Once upon a time there lived a girl. She lived in Suburbia, in the United States of America. She went to school and made very good grades, she played on the basketball team, but was not very good. Most of her time was filled with school and basketball and travelling on the school bus back and forth to Suburbia. She was happy if a bit bored, but she always felt there was something more than Suburbia and even the United States of America.
Her parents wanted her to find a nice boy from Suburbia and marry him one day. A nice boy named Mike or David or John. A nice boy who played baseball and was tall and had nice teeth and parents who came from Suburbia too. And the girl thought that that was what would happen, but she felt there was something more.
One day, the girl from Suburbia went to The City. She was looking for a college to attend that would allow her to meet a nice boy from Suburbia who would have a good job and move back to Suburbia with her after college and have more babies who lived in Suburbia. But she felt that maybe there was something more.
And then she met him. He was a man, he was eighteen. The girl saw from his skin that he was different. He was from a far off land. He had come from China. He was actually born in Brazil, his parents were from China and somehow he had made it to The United States of America to meet her. So, while the girl was in The City, the Chinese Brazilian man and her became fast friends. They spent all day talking, and one night after they had played a game of HORSE on the basketball court, he kissed her. And then she knew there was something more.
She returned to Suburbia and told her mother about kissing this man from China and Brazil combined, and her mother did not approve. The girl decided she would just have to find a nice boy from Suburbia and forget about the man from China and Brazil. But she couldn’t. The continents exploded in her head. Her first kiss had taken her to South America and Asia already. And she knew that she wouldn’t ever visit there herself. She would never see the seven continents of the world. But maybe she could get the continents to move to her.
The girl went to college and she kissed a boy from Sweden. He brought to her the gifts of Europe, and she was happy. And then there was a boy from Mexico, and he brought to her the gifts of North America. She had now over half the continents in her collection, but she wanted the complete set.
One day her friend from college gave her a gift. A tiny globe of the earth. On it, she could see all the continents. Her friend told her it was a gift, to keep track of her progress. And she marked out on the map all of the countries and continents she had discovered. China and Brazil, Sweden, Mexico and Belize. Germany. Nepal. India. Eventually she reached the African continent with Algeria and Morrocco. And she had five of the continents. But still she knew there was more.
Only Australia and Antarctica remained, and since Antarctica doesn’t have any people who were born there, she declared it conquered after she visited a penguin exhibit at a nearby sea park. And so she sat down and looked at her globe. All of the continents except for Australia. And Australia was hard because it was on the other side of the world in all ways possible. And there was only one country on the continent. But still she had hope.
But years passed by and she just kept repeating continents. China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Germany, Puerto Rico, Colombia. She could never find the man from Australia who would finish the mission. She looked at her globe, sparkling with life except for the seventh continent which eluded her.
And then she met a man from the Middle East. She met him one day and they fell in love. And he kissed her. The girl always thought he was a man without a continent. She was sure that technically it was in one or the other, but to her the Middle East lay somewhere near Europe and Africa and Asia, but still in between. A man without a continent, and they were in love and they got married. He moved back with her to Suburbia, but both of them knew they didn’t belong there. And the girl gave up on the idea of ever kissing a man from Australia. Her fate had been set.
But the man and the girl grew farther apart. He wanted to return to his home on the not continent, and the girl could not go with him. So he left and the girl was in Suburbia alone. One day she got into her car, she lived in the farthest part east of her continent and she drove all the way by herself to the other side of her continent. She wandered around the west until she found a friend. Her name was Judy and she was from Australia. Judy told the girl she would have to fly all the way across the world to go to Australia itself and then she would surely find a man to kiss her there. But the girl just knew that he would come to her.
So, she waited a while and one day, a man from Australia came to the west and he helped her plant a garden in The Woods. They didn’t meet in The City, or Suburbia. They met in The Woods, and when the first seeds started sprouting they walked in the moonlight and he kissed her. When she opened her eyes she was ecstatic, she laughed and the entire Milky Way sparkled in the sky. She told him, Thank you. The journey is complete. And she left The Woods because there was nothing left to seek.
She returned to Suburbia, her globe sparkled all the way around, upside and down and she knew that it was just the beginning. She realized that all she ever wanted was the whole world, and now that the whole world had come to her, it was time for her to return the favor. And she booked a flight to Australia first, because she knew how difficult the continent was to obtain.