I've always enjoyed traveling. There's just something about packing a bag or a suitcase and heading out that appeals to me. Maybe it's the sense of adventure. Maybe it's knowing I can relax and forget about "real life" for a little while. Maybe it's giving myself the opportunity to break out of certain habits and routines, but with the security of knowing that I'll be able to return to those routines once the trip is over. (By the way...stay tuned for what will likely be multiple posts about those habits and routines...my friends enjoy making fun of my little OCD things.)
I've had some pretty fantastic travels over the years. There was my first plane trip the summer after 8th grade...Lis and I flew to Florida and stayed with her aunt and uncle. This is where I discovered that I shouldn't fly without motion sickness pills (sorry, Lis!) and also where I discovered just how loudly I grind my teeth (again...sorry, Lis!). In the summer of '94, when I was 15, I took a trip for 9 weeks...without my family. It was a missions trip to Ireland. There were 26 teenagers from around the U.S. and Canada and 4 adults. Definitely a life-changer in lots of ways! I've been to Europe 5 times and have found something new to love every time. I've done lots of road trips over the years, too. One of those involved driving from Steubenville, OH to Key West, FL with my friend Katie. We drove my car, which had no cruise control and was a stick shift. Katie didn't know how to drive stick until the week before we left. That was interesting. :) One road trip I did alone. I drove from Denver to my parents' house in OH. Then I decided to take a "detour" on the way back and I drove to the Twin Cities to visit Mark and Meagan. After a day or two there, I drove back to Denver. Somewhere in Nebraska, I discovered that there was a tornado warning for the county I was driving through, so I got off the highway and hung out in a rest stop with a bunch of other drivers. Fun.
This weekend, I won't be doing any traveling (unless you count driving to Denver). But next weekend, Shawn and I will be going to Grand Junction, CO for a rugby tournament. We'll stay an extra day to do some western slope outdoors stuff. The next weekend, I'll be going to OH to visit my family while Shawn goes to Montana for a rugby tournament. The next weekend, we'll be going to Oakland to stay with his brother's family and see Shawn's nephew's first communion. I'm excited for all these little travels! I just need to remember to ask my friend Kate to feed our fish each weekend. She's going to be thrilled. :)