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It was such a nice weekend that I had a lot of time to sit and enjoy the weather with my kids, do a bit of baking and make meals for the next week. I realized a few things about my love of travel. It started with elementary school projects on different countries depending on what language we were studying. My elementary school had a program called “ICAL” international culture and language. I remember visiting travel agencies, before expedia and kayak, to collect brochures and things to use in my reports. I knew then that I wanted to visit all of these places.

Another thing from childhood I remember was collecting foreign currency. I think it was Cheerios that put small coins or bills inside each box as a promotion. As for what it was for I don’t remember but I still have my coins. We also had this map in our laundry room that was of the world but it was from the 1970’s. Even still, I wanted to visit places I couldn’t even pronounce. I watched travel shows on PBS too.

My first airplane ride wasn’t until I was 10 and I flew to Florida to meet my aunt for spring break. I still have my very first boarding pass on US Air from Baltimore to Tampa. Most of my early travel consisted of riding in a car though; with my mom who did not like to stop. Trips to Florida consisted of one stop at South of the Border for gas and the bathroom. My mom bought me an atlas, you know those paper things before GPS handhelds. I used to highlight the states I would visit. I didn’t highlight if we only drove through but would if we actually stopped.

I am excited about our vacation this summer. We are doing a home exchange with a family from Toulouse. It’s only two weeks but I am really looking forward to it. Living in a local neighborhood with the kids will be different. They already have their special books (passports) and are excited about riding a plane and a train!