There's no bug spray for The Travel Bug.

SPAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZ! Okay, okay, I do this before every single trip that I take. I know that spazzing and flitting about the night before a trip is not healthy in the least, but that's probably why I do it.

N'awlins, here I come. Be afraid…be very afraid…I'm bringing my camera and we all know what THAT means—incriminating pictures of my traveling mates!

It looks to be a seven-hour drive, which isn't too terrible considering that I'm going to start driving at about six a.m. I figure I'm going to hit Birmingham in the height of rush hour, and that it should be smooth sailing from there on out. As usual I'm overprepared—I have bottled water and munchies to take with me, as well as an umbrella or two since it's supposed to rain this weekend.

I love traveling. I don't know what it is about the process of "going places" that appeals to me so much. The drives are dull, the flights are dull…but waking up in the morning and seeing something you've never seen before in your life—if you ask me, that's worth waking up for.

I think it got started in 1986, when my parents, my grandparents, and my sister and I piled up into one van and drove out from Arkansas to northern California. Northern route there, southern route home. I still remember the smoke from the fires in southern Oregon that summer, the vast booooringness of Kansas coupled with the beauty of its sunrises, the silent grandeur that is the Grand Canyon. When staying with my great-aunt, I tasted a fresh plum for the first time. I learned what it was like to stare at a giant, silent redwood and know that it had been on this continent for longer than my ancestors had.

I was ten, and I was hooked. This year's goal was to go to Canada to visit Brad. In the fall I'm taking a week-long vacation in D.C. Jeff wants to go to Ireland in a couple of years, and I'm hoping to use that to get him hooked on seeing new places. I have my own little travel goals, but that's for another bit of commentary.