By Lydia Dare (the Tammy half)
Travel is a very new thing for me. I never did it, aside from short trips to the beach with the husband and kids, or a day trip to the zoo or some other family-centered activity. My first actual plane ride was three years ago, when I went to the national convention for the Romance Writers of America in San Francisco. Before that, I’d never even considered flying. Much less traveling long distances. Yet, there I was, on a plane from NC to CA. All by my lonesome, too.
Now, I’m hooked. Since then, there have been quite a few trips. I’ve flown to Boston. The moment I stepped off the plane, everyone looked at me like they needed a dictionary to understand a southern drawl. But that was all right. I persevered. And had a great time traipsing around Salem, doing witchy research for the series with a good friend. I also went by train to Washington DC, for last year’s RWA conference. Now, that is the way to travel. Lots of room to stretch out your legs. You can get up and walk around. The bathrooms are big enough that you can turn in a circle without brushing anything really disgusting. (Word to the wise -- don’t wear long skirts!)
I was not fond of the subway, not in the least. Probably because I got slammed between the doors before it took off. Don’t know what in the world possessed me and made me think the doors would spring open if I stuck my body in there. (You did catch the travel-novice part, right?) They didn’t. They just squeezed. Tightly. Through that whole week, I flinched every time an elevator door started to shut. It was traumatic, to say the least.
Yet, my love for travel was born, and I can’t wait to try out more locations, meet more people, and see more fun and exciting places. I’m still learning travel etiquette, like how much to tip a cab driver and a bell hop. Those things are new to me, too. But, I’m a quick study.
I’m already planning the trips for this year. There’s Romantic Times in April, which I hear is great fun. And then RWA again in Nashville in July. Both of them require a flight, which is not so bad. I’ve gotten quite fond of one particular airline, because you have a good chance of sitting by yourself if you’re on it. I won’t mention names, but I do like to avoid rubbing elbows with strangers if I can help it, so this airline fits me.
And Lydia Dare will be even more places (there are two of us, after all) like the Spring Fling in Chicago. That one won’t be me; it’ll be Jodie.
In the grand scheme of things, I’m really glad my writing got me to step out of my comfort zone and take that first trip to RWA in San Francisco. Because it opened up a whole new world to me. It’s bigger and it’s busier. Who knows? I might even take the husband and kids some time. :-)
Have you stepped outside your box, be it traveling or anything else, and found that something really isn’t as scary as it once may have seemed?