Up Around the Bend

We all have songs that remind us of a particular memory. Today I happened to be listening to some music that always brings back some very clear memories, even though they were quite some years ago and I was just a little girl.

Here’s a sample of what I’m listening to, in case you haven’t guessed from the title: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnRsaHXHznQ

Whenever I hear Creedence Clearwater Revival (or The Gambler by Kenny Rogers) I always think of our road trips in Mexico. Sitting in the back of our dark red, almost rust-colored (enormous) suburban, driving along winding and treacherous mountain roads, exploring different parts of the country. Driving to Acapulco, Cuernavaca, Taxco, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta, among many others. We lived there 3.5 years and we really took advantage of our time there to see as much as we could.

We were still very young, so sometimes we were excited, other times cranky, but in hindsight I’m so happy that my parents took us to see all these incredible places. Sometimes it was just us, sometimes we had family – cousins, aunts, uncles – sometimes we had friends visiting and we took them around too. Some places we only visited once and yet they still managed to find such a strong place in my memory. Others we saw many times – like Teotihuacan, where you can climb the pyramids of the sun and the moon. We went there every time we had visitors and I eventually started getting tired of going. “Adult me” mentally kicks “little girl me” in the butt when I remember that! How could I get sick of seeing something so amazing and having the luck to live near such an incredible historic and archeological site? But when you’re 9-10 years old you don’t really think like that!

Thankfully I was always interested in history, so I did love going there and I enjoyed all the history we learned while living in Mexico. Some of it was based in concrete fact, and other parts were based on myth, but they are such beautiful and mystical myths that I’ll never forget them. There’s the fascinating myth explaining why Mexico City is built over a lake – which in modern times has caused many problems with buildings shifting and sinking. There’s the beautiful but heart-wrenchingly sad myth about the volcanoes Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. Aztec history and myths are incredible and I was so lucky to learn about them in the land they come from.

These are just a few of the amazing opportunities we had growing up as Third Culture Kids, and despite any challenges that come with such a life, I don’t regret it. I hope I can give my children the same kind of experiences and exposure. The countries I have lived in and the cultures I have seen have taught me so much and left me with such rich memories. Having Creedence Clearwater Revival to help jog my memory is just another plus.

I truly wouldn’t have it any other way.


7 thoughts on “Up Around the Bend

  1. Isn’t it amazing how music can bring back such powerful memories? I so enjoyed reading about your road trips. This time of year, when it’s getting warmer (where I am, at least), it always makes me want to hit the road! 🙂 I love road trips. They are so special, and as you said, really stand out among all the other memories.


    1. It is really amazing how music can evoke such clear memories. One song and you can see it all perfectly in your mind, even if it was a long, long time ago. I love that! And I also love road trips – I completely agree with you, they are special. Thanks so much for commenting! I always love hearing about people’s thoughts and stories; I think it’s one of the best parts of blogging 🙂


  2. We drove around a LOT in Spain and a fair bit in Egypt and I loved it. Especially at night with my dad driving and us dozing in the back: it felt so cosy to see the glowing dashboard display and the contours of my mom and dad. I don’t really have musical associations though… I guess we didn’t listen to much! Thanks again for a lovely post giving me a great excuse to think back to my own childhood and realise how lucky I was! Like you, I would like my kids to experience this but we have such a great situation here in France I doubt we’ll be moving soon! Especially as we just bought a house not far from ASP!


    1. I love what you wrote about how it was so cozy seeing the glowing dashboard – that’s SO true! We would slowly doze off if they were night drives, with the glow from the lights up front. That was such an evocative image and I can see it perfectly!

      Congratulations for the house; that’s wonderful! Your kids will still have the mixed cultural experiences from you and ASP, and you can do many road trips around Europe too. They’ll experience it all in a different way 🙂


  3. This was wonderful to read about—and I get you on the music bringing back powerful memories. I also understand how you feel when you look back and wonder how you would ever be bored of going to such an amazing place. It’s hard to be grateful when you’re in the thick of it all the time…but then you learn. eh?

    You should share those myths you mentioned in detail someday! I love myths…they’re full of history, imagination and culture. You could paint a thousand pictures from one mythical story alone!


    1. Thanks for this comment, Hala! And at least we still remember those places and appreciate them now, even if we didn’t always appreciate them then 😉 I’ll make sure to share the details of the myths in another post – I always loved hearing about them when we lived there. I had never heard anything like them before and I found them so fascinating. So I will make sure to share the stories some time 🙂


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