The Decades Game – Wanna Play?
Here’s a fun game to see out the decade for you and your loved ones. And it’s a simple one too. Think about were you 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago etc. and then tell your story.
We played this game recently with my father, and it was fascinating to hear all the history of where he had been and what he had done in his 7+ decades on earth. From his early childhood in Denmark, to his military duty, his travels around Asia and his work in Africa. A full history of life and experiences that make him who he is today and trickles down to us…the kids.
In our Western Culture there are so many stories we never hear from our parents, our grand-parents or even (if we’re so lucky) our great-grand-parents. We’ve lost the tradition of sharing our pasts through story-telling and it’s really a shame. Our ancestors history is part of what shapes us, and that’s really something we should hang onto.
We also went through the process for us; for Paul, me and the pets. We don’t have the same long history as dad, but it’s still interesting to see what we’ve done in our time here and where that’s taken us. For example, I could never have predicted 20 years ago that I’d buy an RV and travel around the USA. And 30 years ago, I was living in the UK and had no idea that I’d even ever come to the US.
So many changes….
So just for fun, I thought I’d share some of my stories with you today. And then, if you’re into the game I’d love to hear yours.
10 Years Ago – 2009 (USA, The RV & Polly)
A whole 10 years ago, and yet it seems like a mere moment.
This was actually the start of our RV travel story. Earlier that year we’d bought “the beast” on a crazy impulse at an RV show in San Diego (still can’t believe we did that), having never driven anything that big or RV’d anywhere before.
And that’s how it all began.
Paul quit his job, we started to sell all our stuff, and we set the goal to fulltime travel at the start of 2010. It seemed like an insane dream, and not at all something folks our age-group were doing at the time, but we’d saved up like crazy and read a few blogs (Technomadia, Gypsy Journal, Bayfield Bunch and Tioga George were all huge inspirations for us), so we were ready for the adventure.
What a wild and beautiful ride that turned out to be!
This was also the year Polly came into our lives as a rescue pup dumped at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society (where I was volunteering at the time). An e-mail went out that morning about the dumped pups who were sickly with mange and couldn’t survive the night at the kennels. So before I knew what I was doing I was driving to the rescue to pick them up.
On my way home, Paul called me up:
“Where did you go??? You just upped and left this morning”
“Oh, to pick up the puppies!” I answered quite logically “didn’t I tell you?”
“Whaaaat? Did you say puppies? What puppies??”
Oh yeah, turns out that in my puppy-fogged fervor, I had completely forgot to mention anything. A moment of paw-infused delirium, or perhaps it was fate? Either way, we ended up fostering for several months and Paul fell in love too.
That was the start of our lives with Polly….
20 years Ago – 1999 (USA, Y2K)
It was Y2K, the year 2000 just around the corner and we were all on high alert. I was working in the semiconductor industry in San Jose, CA at the time and the thing that was on the forefront of everyone’s mind was the Millenium bug.
For those of you not around at the time, this was a fallout from the 1960’s-80’s when computers used 2-digit codes to represent the year (rather than 4 digits), so rolling from 99 to 00 would mean software systems would recognize the year as 1900 instead of 2000 (oooops!). It was a major deal.
Think systems crashing, financial data wiped, transport systems coming to a standstill, the modern world ending, that kind of thing…or so the predictions went.
The phenomenon was so big it even had it’s own logo.
We’d spent a good part of the past year upgrading our systems and reassuring customers that everything was going to be OK, with emergency software teams on call at the office through midnight. In retrospect it was a lot of craziness, but the work paid off and the year rolled over fairly peacefully, along with all our fears & memories of Y2K.
That year Paul and I celebrated New Year’s Eve with his mom and grandmother on the rooftop of our San Francisco apartment. We drank Cosmopolitan’s and laughed until we cried. We only took one pic that night, but it’s my favorite of that moment.
30 years Ago – 1989 (France & UK)
The terrible demonstrations in Tian’anmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Madonna and Prince. Those are the things that stick in my mind, although I know there was so much more that happened in the world that year.
Of course I was young, and deeply absorbed in my own experiences as so many young folk are.
That year I had left behind my boyfriend in France and moved to the UK to begin my University education. It was a bit of rough start too. Only a few weeks after arriving in College, I slit my foot open on a piece of metal that was sticking out of my suitcase. I remember limping & bleeding like a river all down the hallway until some friendly soul found me and took me to the emergency room. Certainly not the most glamorous of starts, but it did get better.
My next three years in England left me with many fond memories. A slew of good friends, a love of English summers (and a corresponding hatred of the grey, drizzly winters), thighs like concrete (thanks to all the bicycling), arms like a wrestler (thanks to all the rowing) and a liver pickled through by English bitters.
Oh and I did manage a bachelors degree in Science too. It was a fine period of my life.
40 years Ago – 1979 (Asia)
I was but a child, and our family was living in Asia.
My sister was born the year before, and although the pics may not have shown it, I was pretty excited to have a younger sibling. That was also the year we’d moved from Singapore to Hong Kong and were living in a dank and dingy apartment in Mid-Levels (half-way up the mountain on the island).
I have glimpses of my life back then that play like an old slide show in my mind; playing with my best friend (the boy next-door) along Bowen Road Park, where we built fortresses and pretended we were explorers in the wild (I was a total tom-boy and a wannabe traveler, even back then); bargain shopping with mom in Stanley Market (I always loved that); being teased & bullied at school (sadly, the worst part of it all); doing massive jigsaw puzzles to pass the time (something I still love today).
But I also learned about travel, and culture and what it means to live in another country. Growing up in Asia was a gift that I’ve carried with me my whole life.
That’s it for my story, at least for now. It’s about as far back as I can go before turning into proverbial goo. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the ride & now I’d love to hear about you too.
What’s your story? Where were you these past decades? And what have you done or where have you gone that you never expected? DO share below!