Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Road Trip Gene

So, before I was born, my dad was a travelin' salesman. He sold ad time for radio, covering the state. The story goes that he was in International Falls in mid-March 1953 when my mom went into labor--but when he drove all night to be home, in a snowstorm, part-way with a sheriff's escort (fact or legend?) it was no longer labor. (another version states that my folks' insurance didn't kick in until April, so I was born April 1)

The family traveled (SEVEN kids) for fun--our first camping/fishing trip to the Kinnikinnic; countless horse shows; and our last family trip to Montana to fetch our brother Tim at college.

I've been traveling for work for about 35 years. As a Regional Manager for B. Dalton (ah, remember them?) My region at one point covered the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as well as the prairie of South Dakota, and Minnesota's Iron Range. There were times when I'd leave on Sunday, spend two weeks on the road, and put about 1800 miles on my little Chevy Citation RSM car. As a buyer, I traveled to New York regularly and twice to England in search of bargain books. When I worked at Putnam as an RSM I had seven reps, 23 states, and three time zones.

My sister Nancy has a mobile gift store and routinely rises at 3 am to hit the road--sometimes Florida or California for the winter, and often the greater Midwest for "local" horse shoe circuits.

My brother Rob has been scuba diving in Bali and he and his wife Liz travel to Hawaii often.

Tim went to Ethiopia with friends for six weeks (a long story for another time, but it did involve a later-annulled arranged marriage!)

So today, after 1150.8 miles in two days to Pennsylvania for the Corgi Nationals, I pondered the idea of inherited wanderlust. I realize that most people travel, and take vacation out of town, but I think nothing of driving across the country for a dog show. And traveling with dogs means you don't take a lot of side trips, although we've done a few (LOVE the Badlands loop--but they prohibit you from even taking your dogs out of the car!)

I've been to 43 states in my life so far, and have enjoyed the drive.

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