“What’s your favorite story to tell?”
– One of the most common questions asked me during Q&A sessions over the years. I used to demur about how I love ALL my stories; that’s why I tell them. But…a favorite one has indeed emerged in recent years:
“Looking for Grandpa’s Island”
You see, ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved the story of my last name, Faro. (Too long a story to be told in today’s short A-to-Z blog – perhaps a future one.) And in 2000 I got the opportunity to look for – and find!! – the tiny island off the coast of Norway where my grandpa and my last name came from.
Searching for Faeroy was one of the most profound “connecting” experiences of my life!
- discovering that my oldest brother had some crucial location information for me;
- sharing the quest with my new husband, as we traveled up the Norwegian coast on our honeymoon;
- serendipitously connecting with a local who could get us to the island itself;
- finding family there who welcomed us with open arms;
- walking the 4-square-mile island, visiting and eating and laughing with family in the house my great-grandfather had built, standing in the yard and gazing at the same North Sea view my grandpa had while growing up;
- taking panoramic pictures of the surroundings to share with my siblings;
- telling the story to thousands of people (not all at once!) in the 13 years since;
- and every time – EVERY TIME – I tell the story…
…at least one person comes up to me afterward and exclaims how either 1) they have done such a family finding-and-connecting sojourn, too! Or, 2) hearing my story inspires them to go on their own family-finding quest!
Yes, this is my favorite story to tell, both because of the profound delight of the experience for me, and the overwhelmingly positive and excited responses from audience members.
“Connect?” – oh my, sharing this story is a rich weaving-of-connections experience!!
Do you have a travel story, a family-name connection, a somehow-similar quest that you’ve experienced? Have you told it to anyone? I hope you do!
Thanks for reading – Pam
A little more exploration, if you like…
- Faeroy has a little tourist endeavor, and the Faeroy Feriesenter has a website!
- A 2.5-minute video a tourist made – lovely little taste of this island on the edge of the North Sea. [3 disclaimers: 1) the word you see at the very end (“slutt”) is Norwegian for “finally; over; end;” 2) towards the end there is a shot of someone placing crabs in a boiling pot – if this offends or makes you squeamish…I’m sorry! I didn’t make the video! 3) I have no idea about the pink elephant whatsoever…]
- If you wish, you can read a bit more about my story of “Looking for Grandpa’s Island.”