Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 543: The Final Trip

In the five years I've been involved with the Seymour Community High School Band, I've been to a lot of places, and I've had the chance to share my passion for music with a lot of really amazing people.

Four years ago I traveled with 15 fellow Seymour Students and a pile of Pulaski kids to Colorado and South Dakota. That was my first band trip. In fact, it was the first band trip for the SHS Band in years, and the first on the scale of everyone in the group was able to go. Most didn't, and I almost opted out of the trip as well, but I'm certainly glad I decided to go. That trip helped inspire my real love of travel, and I do hope to go back someday, maybe on a cross country trip that starts at Disney World and ends at Disneyland? Yeah, something like that.

Then we went to Chicago, which, as much of a pointless trip it was, taught us a lot of things about how we had to go about planning a trip itself. It led to another spectacular trip the following summer to Boston and New York, two places I most certainly want to go back to some day. I'll never forget going to the Disney Store or dancing on the top of a boat in New York Harbor next to the Statue of Liberty in the pouring rain. And as long as that four mile parade in Boston was, it's one of my absolute favorite moments in my entire life.

Last year we went to Mackinaw Island, which told me a lot about how I want to travel and where I want to travel. I wasn't impressed with the island at all, but going with my friends made it worth it, and there are certainly plenty of crazy memories from those couple of days, Ohio Guy included. But all through that last trip, there was this constant sense of dread in the fact that it could be my last. It wasn't, obviously, as I just spent the last how long blogging about the band trip to Walt Disney World. But the idea is still the same. There's that sense of dread, knowing that soon enough, it will be all over. And that's something that stuck with the Disney trip too.

One of my college professors joked last week about how I'm too young to write a memoir (and he is too!), but I feel like I could. The SHS Band Trip to Walt Disney World was certainly one of the most difficult experiences I've ever had, from the first day our director brought it up until the last day I will work on the band trip video. It's been a long process unlike any other, and it's taught me a hell of a lot about people, and life and work and dreaming and commitment and hundreds of other things. A good portion of me thinks and wants, honestly, to write forever about it, about every last detail that I can remember before I forget about it, because sometimes even a daily blog isn't enough to keep it all straight.

But as difficult as it all was, this trip was also one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. As I mentioned in a former post, it's not everyday your dream you've had for 18 years can come true. Life just doesn't work that way. I'm so glad it did work though, and I'm very excited about the fact that Megan and Ashley both loved my home so much that they're joining us on our NEXT trip! What a way to make a Disney Geek happy, right!?!

This trip started for me a long, long time ago, and the ending is quite bittersweet. That's for sure. It's not done, as of right now, since I'm still working on the video, and the memories will certainly last a lifetime, and the drama that surrounds the experience continues to be difficult, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Because as Walt Disney once said, "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them," and I can attest to the fact that this is very much the truth.

There are a couple of other blog posts that will be right after these that still have to do with the trip, since we did SO MUCH in those six days that it's sort of difficult to write about absolutely all of it in just a few posts, but these are my final thoughts on the trip, I suppose, or at least as they stand now.

- Dreams are hard to achieve, no matter what they are, but never give up on them.
- People show their true colors when you least expect them to.
- Be thankful for what you have.
- Make the most of your time. There's so little of it in the first place. Don't waste it.
- Keep Calm and Be Understanding, but stick up for what you believe.
- Accept help when it is offered, especially when it's an offer on something you know nothing about.
- Take lots of pictures. And video. Document your moments, because they're gone faster than they came.
- Do what is right, even if it's not what you want.
- Take risks. Try new things. Be adventurous.
- Never lose hope. It's more important than anything else in the world.

Have a magical day.

(Note: This blog post was written on August 1).