Guest writer, Ruth Foster, writing in response to Laurie's last blog post.
I have always been interested in travel and writing. My husband, Lou, and I began traveling to Eastern Europe during the Cold War, chiefly Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and Romania. But by 1986, we began traveling to England with my brother and his wife to seek out our family roots and meet some distant cousins that we still had living in England.
In many ways, I feel as if it was more than curiosity that led us into this sort of exploration. Lou is an excellent photographer and bringing home thousands of slides taken while overseas was a great way to create slide programs and lectures about the countries behind the then Iron Curtain of which many Americans were not very well informed.
I found that being able to meet my family in England was something that seemed in many ways to complete me. Lou and I were able to live in England four different years while he did research at the University of Exeter in Devon and I was enabled to become a steward and guide at a 14th century decorated Gothic cathedral of Exeter. During those years abroad, we not only enjoyed being with family I had not known, but also it enabled me as a student of history to have hands on experience with a seven-hundred-year-old survivor of English history: The Cathedral Church of St. Peter in Exeter.
Lou and I were able to meet and grow close to many new friends and colleagues in England, some of whom still survive, and we are looking forward to being with them again during our next trip to England in October of this year. This year, we shall travel abroad with a good American friend and truly look forward to sharing with him our sense of return to an ancient kingdom which has inspired me to write seven medieval history novels in the past ten years.
It is obvious to us that curiosity can be a very positive influence in our lives. It can drive us to learn, to explore, to share, and to fulfill our interests in life. It is not to be ignored!