Photo courtesy of Victoria Olcott.
By the age of 19, my sister Victoria had seen the world with her mother Graciela Levi Castillo. She was particularly fond of Italy, and early in the summer of 1982, she debuted at the Ball des Rosenkavaliers in Vienna. Her mother was a world-class journalist and knew most if not all of Ecuador’s foreign legations from Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro. Travel was not simply in her blood but in her work as well. In Victoria’s case, the fruit did not fall from the tree.
There was however, just one small complication in all that itinerary planning. Because of her mother’s antagonistic divorce from a certain New Yorker, Bernard Olcott, Graciela (not Victoria) was forbidden from landing at any US airport. Victoria herself was born in New York from an American father. However, she was spirited away to Guayaquil at the age of 14 months, and had never been back. When traveling with her Mom, they were obliged to hop over the US and avoid travel hubs like JFK, Miami, or LA.
Even though technically a gringo, she grew up as a local in her native South America. It must have been strange to have been an American – with a US passport – yet, due to no fault of her own, could not stop off in the land of her birth. She claims it wasn’t so – to her it was fun!!! Victoria is lots of kicks!