For my tenth birthday, my parents gave me (among other things) a travel toiletry kit. This travel set came with the standard matching shampoo and conditioner bottles, a toothbrush holder, a lotion tub, all encased in a clear, plastic zipper case. The case was see-through with colorful swirls and the bottles had color-coordinating lids. That gift meant so much to me. I remember holding the little empty bottles and reflecting on the pink-ness of the plastic. The zipper zipped so smooth! The plastic-y smell meant brand-new-all-for-me-exciting-travels ahead!
The May following my March birthday I traveled with my Girl Scout troop to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. I got to go on a trip! Sans-family! I got to travel away from home! Like a big girl! I remember planning and planning and planning for that trip. I made goals, sold a bazillion cookies, wrote lists, attempted to pack well over a month in advance (and told that it was still just a little early for packing so put away my clothes and clean my room), and drifted to sleep every night thinking of my upcoming adventure.
Fifteen years later, while my excitement for seeing new places has not faded, my preparation time certainly has. I leave Sunday morning for the Grand Canyon for two weeks of training. I am trying to fight a cold/sinus thing and am having a hard time focusing. I have a stack of dirty clothes on my hamper (yep, there are so many dirty clothes that they no longer fit into the hamper, but rather on the hamper). I think I have suitcase? But maybe I broke it? Wait, and do I have a ride from the airport and someone to feed my cats while I am gone? I hope so.
I try to keep my travels on the down low, because I don't want to feel like I am bragging. Not only do I love my job, but I get to see cool places, too. But I can't hardly contain myself about this trip. I get to 1) go somewhere I haven't been, 2) get another NPS stamp for my collection, and 3) pseudo-escape from my crazy life for two weeks. I am so excited about that Arizona air! When I get back, I get to spend my days off with my sister and brother--in-law. I consider that my February-cherry-on-top.
I now have countless travel bottles and cases (seriously? how many lotions can I possibly need with me?). Maybe too many, in fact. But my anticipation for trips has yet to fade. [And on a side note, the only time I ever became a Junior Ranger was at Mount Rushmore. I remember the ranger swearing me affected me and I took my pledge as Junior Ranger very seriously. I could say that trip made an impact on me in more than one way...]