When I was a little boy growing up in Victoria, British Columbia, my Aunt Alice, who lived on the other side of Canada in a small Quebec town, gave me a gift. It was a National Geographic Magazine subscription. I remember thinking it was okay, a bit unusual, but it certainly wasn’t an X-wing fighter.
Over the years I’ve realized what she was trying to instill in me with that subscription. I may not have read every copy, some in my teen years I hardly even looked at, but seeing those covers and flipping through the jaw dropping photography, even in my jaded adolescence, I slowly realized my aunt was trying to give me an appreciation of the wider world.
Recently I’ve been reunited with some of those National Geographic issues. I’ve remembered my aunt’s gift and how the magazines were a regular part of my life and how, today, I’m someone who writes regularly about travel. I may not be writing about Cambodia or Uganda or French Polynesia, places I saw and read about in the magazine’s pages, but I do have that appreciation for the wider world, and how travel can provide wisdom and understanding.
Now that’s a lot to say about a magazine subscription. But I’d like to thank my Aunt Alice, who passed away many years ago, for giving me the gift of travel.
As I get started on an exciting new book project, and step in to a new year, I want to point out how she made a difference.
Did you have a relative who made a similar difference…who gave you that gift?