John Steinbeck was my first literary love as an ESL gal. I finally read my first serious fiction at 19 years of age because my then boyfriend(first love), Mark, gently but persistently made many books of different genres appear on my lap. I rejected all of them until he brought me “In Dubious Battle” by Steinbeck and I fell madly in love with it. I then read everything that I could by Steinbeck.
When I got to his “Travels with Charlie,” I found another reason to love John Steinbeck. He made me see that nothing was wrong with me. He too was like me, needing to go elsewhere, needing to travel, needing to see new things and needing to feed the wonderlust.
Need to travel and see new things is in my DNA. But I think that something else is going on with me as well. Some of my need to move around might be coming from my sense of belonging nowhere.
I had been transplanted onto a brand new country with a new tongue at age 12(almost 13). I then became Americanized not only in habits but also in a new world view. This makes me belong nowhere. Not really. I don't really belong here with my skin color. I don't really belong in Korea with the lense color that I see the world through.
I suppose I belong to the world and I could live with that.
In case you are wondering..., the 3rd child from the left is me.