Close to Home by Deb Tiffany

bookcover1With three, little kids, I’ve sort of hung up my traveling shoes for a while (and, besides, I’m totally bowing down in the traveling department to Deb Eve), but I have this theory about traveling. You don’t necessarily have to go anywhere to do it.

Maybe I have this attitude because I traveled so much when I was growing up. My mom used to take me on these wild trips (London to Hong Kong by train, anyone? No? How about hiking in the hill country of Thailand?), and I went abroad to France during high school, and after I married my English husband, I lived with him in the UK, which seems like it would be similar enough to the US, but isn’t, trust me.

What traveling really did for me was to ignite a wonder of the world. I learned to appreciate that even though someone may be wearing goatskin and drinking out of a gourd, she might have identical issues to mine: a lousy boyfriend, a temporary falling out with her siblings. And I learned to accept that some things will never be the same. This, above all, is most excellent training for writing fiction.

Like I said, traveling for me now involves a litany of sippy cups, juice boxes, toys, blankets, extra underpants, favorite, stuffed dogs. Gone are my days of zipping up a duffel bag and setting off. But I hope I’m inspiring open hearts in my kids. Even if we take a day trip to a museum, or just go on a beach vacation, I hope we do it in a spirit of open-mindedness instead of just mindless recreation. Because one day soon, when they’re a little older, my kids better watch out. They just might find themselves tubing through a cave in Belize. And, of course, we’ll have Deb Katie to thank for that suggestion!

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6 thoughts on “Close to Home by Deb Tiffany

  1. I have a feeling that your kids have the same adventurous, open-heart that you do, Tiffany. Not only will they love cave tubing in Belize, but they might even get a kick out of trying the termites along the way (they taste like tic-tacs!). When you go, I can hook you up with THE tourguide (best in Belize) and he’ll take you on a hell of a jungle walk before the cave tubing and serve you a seven course “jungle meal” – termites included! And YOU HAVE GOT TO take them on a nighttime tour of the Belize Zoo. IT IS INCREDIBLE. Truly, one of the amazing experiences of the world.

    Oh, gosh, I don’t mean to steal Katie’s great idea. My little brother, who co-wrote the most recent Lonely Planet guide for Belize, took us around Belize last year.

  2. Tiffany, my sister lived in the UK for a year (she’s in the military) and she also found it was not much like home! I’m sure being widely traveled does affect one’s everyday life. I’m such a novice traveler in this bunch! Isn’t it interesting how many of the Debs have gone all over the world, though?

    Eve, seriously, termites are minty?

  3. I hope my son will also have an adventurous spirit, too–even though he hasn’t been off the East Coast yet. It’s a challenge traveling with children, and I admire my parents for doing it so effortlessly.

  4. Minty termites? Hmmm. Maybe Tic Tacs really ARE termites. Just a thought.
    But, seriously, Belize sounds like my kind of place.

  5. Not ALL termites are minty. And I add this caution because I wouldn’t want you to be disappointed! Just the teeny ones we had in the Belize jungle. I don’t remember the Ugandan ones being at all minty.

  6. Eve, you ate termites in Belize? We ate chicken and fried plantains. I win! LOL.

    Tiffany, when I was growing up, my family never traveled at all. Only when I got out on my own did I start venturing into the world. I think your kids will have a huge leg-up when it comes to seeing new and exciting places, because you’re a seasoned traveler.

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