Huzzah! To celebrate this post being my 100th, I thought I’d take the opportunity to publically embarrass myself and share 30 weird travel facts about myself and my life. And I’m also holding my first reader giveaway (details at the end of the post).
1. My earliest travel memory was ski school in Colorado when I was 5. I have retained no skiing knowledge from ski school.
2. When I was six, I went with my Dad to Indian Princess Camp. I don’t think you could call it that these days. My Indian name was Yellow Flower. You definitely couldn’t have an Indian name these days. This was circa 1991.
3. At Indian Princess Camp, I fell off a horse. I also took my frist non-chewable Tylenol, chewed it, and threw up.
4. When I was eight, my soccer team played a tournament in Moore, a town about an hour away. On the drive, my dad played some motivational cassettes about how to be a winner.
5. I took those cassettes from him and listened to them when I went to bed almost every night for years. I am probably the only person I know who, at age eight, would rather listen to a motivational speaker than a Disney Cartoon.
6. I’ve been obsessed with travel since elementary school. For my ninth birthday, I asked for a plane ticket to see my cousins in Texas. My parents were really cool and gave it to me.
7. That trip was the first time I flew solo. It was on Southwest Airlines from Oklahoma City to San Antonio, and the flight attendant gave me a set of airplane wings on the way there.
8. When I was eleven, my family went on a road trip from Oklahoma City to Washington, DC. My siblings were 9, 7, and 2. My parents are brave people.
9. On that trip, we also stopped at Colonial Williamsburg, and I got to pretend to be Felicity from the American Girl Doll books.
10. We also toured the White House and ate a lot of California Pizza Kitchen.
11. During this trip, I was obsessed with Mariah Carey’s song “Always Be My Baby” and made my parents listen to it about forty-five hundred times.
12. I have almost died while traveling twice. The first time, I was eight. My mom had just had my little brother, and her friend had offered to take care of me and one of my sisters so my mom would have a break. Her friend lived on this awesome ranch, and they had this awesome pony named Strawberry that I rode all the time by myself around their property. One day, Strawberry threw me off and stepped on my stomach.
13. The second time I almost died, I was twenty-four. My family had rented a cabin in Colorado for the week, and my Dad took me and my siblings to ride ATVs on one of the mountains. I forgot how to use the break, and almost drove the thing off the side. I jumped off at the last second, and had to pull the ATV back up the hill.
14. That night, I kept having nightmares that I was falling off the mountain. Over and over and over again.
15. I have hit two deer while driving. The first one was my junior year of college. My friend Dave and I decided to drive from Lawrence, KS to Manhattan, KS to check it out. We hit a deer right after leaving Manhattan. He threw up on my car. The deer got up and ran away. I drove the car back to Lawrence with a busted hood. That probably wasn’t smart. The next day, I found deer fur in the engine.
16. The second deer was a few months later. I was driving all of my stuff from Lawrence back to Oklahoma City after college. My ex-husband (my boyfriend at the time) was driving behind me. I hit a deer, and then he hit me. So one deer, two totalled cars. And I had to explain to my insurance company that yes, I really hit two deer in a single year.
Being a Nerd is Helpful to Getting To Travel More
17. I’ve been to Fort Smith, Arkansas eight times. They host (or used to host) a pretty rad academic team tournament. Because I used to do academic team. Obsessively.
18. Also because of academic team, I got to go to Chicago four times (nationals), Disney World twice (Panasonic Academic Challenge), and South Carolina three times (academic team camp).
19. I spent a month at the University of Michigan’s debate camp in high school. I was not good at debate, but that camp was my first taste of freedom. Later, I met my ex-husband during the one semester I pretended I was cut out for collegiate debate. I was not.
Things that Only I Find Funny
20. Every time I go to St. Louis, I pretend I just met Nelly. I also do this in Chicago. My sister is the only one who plays along with me and thinks this is funny.
21. My sister and I also pretend that we just ran into the band Good Charlotte when one of us is in Chicago. Neither of us like Good Charlotte. This gag started in 2003. We will do this til we die.
22. I thought I wanted to go to Baylor until I set foot in Waco, Tx and realized I couldn’t live there for four years. 1. It’s a Dr. Pepper town. 2. It’s Waco, Tx. They do have live bears though.
23. When my girlfriends and I went to the Jersey Shore for a weekend, we saw two men greet each other with the phrase, “What’s up, Pussy?”
24. On this same trip, the manager of our hotel suggested we hide before the bars close, for our own safety.
25. On this same trip, we decided to be responsible and use a lot of sunscreen to avoid getting burned. When we were lathering up (for maybe the tenth time that day) another beach goer whispered to her friend, “what are they, from the cast of Twilight?”
26. I have not been to the Jersey Shore since.
27. I’ve gone on a date with someone from every continent except Antarctica. But I don’t think anyone counts as being from Antarctica, so Imma let that slide.
So That Happened
28. When I was in Ecuador, I thought I was being kidnapped for about twenty minutes. I asked to go to the Plaza de San Francisco, which was a ten minute drive at most. The driver took me out onto the highway. I thought I needed to jump out of the car and I was panicking. Then he dropped me off at the Mall of San Francisco. I’m glad I didn’t jump out of the moving vehicle, but I should really find out what to do if you actually are being kidnapped.
29. I’m still really weirded out by the old man who kissed me on the ass in Greece. I think it might bother me for a really long time.
30. One time I met Warren Moon in the lobby of a San Antonio Holiday Inn. I was eight. I actually knew who he was at the time that it happened. That was the peak of my interest in the NFL.