I spent most of my time during Spike Travel in the truck, with only two other teammates at a time, which ended up being tons of fun. It was a fantastic opportunity to really talk about the project, and things like what we were going to miss the most (the people, and the sense of accomplishment and usefulness) and what we were going to miss the least (the rain, the mud, living on top of one another). We laughed, chatted, slept and marveled at the Rocky Mountains all over again as they came into sight.
But one of the most interesting parts of Spike travel for me was observing the differences in our team and our team dynamic since our first spike travel on our way out to Louisiana back in November. There was a similar air of excitement, of course, but of a slightly different sort. This time we were excited to be going home, to be seeing friends and family again, and to be returning to the familiar. It seemed, to me at least, to be a far less stressful and more celebratory brand of excitement. It’s amazing to me how much we changed as a team in the short month that we spent in Lafayette. During our initial spike travel, we spent the majority of our time being overly polite and extra conscious of one another’s personal space, awkwardly trying to figure out how to coexist, and constantly falling back on standard I-just-met-you conversation topics. This time, however, it was full of hugs, smiles, jokes and teasing, with some real conversation interspersed. And squishing all of us on and around one bed to watch a movie (Team America the first night, Inglorious Bastards the second) and generally invading one another’s space, eventually resulted in a very childish but extremely fun pillow fight.
Of course, it wasn’t until we got back to campus that I realized just how attached to these once-strangers I had become. Although I was thrilled to be reunited with friends I’d made during CTI, within a half hour or so of being separated from my team, I found myself missing them. Each time I passed a teammate in the hallway, I was overcome with the urge to hug them and tell them how much I loved them and missed them already, which I did. (They laughed, but complied). I knew coming into NCCC that I would end up close with my team, but I guess I hadn’t expected it to happen quite so intensely, quite so quickly. I think it’s fantastic.
So basically, in summation, Spike Travel = awesome, and I can’t wait for next round with my team.