my first was a small garter snake when i was 4.. my mom let it go at the cottage a few months later. when I was 6, i had a small turtle which passed away after a very short time with me.
from there, i didnt have anything for about 10 years. during that time, i'd catch snakes, but never kept any. my first real official herp after that was an armadillo lizard/skink/whatever.. it was $30 from petsmart. from there, i got a assortment of smaller lizards and eventually worked my way up to iggys and monitors. After a few years, i realized that iggy's weren't for me, so i adopted them out to good homes.
then about a year and a half ago, i met my current girlfriend who loved my leos and i got her hooked on herps. she got a ball, and shortly after I got a burm.. the rest is history with us moving in together and now our collection is of about 20 snakes and a savannah monitor.