Whenever I go to a new place, I usually have to touch it. And not the hard concrete of a sidewalk or road, but preferably the ground. Preferably with grass.
Strange, I know. When some of my friends and I went up to Nebraska for my first time in 2010, to set up for a storm chase the next day, I ran out of the car (at the first gas station we stopped at inside the state) towards the nearest grassy patch and took a photo of my hand, much to everyone’s amusement. 🙂
I don’t always remember to do it, but I seem to get more excited about the idea of new sights and adventures when I do.
Moreover, whenever I see the sea (at least before I lived on a tiny island surrounded by it for 2 years), I have to dip my feet in it. At least when it’s a new coast I’ve never been to before.
On my first day on Kwajalein, when one of my co-workers was showing me around, we stopped briefly at one of the beaches so he could show me the view. I asked if he minded if I ran out to the water for a minute. He didn’t, so I did. I ran out on Camp Hamilton beach and stuck my feet in the tropical Pacific for the first time. Oh the delights of the warm water!
I don’t have a photo of that first ecstatic moment, but I did photograph my first hours on Hawaii, the day before I got to Kwaj for the first time.
You can bet I’ll be dipping my feet in the New Zealand waters (no matter how cold!) at the first decent beach I go to, and surely be touching the ground soon after I’m out of the airport, to be sure it feels the same as ground the world over. 🙂