I have begun compiling this mental list of Things To Do Before I Die. It's mainly places around the world to visit or obscure acts of non-conformity to experience. I came across this book (1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz)and as I flipped through it, I smiled proudly to myself when I saw that I could already check off items that I have already been to: The Alahambra in Spain, Stonehenge in England and Niagara Falls in Canada.
I was severely been bitten by the Travel Bug 4 years ago with by first trip to London, but I know that was only a matter of time. I was baptized in the Road Trip Religion by my parents when I was a baby. There are photographs of me as a 5 year old twerp sitting on the back of a donkey, both of us wearing a Mexican straw sombrero with Tiajuana on it, another of me holding on to my father's leg, terrified on the edge of the Grand Canyon and another of me squinting into the camera at the base of Lombard Street in San Francisco. I had arrived to all of these places in the back of a 1960-something Volkswagon Beetle from New Jersey with my parents and aunt and uncle. Apparantly my brother's early beginnings joined us, but I don't know how far along my mother was in her pregnancy.
In other trips, I remember walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans, with my mother's hand over my eyes shielding me from the exposed flesh. I saw the Jungle Room in Graceland and floated in the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile, Alamaba. I have been camping with my family in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and have spent hours on the beaches of Rincon, Puerto Rico with sand in my bathing suit. It would go against my inner fibers to stay grounded in one place for too long. Each road trip my parents had taken me on was like a mother eagle throwing her chick out of the nest to practice flying. Soon those test flights would give way to trans-atlantic journeys.