the most-travelled Nigerian tribe and are in fact rumored to be the Lost Tribe of Israel, to most people including my darling family, it didn’t and doesn’t “feel right” for any female to be so passionate about traipsing around in unknown territories, trusting random people & making unapproved travel arrangements all alone.
I often get asked, “How did this travel bug bite you so badly?” And “When did you discover you really had to follow your passion?” For me, the very people who restrained me from travel, where the same ones who put it into my little head. 😃 My Parents, Sebastian & Anna.
I grew up in a middle-class family with parents who loved education. My dad, a banker & Mom (teacher, educationist) had lived in London for some years as well and wanted the best for their kids. We always had a dedicated Library room at home and being “awkward, painfully shy and ugly”, I was introverted and fell rabidly in love with books especially books deemed “too mature for me” and including forbidden ones. 😂 (hi Harlequin and Mills & Boon supplied by Mary Udemah!) My passionate zest for adventure was sown by The Swiss Family Robinson by #JohannDavidWyss.
Culled from Wiki: It was first published in 1812, about a Swiss family shipwrecked in the East Indies en route to Port Jackson, Australia. Written by Swiss pastor Johann David Wyss and edited by his son Johann Rudolf Wyss and illustrated by his son Johann Emmanuel Wyss, the novel was intended to teach his four sons about family values, good husbandry, the uses of the natural world and self-reliance. Wyss’ attitude toward education is in line with the teachings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and many of the episodes have to do with Christian-oriented moral lessons such as frugality, husbandry, acceptance, cooperation, etc. The adventures are presented as a series of lessons in natural history and the physical sciences.
The SFR opened my elementary-school mind to worlds unimaginable and every time I stepped away from it, I dreamt of becoming a widely traveled wanderer, maybe an archaeologist. This book was my first Influence. Where it all began.
Next post: My 2nd & 3rd Influences.