Infected with the travel bug

Wayne State student has loved travel since a young age


Photo courtesy Tess Riecke

Tess (center) is pouting because she didn’t want her photo taken while on vacation in the Black Hills with family.

Tess Riecke, Staff Writer

I contracted the travel bug at a young age. It’s something I inherited from my mother. I would always be shocked to hear that other kids my age hadn’t even left their home state or region before.

The first big trip I can really remember was going to the Black Hills in South Dakota. If my mom were writing this, she would include quite embarrassing stories of the four-year old Tess on this trip. But, thankfully, I’m in charge, so I can pretend I don’t remember these stories.

After seeing Mt. Rushmore and hiking through the Black Hills, I gained a love and an itch to travel to other places.

Here’s the thing; I am not a picky traveler. I know some people who like to travel but it can only be to some place where English is spoken, or some glamorous destination.

I love waking up and saying “let’s go on a road trip today and see where we end up.”

Of course I want to see places like London, Rome, Paris and other famous cities, but there is something about just hopping in your car and just driving.

A few years ago, my family went to the Great Smokey Mountains for a small family reunion, and it was one of the best trips I have been on.
We drove for 22 hours and it was completely worth it.

I should mention the fact that whenever I travel for longer than about five hours, I have to take Dramamine or I will get motion sick. So a majority of the 22 hours was spent under a cloud of drowsiness.

When I was awake, however, I was constantly looking out the window and getting more and more excited when the flat lands began to rise.

Every time I arrive at the destination, an excitement takes over and no matter how tired I am, I immediately want to go out and explore.

Which was the case in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. On the first day, I hiked about six miles in the mountains. Maybe that wasn’t the smartest idea, considering I hadn’t gone hiking that intensely for several years.

The other amazing trip I went on was for my senior year graduation present. I studied French for about six years and I wanted to go some place where I could speak French. Going to France was too expensive, so I decided to go to Montreal and Quebec City, Canada.

For the first few days of the trip, I was in New York City visiting my uncle and cousin. If you ever go to NYC, try to go for at least a week so you can do both the touristy things as well as explore the city the way a local would. That is my favorite way to travel.

In a few days, I will be returning to Puerto Penasco, Mexico for a mission trip, which will be my last trip for a while, than I will be remaining rather stationary.

But it won’t be long until that bug comes back.