All summer long

Junior reflects on summer travels

Story by Grace Hickey, staff writer

Packing used to scare me.

The fear of forgetting to count out enough pairs of fuzzy socks to last me for the entirety of a trip haunted my dreams, frequently jolting me from unconsciousness the night before said voyage to take inventory of my suitcase.

However, that is no longer the case, as I have had a lot of practice this summer.

Seven weeks worth of practice, to be exact.

While most teens were taking advantage of the past few months to spend some much-needed quality time with their beds, I got the opportunity to actually put the phrase “living out of a suitcase” into practice. And so I did exactly that for seven-elevenths of my summer, which was as hard as it sounds.

Week one was refreshing, exhilarating and the only week that could be considered to be an actual vacation. My proximity to the west coast gave me some serious California vibes and a sense of adventure that prepared me for a summer of being everywhere but Texarkana.

My next six weeks of summer consisted of various camps in environments ranging from well-air-conditioned college campuses to wooden sweat boxes loosely named cabins in the middle of Nowhere, Ark.

Adventurousness managed to morph into homesickness by week four away from home, followed by another four weeks of excreting salt water in form of sweat and tears in the baking July heat. I had worn the same rotation of camp clothes for almost two-months, coming home for one day on the weekends to do laundry only to repack and leave again the following morning.

Beds larger than a twin-sized bunk were foreign, as were adequate air-conditioning and home-cooked meals. Needless to say, I missed my bed and my mommy.

While I did crave the luxuries of a shower with actual water pressure and absence of lurking creepy-crawlies (Spiders the size of my hand, I am talking about you), I did enjoy myself immensely at camp. The sense of excitement I had at the beginning of the summer was still constantly, if sometimes underlyingly, present.

That does not mean I didn’t somersault into my actual human-sized bed in my gloriously ice-box-like room and refuse to leave for two days when I returned home for the final time, however.

All in all, being gone for the summer not only taught me how to survive away from home, but also that it’s okay to be a little homesick sometimes. It made me appreciate the luxuries of life that I had previously taken for granted as well as the simplistic joy of spending the day with my dog.
But if there is one bit of wisdom that I can relay from my escapades these past few months, it is this: always pack plenty of socks.