I caught the travel bug early. Looking back, there are a number of circumstances that helped shape my love of travel.
The first, and probably most important were my parents. Both teachers, they had the summers off with plenty of time to explore. Add in their interest in historical sites with a lot of relatives living in various parts of the country, and we had a myriad of options for places to go.
Living on teachers’ salaries, road trips were our chosen mode of transportation. I still remember my sister and I exploring our brand new Dodge station wagon the summer we set out for California (from Maryland). It had secret compartments in the very back and we spent hours playing back there as the miles swept under us. (This was, of course, in the era when laying down in the very backs of station wagons was acceptable.)
We’d come home from our summer trips tanned, salty and happily tired, ready for the school year to begin. I loved sharing our stories with my friends those first days back, showing off the rocks I’d collected or the scars I’d acquired. But I didn’t think too far beyond the tangibles as I quickly got caught up in the current assignments and experiences of the new school year.
Each school year seemed to serve as an anchor for us, allowing us to set aside daily worries and responsibilities a few weeks each summer and let go and surrender ourselves to the experience.
As I got older, graduated from college, and set out in the world, summer road trips faded into memories, yet the urge to travel and explore was never far from my consciousness.