November of 1996, Boot Size… Tiny
When I was contemplating how I wanted to work this blog, I had one huge dilemma: where should I start? Sensibly my first thought was to start off with my earliest adventure outside of my home state. But thinking back, I have very hazy memories of my first trips as a youngling. It would take too long to get my facts straight, and it would be weeks before I made my first actual informative post. So I started to think again. It took me a few days and a Magic prerelease before I finally decided to start off with a bit of a bang.
My first, strong memory in traveling was when I was a mere four years old. Still reveling in my terrible-twos phase, it nevertheless was promising to be a fantastic journey to the most magical place on Earth.
Yes, we were going to Disney.
I must take a moment to break from the nostalgia to inform you of one very important thing: I LOVE DISNEYWORLD!!!! Granted, many people love Disney but I’m a little more extreme about it. I love everything about it. Though I am now legally an adult I am constantly swept away by the magical atmosphere that Disney so masterfully crafts. I love the rides, the music, the characters, the parks, the shows, and even the air. Yes, the air in Disneyworld is different than the air everywhere else in the world. When I enter those infamous Disney gates, I feel a buzz in my core. My soul lightens, and I return to my childhood. I will never get tired nor will I ever not get excited at the thought of Disneyworld, no matter what mood I’m in (nerdy, serious, pirate-y, or ninja-y!).
Now that we’ve covered that important ADD-induced fact I can continue. My mother and I flew in a plane while my father and older sister drove the van. This was our first big vacation. There is a difference between a trip, and a vacation. This was an immediate family only vacation, and for a significant amount of time (at least in my four-year-old mind… a week was forever!). But by the time my mother and I landed, my father and sister were there awaiting to take us to the mystical land that I had only heard stories of.
It was around this time when the fact that I was in a state so wildly different than my own began to sink in. Surrounded by palms trees as opposed to the custom coniferous landscape of New England, I felt like I had been transported to another world. So soon after this phenomenon sank in, my four-year-old eye (pre-glasses/goggles at this point) saw one of the most ionic things you could possibly view in Disney World. And it was at this point I had to squeal in childish glee.
“THE BALL! THE BALL! I SEE THE BALL!”
It was at that point I knew I was addicted to Disney World. Up to that point in my life I had never seen anything as awe-inducing as the famous ball in Epcot. Though I won’t lie, I had many more of these moments during this trip. Cut me some credit, I was only four at this point; pretty much everything there was awe-inducing.
What is there to learn from this vignette? Not much of anything, but a person’s first memories of life are usually important. Is it a coincidence that a travel enthusiast’s earliest vivid memory is of her first trip to the magical world of Disney? I think not! And it is in my firmest belief that Disney was the beginning of my passion for adventure. After all, Disney is one of the magical places on our Mother’s Earth, and Epcot is the perfect way to introduce a young girl to many different cultures at once. And for me, my favorite part of traveling is to experience as many aspects of a new culture. Well, Disney- more specifically Epcot- held a lit candle to my fuse. And boy is it burning.