Sunday 18 October 2015

The First Day

I don’t stay in hotels as often as I would like, yet it seems that I have been in far too many recently. By recently, I mean in the past few years.

We have been on vacation in various places and in those places we have stayed in motels and hotels. For the most part they have been clean and well looked after. They are generally pretty small and although they have everything that we needed, it was …compact. Compact can be good, but I like to spread out. I like to bring far too much stuff and distribute it around the room to make it feel like home.

It never really does though. Perhaps that is why I start the countdown to return home on the first day. “Fifteen days till I get home.” “Fourteen days till I get home.” “Thirteen days till I get home"...etc. You get the idea. Counting the days left makes the time away a little easier to take and I know that soon I will be back in my comfort zone.

Perhaps that’s why I pick up little mementos along the way from as many stops as I can. I will pick up a local map of the area at a rest stop even though I have no intention to ever explore the area. I like to pick up cheap t-shirts with the name of wherever I happen to stop, ticking off one more leg of the journey. On our latest trip I picked up a small piece of string when we stopped to take a photo entering a new state. One step closer.

Every hotel I will always pick up what ever I can. I bring home the key cards for the room and the cardboard holder they come in. I grab a soap and or shampoo as a reminder. Usually neither is very good, but it will do in a pinch and when I use it at home I remember the good times about the trip. I take a lot of pictures generally. Lately however, I haven’t taken as many and I just don’t know why. Maybe, somewhere deep down inside I know that I will rarely, if ever, look at them again.

I have little bits and pieces of everywhere we have gone to. Most of it is uncatalogued and sitting on a dresser in my bedroom. The only time I look at it is when I am looking for something that has gone missing or if I am packing to go on yet another trip. Maybe it’s the bits and pieces that carry significance for me. Maybe at some future date I will tell the great-grandchildren of the places I have seen by showing them a dried up piece of soap, a piece of string or some foul smelling lotion.

The memories are the things that stay with me though. Mostly the good ones, but if there is a really bad memory then I suppose that would be there too. Lucky for me I have no really bad memories. I find that as time passes the trips or the memory of them changes and I actually look forward to going away again. That is the thing about good memories, you want to repeat them. “Sure, another trip sounds like a great idea…”

Until the first day, or as I like to call it “Fifteen days till I get home…”

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