Tell us about your first ‘global’ experience.
When I was growing up, and even today, my mom has exposed me to so much culture; taking me to see foreign films, attending arts festivals, seeing and participating in local theatre productions, spending time in museums- all on quite limited funds, I’d like to point out.
For most of my adolescence, books were my link to other cultures, peoples, and countries, as I didn’t leave the US until I studied abroad at the University of Limerick in Ireland at the age of 20 — OK I did go to Bermuda, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas on various family vacations. In fact, one of my favorite parts of those experiences were getting to know some of the folks from all over the world who worked on the cruise ship. That, and being excited over seeing a Coke can in Spanish at the age of 12!
Even with all of these great experiences and cultural events, books were truly a passport to my earliest global experiences. I read so many transformative books as a child/ adolescent/ teenager. Thinking about my most influential books of my adolescence, I must have been quite a dark child, as my favorites were “Number the Stars”, “Zlata’s Diary”, “To Kill A Mockingbird”, “Night”, and “A Gathering of Days”, in addition to a series (that I cannot remember the name of!) of books I loved about early America and the first immigrants.
I still use books as a (rather inexpensive) way of having a global experience, whether is be historical novels, memoirs, or even reading travel guidebooks!