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Where Lisa shares her love of travel

by John on July 17th, 2012
I am on vacation — and as a series of quasi-coherent posts about how wonderful my family is, and how beautiful the beach is, and how drunk I might be at a time that would normally be a completely inappropriate time for me to be drunk might not go over all that well, I have asked a collection of my favorite bloggers to stop by and share something.

Posting today is Lisa of Libelletage. I “met” Lisa through Twitter, and it was obvious that she lived in a place with a great climate, had bunches of tips for handling parenting on a budget, loved traveling, and knew a thing or two about being a nurse. In other words, she, quickly, turned into a “must read,” and I’m very, very glad to let her share her stories here.

Origins of Wanderlust

When John asked me to write a blog post, the first thing I thought was but I’m not a popular blogger.

And I don’t run marathons.

Or have small kids.

Or drink much alcohol.

But I do like to write, especially about travel, so I thought while he was traveling I would talk about one of my first experiences with travel.

The first time I ever flew on a plane, I was 2 or 3 and I was moving from Ohio to California, far from all of my family with my mother and my older sister. I don’t remember it at all. The next time got on a plane I was the summer after I turned 16. It was the summer I had my first job, shredding papers and filing grad school applications at the local university. It was the summer where I felt like I was growing up, but in some ways I didn’t really have to yet. It was the summer before I got pregnant.

My sister was living in Ohio with my father and wanted me to visit. I saved for the trip and was really excited and curious about visiting my birthplace. And since I didn’t remember ever living in Ohio, I was meeting my father for the first time. My mother was ambivalent and probably feeling a little abandoned by her kids. It was probably more irritating to her that I invited my high school boyfriend, who I loved so much, to come with us to the airport. This was before having a kid and having our relationship be smacked in the face with the reality of teen parenting.

Money was not something we had growing up, and a car was something we rarely had as well. My flight was from San Francisco International Airport, an hour and thirty minutes from where we lived. We also didn’t exactly know people with money, so most people I knew were carless as well.

My trip to Ohio included many firsts in travel. My first cab ride to the train station, where we were driven by a sweaty man/woman with long blonde hair, earrings and a five o’clock shadow. Next, was my first train ride on Amtrak to the bay area. My boyfriend and I wandered the train laughing, holding hands, and avoiding my mom who detested my boyfriend. After the train, we took the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to the airport. By now it was getting late and we sat still as lights zoomed past us in the dark while passengers entered and exited our car. It was slightly scary and exhilarating. I leaned on the shoulder of my 6’3” boyfriend, feeling what I imagine people must feel when they go off to college: Fear. Overwhelmed. Freedom.

At the airport, we had five hours to kill. My flight was at 5 am. We planned on getting there on the last BART train around midnight.

After getting through security with my escorts (back when TSA didn’t stop everyone at the security screening), we headed for my terminal. We left my carryon things with my mother and wandered the airport through the night. I people watched like crazy. Travelers headed to who knows where late at night. It was quiet, with less and less people as the early morning hours came. Eventually we got tired and fell asleep on my bag using it as a pillow. In one year’s time, my boyfriend would be sleeping next to me, using a package of diapers as a pillow, while I lay in bed trying to decide if the early contractions I was feeling were really that bad.

I don’t remember the flight much. Just my stop in St. Louis. I ate alone in an airport eatery wondering about things to come. Would my luggage make it to Ohio? Did being in the St Louis airport for an hour count on a list of places I have been? What would my father think of me? Is this what being an adult feels like? When I landed in Ohio, it was August and it was warm and it was raining. I had never felt warm rain before.

That trip, along with other moments of travel instilled a sense of wanderlust in me that 18 years later I still have. Our lives are full of so many experiences that sometimes they blur together. But sometimes, like when I travel or when I pause and really look at my children, life slows just enough to take it all in.

From → Blogging, Guest Post

6 Comments
  1. Thanks for letting me write over here!

  2. I love this post. And it’s nice to meet you, Lisa! I was taken right back to teen love that I remember thinking would last forever…and how painful it was to leave each other. And at the same time, you experienced something very different than I did growing up. Off to stalk…er…check out your blog!

    • Thanks Katie! Life had been interesting for sure!

    • Geez – those early breakups . . . wow, yeah, they were rough – but, looking back, well, I guess it’s good to know that my definition of “the world is ending” has surely grown.

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