I am mid-packing, mid-cleaning, and midway through the "Going to New York City" music playlist my Dad made for me a few trips ago ("Rhapsody in Blue" is the tune-of-the-moment). While I am well on my way to a late bedtime, as usual before a trip, a lot of my other pre-big-trip traditions (panicking about what shoes to bring, reorganizing my entire iPhone music library, uploading movies to the iPad, etc.) are not arising tonight.
A few weeks ago I spoke with my principal about the end-of-the-year trip I'm taking with students to New York. In the course of the conversation he referred to it as "a once-in-a-lifetime experience" for those kids.
The phrase surprised me. A weekend trip to New York, while still fun in both anticipation and execution, just isn't a big deal anymore. Come to think of it, while I haven't lived there, I have spent more time there cumulatively than some of the places I have lived. It may be because I've spent so much time away from home this year (overnight speech meets + long stays at the Mountain Town condo), but packing up for a four-day trip feels like just another one of those things I do.
I guess a trip to New York is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for some people. It was for me up until college. But I'm hoping my students will turn this once-in-a-lifetime event into a first-in-a-lifetime event. In the meanwhile, I like that I get to look forward to new experiences (like this tomorrow night) as well as many old favorites (like this, this, this, and of course this). I'm also looking forward to traveling stateside so I still get unlimited data on my iPhone. Yay, mobile blogging!
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