Maybe I'm the only one who experiences this, maybe I'm not, but because we all travel so much both for and not for coasters I didn't think it belonged in General Discussion. Anyway, I'm talking about that moment on a trip, usually at the beginning, where something happens and it first hits you just how far from home you've gotten. That moment when you can first tell you're in a different part of the country, or in some cases, the world. It's strange, you spend hours cooped up in this little aluminum tube or car, everything looks the same, and suddenly there it is! Something so radically different from what you're seeing and you're about to be thrown right into something you've only seen online or heard about elsewhere. I've had this happen on a few trips... Mexico Family Vacation 2013- Our plane had been over the ocean for three hours and we'd been held in a holding pattern due to a ton of traffic at the Cancun airport. And then out of nowhere, we can see the island where we planned to stay out the plane window surrounded by that beautiful aqua water you see in pictures of tropical locations. Then our plane goes on approach over these little jungle towns with dirt roads down below, definitely not something you'd expect to see when landing in a plane. Vegas-LA 2014- I flew in at night so it was completely black out. And then all of a sudden, there's artificial light as far as the eye can see in front of us, plane lands, and I look out the window and there's the Vegas strip right there! Pennsylvania 2015 Region Trip- This is a funny one because instead of seeing something unfamiliar, it was something familiar that caused this. Pennsylvania looks a lot like Ohio so there wasn't a whole lot I wasn't used to seeing, so nothing really screamed in my face, "hey, you're not home anymore!" I did this trip solo so I was getting really into it and really living in the moment for much of it, it was just life at the moment. But during Skyrush ERT on day 2, I'm at Hersheypark, it's dark, the park is closed and silent, but they still had the music playing. Now there's a Cincinnati-based alt band called Walk The Moon that's pretty popular (I'm not sure if their music is popular internationally but at least around the US I know their mainstream stuff is at least well known) and I really like them, but at least on Southern Ohio radio they're really overplayed because they're from here. Well here I am sitting on Skyrush in an otherwise silent park and from the brakes I can faintly hear a Walk The Moon piped throughout the park (I think it was Anna Sun but I could be wrong). It wasn't until I heard that that I realized I had been in the car for hours, had a ton of fun driving through PA, but up until this moment when I was getting really into ERT that I hadn't heard a single Walk The Moon song since I had gotten to PA. So not only was I nice and relaxed after a long day letting my new number one beat the absolute crap out of me in the summer midnight darkness, but I realized it was all happening somewhere so far away that you could go hours without hearing a Walk The Moon song on the radio. Silver Dollar City Winter 2015- This trip was hilariously problematic for a number of reasons and remains a huge inside joke among the two friends I went with, and one of them was driving through flooding that caused a state of emergency in Missouri on the drive down, turning what should have been a 9 hour drive into a hellish 14-hour sleep deprived ordeal. Well because of this, anything after St. Louis was done in total darkness, so I didn't really get to see much driving across the great state of Missouri for my first time. But the next morning, we woke up and went to the park, and suddenly there's all these mountains and ledges we were driving along. Getting up to go to the park and having that as my first opportunity to see the Ozark landscape was strange but set the stage nicely for the day at the park. New England 2016 Region Trip- Yet another horrendously long drive courtesy of me being stupid and deciding not to take my sleep medication the night before for some reason. Most of the drive I don't even remember, but it was awful enough to rival the drive to SDC the previous December. Almost running out of gas at the border, mood swinging all over the place from lack of sleep, psycho Providence drivers almost killing us, Emily's horrible taste in music, it was terrible. But at the end of the drive, pretty much out of nowhere, I knew we had finally reached New England when we crossed back into Mass. We went over the Fall River Bridge and down below you could see this postcard New England down. Fishing boats, lighthouses, boathouses, drawbridges, cute little coastal houses, it's exactly what comes to mind when you think New England and it was the perfect welcome to the region. Texas 2018 Region Trip- A bit more hectic travel marked the start of my most recent region trip, which started with a drive across Ohio to CLE and then a flight to DFW, followed by complications with Hertz that lead to a pretty stressful hour getting our car. But after all that, we pull out of the airport, finally get to stop stressing in travel mode, and we're off to Six Flags. Ben put on some really fitting music as I sped onto the on ramp, merged with a bunch of Dallas traffic, half of it composed of pickup trucks, with a bunch of dusty construction, absolutely no green space, and the first of many Whataburgers on the left. Needless to say, it was the perfect welcome to Texas, and the entire rest of the trip it was painfully obvious we weren't home as it's such a different state. Curious to see if anyone else can pinpoint this moment exactly when they travel! I know we have members that have been to some really cool places so I'm looking forward to hearing about this, I bet some of them would put mine to shame!