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those who wander...

In all of my years involved with social media I have never participated in what they call a throwback Thursday (or #tbt). This phenomenon of sharing an old (and sometimes really unflattering) photo is somewhat new, right? Or am I that far behind? Oy, I have no idea anymore. With each passing year, I become a little more out of touch and find myself conducting Google searches asking it complete questions like "What does YOLO mean?"

With my first, and most likely last throwback Thursday, I wanted to do something special and a little bit dangerous. You see, in my apartment I have hanging up, a photo that I have taken with me to every city, every apartment that I have lived in since I was 17.  

Back in 1999, in an odd coincidence, my friend Yoko and I were both traveling from New York to Northern California to see family during our last high school spring break; she was seeing her father in San Francisco, and I was visiting my brother up at Humboldt State University. Before heading back to New York, I took a Greyhound down to the city for a few days to see her, where she took this photo.

Market Street.
1999.

I remember that night, camped out in a sleeping bag in her father's living room on Potrero Hill, with my pink glitter retainer in my mouth, I declared that I was going to live in many places before settling down somewhere at the old age of 25. 25 and old. What a little shit I was. 

So what makes this throwback post dangerous? Well...while in San Francisco last month, I decided to reenact this moment with a twin photo almost 15 years later. This really could have gone either way....
Market Street.
2013
Not too bad, eh? We tried to recall what the photo looked like since we had left it in Paris, so this was the best that we came up with. Aurel was also kind with me and didn't do the extreme close-up that Yoko did. Good husband. There's no denying that I have a few deep-set lines, crows feet that appear when I smile, an acne scar here and there, and some sun spots, (also I think I was due for a lip wax) but that's all a part of not being 17 anymore.

That week in California was the first trip I had ever taken on my own, which inspired over a decade of adventures, mishaps and memories.  Perhaps if I had stayed in one place, now at the age of 32 I would be more "settled" in life with an actual career, a house, and maybe even a few babies in tow. Who knows? 

I may have been a dumb 17-year-old who thought turning 25 was old, but I was curious enough to want to see more, as well as aware enough to know to just go for it because you only live once.

Those of you who have a roaming eye for travel, was there a particular moment in your life that you knew there was more out there that you just had to see? Share your throwback memory!

23 comments:

  1. hey kid you look great in both pics...it's a blessing to have a "youthful" look...you haven't changed that much.
    the older I get the less the age number means much..In my head I'm around 30 and I think I'll stick with that.

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    1. Thank you so much Deb! It must be the olive oil running through my veins that helps keep me looking "hydrated"...that, and Aveeno shitake mushroom eye serum.

      Age really is just a number. My mom is 56 but has the spirit of a 30 year old. In my head I would say I'm about 10, which makes working with these little ones super easy because I'm usually on the same wave length as them. I'm not proud of this. : )

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  2. I'll get back to you when I'm more comfortable with my alternative "wandering" ;)

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    1. In the meantime, enjoy it! And congrats on making it through your first year in Paris!

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  3. I also look at old pictures of myself to remind myself of the person I was back then and to reminisce about how I used to view the world.

    My parents sent me to live in an Italian village (their village) the summer I was 13. It was then that I realised that I was going to live in Europe as an adult. I don't remember the particular moment I realised this - it was probably towards the end as the summer wound up. I look back on those pictures with fond memories.

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    1. Isn't it interesting to look back on old photos and remember exactly what you were thinking and how you perceived things? For some reason we never forget how we viewed the world. I sometimes get embarrassed because I thought I knew so much and had all the answers, all to fast forward 15 years to learn I didn't know much and probably still don't.

      What a great experience you must have had at 13! Wow! What village did you go to? I bet you speak beautiful Italian. I'm glad your 13 year old dream of living in Europe is now your reality. : )

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    2. Don't worry, I also feel embarrassed when I think back to the way I used to be. Sometimes I just want to back in time and slap some sense into that person I used to be. But I am also nostalgic for that person: France has turned me into a cynic and I sometimes long for those days when I was carefree and naive.

      I wish I could say that I spoke beautiful Italian. I can speak Italian, but not at a level I can be proud of. It's so funny because I once spoke quite well, far better then I spoke French, but now it's the other way around!

      Actually my parents come from 2 different parts of Southern Italy. Is your family from the south?

      You look really beautiful in the 1999 picture, by the way (not that you don't look good in the 2013 picture!). There is something about the 1999 picture, though, almost as if it could be older than 1999. Maybe it's the quality of the photo, but it looks like it could be the 80s or even the 70s.

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  4. The photos look exactly the same and you look great in both of them! And I love that you did a recreate. I did those all the time w/ my cousins and they hated it (but now we have the photos and everyone is happy).
    On a side note, I had to google "twerk."

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    1. Thank you! The 17 year old shot, to me is a little cringe-worthy as this age is hit or miss between still being awkward and blossoming. I was somewhere in between here.

      Omg, I still don't really get what twerking is. It's just booty-romping and like gyrating, right? If it is, I've been twerking since Mojitos came to America.

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  5. Well throwback Thursday is a new concept to me. and I also had to google YOLO, haha, although it has been my motto for several years.....and I am waaaaaaaay past 32 so there is absolutely no hope for me at all! Although the older I get, strangely "old" seems to get older and older, at least ten years furthur on than my age! Frankly You don't seem to have changed a bit.

    Seriously though, one thing I have learned is that age IS just a number, (Debbie is right, in my head I am around 25) and you are never too old, as I discovered travel later in life. age 50. ( which now seems very young to me!) Along with a lot of other silver travellers I now have the time and the money and are freed of responsibilities......

    When when we were young the opportunities and means to travel just did not exist other than a package holiday to the Costa Brava, or emigrating to Australia or Canada which seemed very exotic and adventurous at the time.. So yes jobs and children got in the way, but actually I never really had the urge.

    I have several friends over 60, who have backpacked around various continents and that is on my agenda as soon as I can sell my house!

    Love Denise

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    1. Hi Denise,

      When I was in the States, I was constantly hearing YOLO, on the radio, commercials, kids in the supermarket. Finally I just had to find out what it meant because the actual "word" YOLO is totally ugly sounding.

      Of course age is just a number, I hope this post doesn't imply different. Every birthday I just like to chuckle at my new age and think back when I was younger at how old I would have thought I was.

      I hope you end up fulfilling your backpacking dreams, in the meantime, I'd say you're doing your fair share of traveling. I do hope that you make it out to California like you are planing to in the spring! I didn't write a San Francisco full post because I was getting so behind with my birthday, la rentree in Paris, London, that I had to catch up on real time on the blog and not be weeks behind. I do have a few good stories to share about this leg of the trip that if I find a way to work it into a future post, I will. : )

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  6. Oh yes, I remember being that 16 year old that thought 20s were old, oh, and that my knight in shining armour would appear at uni, and we'd be married and have kids when we were old (in our 20s). I was distinctly naive...

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    1. As a teen, 20 seemed SUPER old! Hahaha what was wrong with us??? I think it has to do with our moms having us at that age. My mom had two kids by 21 so I figured by 30, you know, I'd have grandkids! ; )

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  7. I need to do some serious catching up on your blog, but I've loved the Instagram feed lately! Keep 'em coming! This was a great idea for a throwback Thursday... both pictures are great.

    If I had to look for a moment, I'd have to say it was towards the end of our French club trip to France just after HS graduation. We'd been traveling for about two weeks and most of the kids were wiped out and ready to go home when we got to Chamonix. We went up to do the cable cars/elevator to the Aiguille du Midi, and on the way down we stopped to run around the side of the mountain. It was a perfect summer day on a mountainside covered in flowers, and we were sledding in our jeans down big patches of snow that were in the rock shadows. I just looked around and said, going home isn't going to be the same for me. I knew I had to get back out... it took a couple of years but it's worked out okay so far. :)

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    1. Hi Heather!!!

      Long time! How are you? Thanks for following me on IG! I love that App, it's like Insta-blogging! So addicting.

      Your story is so "Sound of Music"..but in the snow. I LOVE IT! What a great memory! I hope you have photos to look back on. : )

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  8. Good question... I think maybe a trip to New Orleans when I was 21 with my then boyfriend. I felt so grown up and glamorous and I knew that mini-breaks to cool cities were a must for me.

    I love both shots of you. Will you hang the new one with the old one?

    P.S. I have to google twitter terms all of the time.

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    1. Thanks Sara! Yes, I'm going to frame the new one and put it up next to the old one.

      I feel cheesy when I Google weird twitter terms but then Google completes my sentence and I'm relieved that I'm not the first one to ask it what the kids are saying these days!

      New Orleans. That's a place I really want to check out. If I go, one of these days, I will hit you up for recommendations!

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  9. Strangely enough, my first big trip on my own was also to SF at the age of 17. Only the year was 1997. A very long, but memorable Greyhound ride from the East Coast.

    Thank you for such a beautiful post!

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    1. Wow! You took the Greyhound all the way across at 17? Brave girl! The longest Greyhound trip I've done was Seattle to SF and boy was I wiped out. I'm sure you saw many interesting things on that 5 day ride. Where you scared?

      Thanks for commenting, and also, thanks for downloading our Househunter's episode. : )

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  10. Another lovely post, and such a great idea to reenact the photo. I've got an old photo of my friend and me climbing and posing on a tree somewhere in Colorado which has moved to several places with me now (the photo, not the tree).

    I loved reading about how you caught the traveling bug. As a kid I never really wanted to leave my home (except for family holidays) and I actually hated all class trips I had to go on with school because I always got homesick. My mind completely changed at the age of 16, when my friend and I went to visit her sister in South Carolina. Our first trip on our own, my first time flying, and all the way across the Atlantic. We had to change planes three times. A miracle we actually got there :)
    I LOVED the US and from then on was determined to spend some time either there or in Canada after finishing high school. So that's what I did, and never regretted it :)

    That's how my love story with traveling began. I am SO glad I did see a little bit of the world before settling down, because there is nothing that broadens your mind as much as getting to know different cultures than your own. Not to mention all the wonderful people you meet!

    It's funny how you get out of touch when it comes to language, isn't it (YOLO). I noticed that especially when teaching teenagers...

    Anyways, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!!

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    1. Hi Anne,

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your travel inspiration story! It looks like we all have one.

      I love how your story is pretty simple like mine; visiting an older sibling in another state, but somehow this experience inspired you to see more. Where were you coming from? 3 planes is a lot!

      It seems like every week there is a new saying or rather a new "meme". I still don't really get what that is either. I can't keep up, so I save up all my questions for when I go back to the States and ask my younger cousins who are in the know.

      ps - too bad the tree couldn't come with you along with the photo. I hear trees in CO are gorgeous. ; )

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    2. Oh no, I just wrote a reply and then it looked like it couldn't be sent because I had to sign into my wordpress account first... Don't know if it still got through or if it is now lost somewhere in cyberspace :(

      So, just a quick summary: We went from Bremen to Frankfurt (both Germany) to Washington D.C. to Atlanta to Charleston.

      My students told me once how it actually bothered them when adults (especially teachers) were using "their" language! Pfff ;)

      Is there any way to find your House Hunters episode on the internet? It seems as though it doesn't exist anywhere online (I think we've been spoiled by youtube to a level where it's upsetting when something cannot be found there ;) I would so much love to see it.

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  11. Hi all! Thank you so much for taking the time to post your insightful comments!! I will respond to everyone tonight or tomorrow. I have been out at my in-laws this weekend and have limited internet time. I'm sorry for the delay. I know many of you appreciate a response and I will be on them very soon. Thank you and. I hope you all are having a lovely weekend. Bisous!

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