I have always had the travel bug for as long as I can remember. I love seeing new places, meeting people, experiencing life from different angles. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, and so as we are celebrating travel this year, I thought I'd start with some stories from my hometown. Have you ever been to Philadelphia?
I grew up on a little street tucked away in a small corner of Delaware County, just west of the city center. Our whole neighborhood was built on the original estate of William Penn, and there was a huge park called "The Grange" just steps from my house. The park has tennis courts, basketball nets, a baseball diamond soccer fields and a playground. I have a younger brother and we grew up running free with all the other kids in the neighborhood. In the summertime there was a free arts and crafts program in the local parks, and this is my earliest memory of my love for making things.
My mom's best friend lived a short walk away, and we spent many days at their house with their 4 children. She also loved crafting, and to this day makes handmade Christmas ornaments every year. When I was 8 she invited me to go the the craft store with her and buy the materials to help her make little beaded Christmas wreath ornaments. It blew my mind!! I could take little bags of beads and put them together into a glittery finished product??!! I quickly expanded into making friendship bracelets and beaded safety pin shoelaces. I was hooked for life!
As I grew up I discovered the big city next door, as well as my obsession with horses (the opposite direction far out into the countryside). I definitely split my time between my love for the natural world of the Pennsylvania countryside and my love for the urban chaos. I loved the vintage thrift stores, the colorful 80s punk vibe, the nonstop access to live music, the $1 pizza slices, and the historical architecture of my teenage years in Philadelphia. I also loved galloping through green fields, picking wild berries on horseback, and swimming in the summer creeks on ponies.
Philadelphia shaped who am I today, and I will be forever returning any chance I get.