Retreading the Path

My dad was a Bible scholar and translator. My mom was a professor of Christian art. In this essay I reflect on how my parents' lifelong passions influenced me and led to my interest in travel, writing, languages and art. In their journeys I found the blueprint for my own.

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"In the spring of 2007, I was sitting with my dad in a coffee shop at Taipei International Airport when he began telling me about his first trip to Europe in 1968. He was in his mid-30s and he and my mom and my brother Ted were moving from Princeton, New Jersey, back to Taiwan. On the way home, they decided to make what they considered a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe and the Holy Land. Once they reached Taiwan they would settle down.

At the time of their trip, my mom was several months pregnant with me. I imagine her savoring the sights, sounds and smells of Europe. Having worked as a waitress in an Italian restaurant in Princeton, she was the most adventurous of them all in tasting new things: baguettes, camembert, various kinds of pasta, strong coffee. I wonder if she tried to soothe my brother with a nice biscuit from a French patisserie, or tried to convince my dad that it was useless to look for a Chinese restaurant in Rome."