My Early Days of Travel...

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December 15th 2011
Published: December 15th 2011
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My early days of travel away from my home town of Vancouver Washington USA, started when I was just a few weeks old. They consisted of frequent trips year around, regardless of the weather. (The northwest is well known for its 300+ days of rain and chilly, overcast days all year around.) Most trips for our Family were to the Long Beach, WA peninsula. I was still in diapers, when I first recall my Mother gently lowering me down, to plant my little chubby feet in the cold, wet sand and surf. I immediately fell in love with the feeling of the cool sand, and cold, salty sea water around my toes. (This is possibly where I began my love of the beach.) No one could keep me from it then, and hasn't been able to since! As I grew, I was filled with wonder and respect as my Mother educated me about the "sea foam plankton" and tide pool communities. Making the most of it while waiting for the next high tide. (I believe this may be where I began my love of the ocean.) My siblings and I also spent much time with Mom and Dad in the many lush woods and National Parks. We were delighted (and educated) about all forms of flora, fawna, fungus, etc. All native and rare plant types, to which my Mom always knew so much about, (even the latin names!) (I'm sure this is where my love for all things of the woods and nature began.) Mom, Dad, and eventually, all 6 of us siblings, loaded ourselves into the Family car or "station wagon" every week (and sometimes when Daddy got an extra day off!) Well, into the "Family Wagon" and off we'd go! Sun or snow! (I think this is where I began to love for Family drives and road trips.) It was to say the least, a weekly treat. Family drives up along the Cascade mountain range, coastal range mountains, or Olympic national forest. Drives to the beach to storm watch, or just play in the surf. Do some "beach combing" explore caves and dilly-dally around tide pools. "Rock hounding" all over Oregon,Washington and Idaho, with my professional lapidary Uncle, was a fun way to spend many childhood summers. Searching for the glorious elusive "thunder eggs" and sundry other precious stones of various beauty and value. (That is probably where I began my love for this planet's geological wonders.) My first long road trip was from what we use to call "the way back" of a large station wagon. You use to be able to pile a lot of kids back there, before the seat belt laws were in effect. Choice spot for a limber child. The view was the best. 3 large windows, no one to poke or elbow you. And you could rearrange all the pillows, blankets and jackets, to comforatably take as many naps as you pleased on the longest road trips. A sleepy, much too long drive, cramped into the Family car with sibling, to the redwood forest when I was about 6 yrs old, is about as far as this little traveler got until my teens. I went away one week each year through my teens, to "Wilderness Camp." A week with girls the same age, learning First Aid, CPR, and many skills necessary to learn for survival, from identifying edibles and poisonous plants, to respecting and renewing and should one ever become lost or trapped or even injured, in the North West woods and mountains. Even though the camps were usually only located about 40 miles out of town, it always seemed to be much further. But then, from Vancouver, in any direction, you ARE in the mountains! (This contributed a lot to the love I already had for the woods and mountains.) By the time I graduated High School, I was chomping at the bit, so to speak. I was already planning to leave town and leave the country. Good thing my Parents gave me a very smart set of luggage for a graduation present. I didn't really believe all the times I saids I was going to travel her or travel there, but something inside gnawed at me and so i couln't very well NOT believe it. After all I had already declared it out loud so many time to whom ever would listen... Just 6 months later, I was taking another road trip with the Family. To the Sea Tac airport, to be dropped off, and fly to England! And thus, my International travel had begun! No turning back! Hence, a new life chapter had begun for me. As I took each step away from my Family, my small town life, my childhood. With each step onto the plane that cold December day so long ago, I was flying with excited anticipation, toward my new life. My adulthood, my own adventures, my international travel life!


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