Today, I decided to post a five minute free-write about the first trip I really remember taking.
Not the few road trips we took when I was a kid to the beaches of New Jersey. Not the annual summer treks to Niagara Falls to visit my grandparents. I mean my very first real adventure!
The trip that ignited my strong desire to travel. My wanderlust.
I was nine years old. Third grade. I had a good friend named Gillian who was British. Her family was only in the US for a brief time while her father worked on a special project for Cadbury chocolates. When the job was finished, Gillian and her family returned to the United Kingdom...to Wales.
I missed her very much once she moved back to the UK.
In the Spring, my father had to travel to England for work. My parents decided that I could meet my dad in England and visit Gillian and her family.
I was so excited! I didn't really even understand how far away the trip would take me. I just couldn't wait to see Gillian.
I remember having my passport photo taken and the thrill of my very first passport arriving in the mail.
I was even flying alone! All alone at nine years old!
My father would fly ahead (I don't remember if this was because his flight was full or my school schedule kept me from leaving sooner) and I would meet him at Heathrow Airport. I flew as an 'unaccompanied minor'.
Here's what I remember from that amazing trip-
I flew from Philadelphia to London with a short stop in Boston. We didn't change planes in Boston. I had been asleep. When we landed, I tried to get off the plane...thinking we were in London:-) The stewardess told me to settle in for the night. We had a long way to go.
I remember being thrilled and relieved when I first saw my dad after landing in Heathrow.
I loved getting take-away fish-n-chips in London. I loved the malt vinegar and the way the whole meal was wrapped up in newspaper.
I enjoyed Piccadilly Circus. So lively and fun. My dad bought me a silver disc pendant with my name engraved on it.
I remember Windsor Castle. It's moat filled with daffodils.
I went to school with Gillian for two days. I remember feeling very confused when they announced it was time for 'dinner' at lunchtime. I remember eating my first Cadbury Creme Egg.
I've never forgotten the sound of the phone ringing in Gillian's house. So different.
I was thrilled with the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.
This was the trip that started it all. I have loved to travel ever since. I am always planning, anticipating, dreaming of...my next travel adventure.
Thanks for reading. More tomorrow.
PS this was more of a 25 minute free-write;-)
Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,