I have lived overseas, circled the globe numerous times and met people from some of the most exciting places. But the day after I graduated from high school, I returned to the United States and was assimilated.
Bakersfield, California is where I settled. I left for a couple of years to attend art school in the Bay Area, but I returned for my first job in a Bakersfield advertising agency. I married a Bakersfield man. We raised our family on a cul-de-sac off Rosedale Highway, and my roots grew deep, something I felt I had missed growing up.
Even though Cook Peak was only 60 miles from Bakersfield, I was apprehensive about leaving the life we had created. Selling points of clean air, a slower pace of life, snow in the winter and acreage made sense to me, but the fear of change was paralyzing. How could a gal who grew up in Pakistan, Thailand, and Malaysia be afraid to move 60 miles? Ridiculous, that’s what I told myself. I was embarking on the most significant adventure of my life; my roots could grow deep again.
Sometimes I think about my globetrotting days. They are beautiful memories of a lifetime ago. I think about my childhood friends who live and work on the other side of our planet. I think of those who go on vacation and the ones with gumption who travel alone to exotic places and blend in. I envy every one of them, and sometimes I feel stuck.
I found a creative way to travel again. Already I’ve visited Cuba, Nepal, Russia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, France, Morocco, Casablanca, Australia, London, Germany, Washington DC and many more destinations. I did it with “Ann Was Here” signs and a little help from my friends. Here are some of the hundreds of photos I’ve collected documenting my armchair travels. Enjoy!