Planes, trains and automobiles..Well, planes and automobiles at least. That coupled with a bout of airsickness, a headache and too many hours without eating and I have to say I’m already a little tired of traveling and I’m just beginning. My father, sister-in-law Leah and I arrived in Atlanta today and rented a car to drive the hour-and-a-half or more to our hotel. Honestly, I’m not sure where our hotel is or how long the drive actually was because I’ve been so bus that my father and Leah made all the plans, but they got us here and tomorrow we see my brother. I’m spending three days here and arriving home late on Saturday. I have a day-and-a-half home before a 17-hour journey to Hana, Hawaii. I will share more about that later, but this will be my fifth journey with a group of teens and young adults. We travel to Hana, Maui and hold services and do community projects such as painting the senior center, building a house, clearing a coconut grove. I’m home on August 6th for a few days before I head to Maine for two days for a reunion with a bunch of college friends.
The other night one of my fellow writers from the Hubbard Hall Writers Project emailed me that she enjoys hearing about my travels. It made me smile. I drive a couple of hours to attend our meetings in Cambridge, NY and I am always sharing about a dog show I’ve attended. I’ve written about attending a Writers’ Conference in Woodstock, NY and Blogpaws in Washington, D.C. this spring and yet, I don’t see myself as a traveler. For years, I never went anywhere. I was rooted in the small town in which I grew up. My sophomore year of high school, a small group of us traveled to Washington D.C. and since it was the only place I had ever been, I assumed I could attend college there. My best friend and I packed our belongings and our tolerant families drove us to George Washington University where we were to go to school, only to pack us up a week later and take us home. We ended up going to college in Middlebury, VT, an hour from home.
Later, I would drive to Cambridge, Mass. to see the boy I loved. And, for a present my freshman year, my parents took the family to Disney, but it wasn’t until I met Joan, my friend and pug breeder. that the traveling bug bit me. Two years after meeting her she mentioned that she was headed to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah to camp and volunteer and wondered if I wanted to come along. My brother Mark and I ended up going and it changed my world. Suddenly, I saw the possibilities. There was so much I never knew I could do. On this trip I saw the great expanse of the Grand Canyon, but an even wider realm opened up inside me. I could move in the world. I had feet and having roots didn’t mean I needed to stand still. I still live in my hometown, in my family’s home, but I have not been stuck there and although I don’t always think of myself as a traveling girl, I guess I am. I saw that the world was big, but so was I. The limits were largely self-imposed and I was free to roam.