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.