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Travel Traditions


Now that summer’s finally leaving and fall seems right around the corner, many of us who have busy summers are entering into vacation season. That means choosing what to bring on the plane!
Like many travelers, I have a few traditions for when I fly. For some, it might be wearing their lucky/travel socks, or eating at that “special” restaurant at the airport. One thing that I always do when I am flying is that I pick up at least one book from the airport bookstore, to keep me company on at least the first flight. If I land and have burned through that book, I can pick up another while I’m on a layover or when I’m flying home. But I have more than one overflowing shelf of books that were read at more than 30,000 feet in the air.

The other tradition that I have has to do with international travel. When I was 17, I went to Russia as part of a mini foreign exchange program. It was the first time I had ever left the country (minus a few trips into Canada, which wasn’t a big deal to me since I lived in northern Minnesota and the border was a short drive away), and I made sure to bring a lot of books for the trip. At that point, there was a boom in fantasy fiction, and my friends and I all loved reading the Dragonlance Saga, so I made sure to pack several from that series. Though I’d read it before (and many times since then), I brought Dragons of Autumn Twilight with me to Moscow, Petrozavodsk, and St. Petersburg that summer, and in pencil I wrote “Russia” in small print on the inside cover. In the years that followed, I started bringing that book with me any time I was leaving the country, adding the names to the inside cover any time it – and I – set foot in a foreign country for the first time.

So next week when I fly, I’m looking forward to adding another exciting thriller or fascinating non-fiction title to my collection and bringing that well-worn and slightly battered copy of Dragons of Autumn Twilight on another adventure.