India’s First Experience in Nature

My mom took me on my first road trips when I was a toddler. During the summers of 2005 and 2006 we trekked across the East Coast. We visited historical sites and national parks from Niagara Falls all the way down to First Landing in Virginia.

During our multi-week adventures, we spent hours and hours in the car. Whenever we stopped at stores to restock on food and gas, my mom would buy a box of Band-Aids. Not for the first aid kit, but for me to stick on my arms and legs to keep me occupied in the car. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to tell at a glance if a kid is wearing a box worth of bandages for fun or to cover actual injuries, so my self-expression garnered more than a few stares. You try keeping a three-year-old entertained in a car for 4 hours at a time.

My most vivid memory from those summers was at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. We stayed late into the evening to watch a demonstration of 18th century dancing. One of the reenactors invited my mother to join him. She accepted and twirled onto the dance floor, away from me. I began to panic. Where was she going? What was she doing? Most importantly, was she coming back?? The answers to these questions may seem obvious. However, three-year-old me was not a logical thinker and immediately went hysterical. Lucky for me, a kind elderly couple was seated next to us. They soothed me and reassured me that my mom was close by. They pointed her out in the crowd so I could watch her. They kept me occupied and calm until my mom came back. By far that is both my most terrifying and positive memory from my first road trips. I hope one day to be the nice old lady to comfort a child.

These road trips instilled in me a lifelong fascination in history and exploration, and I look fondly back on my memories of those years.

India's First

By India – National Park Service Intern

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