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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

homework: Travel Studies Seminar: Souvenirs

Homework: ~ What do you collect on trips? How do you display your collections.

I could never get into collecting one specific thing from my travels (keychains, postcards, vials of dirt), except stories. Cheesy? Yes. But that’s what I’ve got.

For example, in June I went to my cousin’s wedding near Syracuse, New York. Obviously expected memories were made during the time spent with family, but other memories were to be had the day I left Salt Lake. Unfortunately, I spent lots of time at the Detroit airport that day, trying to get to Syracuse. Sitting in the Sky Room Lounge (or whatever it’s called), I watched the screens and the clock and the storm outside as the time passed by . . . flight delayed 20 minutes . . . flight delayed 45 minutes . . . flight delayed 90 minutes . . . flight cancelled. Dangit. What possible memories could come of this trip? Well, as I sat and waited . . . and waited, I watched the television, some continuous news station, the kind I’m not accustomed to watching. They were covering the life and times of a recently passed-away Farrah Fawcett. “Huh, I didn’t know that about her,” or “Really? Ew,” were my thoughts during this coverage when all of the sudden . . . [cue circus music] “We are receiving reports that Michael Jackson has died.” I’m sorry, Farrah who? I’m sure you all have your ‘where were you when’ stories for this, but the all-over news coverage, the frequent-traveling business men enraptured by the story, that was kind of background noise and contributes to my actual story, which is simply my efforts of trying to get to the wedding. Granted, it wasn’t an emergency – it wasn’t as if I needed to get to NY that night or else I’d miss the wedding (the wedding was still a couple of days away), but the process of working with the people at the counters and the choices I was offered and decisions to make (“If Syracuse isn’t available, I can take Ithaca…or Rochester…or Buffalo…”) made for a great story when I arrived in Buffalo laaaaaaaate that night to be picked up by my sister and her then-boyfriend who drove me all the way to near-Syracuse.

Late night drive on the New York State thruway with my sister? Stopping at familiar rest areas in the middle of the night to get her a coffee? Inappropriate jokes about too-soon passed-away celebrities? Laughing so hard I burst into tears? YES, PLEASE. That’s where my memories are made.

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