Scent of Freedom

My least favorite moment on a trip: Leaving a nice hotel room.

That last click. The key card left on the dresser. Letting go of the brief, private kingdom—a luxury space that is mine for a day, or two, or three. A space where there’s no need to clean or cook or negotiate any part of everyday life.

Sometimes, when I come home, my clothes still smell of the room—Aromatherapy Orange Ginger Shampoo. The scent of freedom.

On a recent trip to Denver, I hoarded seven of the tiny bath bottles—a couple lotions, conditioners, and three shampoos.

Such nostalgia can linger in unforeseen ways.

At the airport, I got stopped and searched at Security. I had failed to put the liquid-containing bottles into their own, private quart-sized plastic bag.

And so, I missed my flight home.

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