I don't think it's widely known knowledge that i am of CARIBBEAN descent. i'm "nationalistically" Canadian, but my "roots" lie deep in the islands of Trinidad & Tobago--land of the great (actually known as land of calypso and the steel drum). every single one of my extended family members live in that tiny island kitty-corner to Venezuela, (except my immediate family, and a small smattering of cousins, and an uncle).
i've been thinking about this a lot, especially with all the research i've been doing on nationalism.
I am a part of this entire other culture that I barely understand (besides food, and traditions).
I represent an identity that I don't necessarily feel connected to...
Well, when I lived in Canada, my family would take a grand vacation down to Trinidad and visit my dad's oldest brother, every year. taking in carnival, a GIGANTIC cultural festival with music, floats, and costumes that basically shuts down every street. I even have a costume myself!
Here are some pictures of Trinidad's carnival:
So, as you can see it's a very diverse, hectic, fun and colorful affair, (much like trinidad is itself). It is the island that we visit to have a good time, to party, eat, drink, hang, shop, and go to the beaches (which are crazy party centers as well). I left Canada in 2000 (when I was around ten), and I haven't gone back since (to Canada or Trinidad). This is one of the only cultural traditions that I have real knowledge of, other than certain Trinidadian takes on world-wide holidays.
I loved visiting trinidad, port-of-spain.
One of the most vivid memories i have is from maracas beach. the waves were stories high, the water was so clear, and i ate a "shark and bake" on the shore.
here's a picture of the only beach in the world that i like, in my limited travel, (i have yet to leave this hemisphere):
We would also visit my mom's family in Tobago, the serene island. beautiful beautiful beaches, breathtaking landscapes, flowers everywhere, genuine people, everything is just so wonderful theree. the main thing i remember is climbing up this mountain to get to the house my mom grew up in which sat right at the top. other than that trek, our visit was mainly relaxing.
I guess what i'm trying to get at is that my connection is nothing more than what any tourist would have. I'm sure when I was eight I felt truly trinidadian, but now that i'm twenty and it's been more than ten years since i've been back, i've lost that association. I guess i've used this blog post to re-ignite my trinidadian-ness, to make me explore my past, because Trinidad & Tobago is a place i can move to, even if just for a year. it's where all my family is, it should be my "home", or whatever. i physically have over five homes, but I have yet to find a "home" where i actually feel at home.
that was the roundabout way of explaining my title. i wish i could be a nomad, moving from place to place, gathering memories and experiences, and ultimately finding a home within myself.
but that isn't a reality for me, i could go into my whole "harry potter relates to every day life soap-box" and say, like voldemort's horcruxes, the pieces of my soul lie all over the Western hemishphere. but instead i'll say i have many homes, who says home has to be singular.