Rumble: Shells, dreams and what got me to travel

I don't think I ever told you where I got this urge to travel from. Probably I don't know myself, but I know where it started.

my tiger shellI must have been 5 or 6 years old. It was a summer I stayed with my grandma's. Not far from her house was a shop selling exotic shells. Nothing but shells. I often stood there, glued to the window and trying to read the labels on all the shells. One of them stood out. It was a tiger shell, of maybe 3-4 inches. Light brown with dark spots. It bedazzled me and I saved for weeks to be able to buy it.

The shop keeper said it came from the Indian Ocean. Little did I know then where the Indian Ocean was, but it sounded far away and exotic. Somewhere far beyond the borders of my dreams. He said "Just put your ear to it, and you will hear the Indian Ocean." And lo and behold, I could. I could hear the whoosing noise of the waves!

I kept that shell close by me, and listened to it every day. Dreaming of far away countries and people I had never met. Dreamt of places I wanted to go to, and things I wanted to explore.

Little did I know that years later, I would actually see the Indian Ocean, leave along sail on it, on a boat, with my wife and kids of my own.

the girls on our boat, off the coast of Praslin island, Seychelles

I still have that tiger shell. And still have that urge to travel. I still have my dreams. And still have the compulsive need to collect shells:

northsea shells on a mobile

shells from the Pacific

northsea shells

conch from the Caribbean


Anonymous,  11 November, 2008 02:30  


My husband found one of these little tiger shells 4 yrs ago whilst diving on the NW coast of Mauritius. It was on his last day and he picked it up. Now it is sitting on the mantle. I used to have a little maquette of a Dodo bird made with different types of shells
btw: the word verification is "spelydoo" :-)

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