Tuesday, February 15, 2011

get out of town

i have determined - or rather, long since determined - that i need to travel more.

[image from ligress]

there are a number of deterrents to this plan: my occupation makes it tricky to take any time off (i'm essentially the lynch pin for a number of tasks/operations/responsibilities, and it requires a fair amount of training and debriefing in order to have someone cover for me); traveling is crazy expensive once you calculate travel method and accommodations; i have a close-to-debilitating fear of flying; et cetera. obstacles! curses.

also, this year i really want to take a trip with the boyfriend, given that my last few trips have been solo going (and the only places we've ever been together are montreal and kingston). this creates additional complications in that 1) we have to agree on somewhere to go and 2) we both have to have the money to go. number 2 is always tricky for the boy - he freelances and doesn't always have a steady paycheque - but given that he already tours with his band a few times a year, it's basically like he gets his fill of travel. which means when he's home, he wants to stay home. sigh.

so then, possible solo travel (because i do want non-work related vacation travel this year, whether i can drag the boy with me or not). i know for a fact that many of my blog readers are travelers, or at the very least have traveled a hell of a lot more than i have. right now, two of my good friends (both around my age) are actually planning a huge backpacking expedition across eastern europe. this is the kind of thing i envy, and the kind of thing that keeps making me wonder "why don't i do that?"

but is it "don't" or "can't"? that's the question.

as alluded to in the opening paragraph, i think i get defeated by all the obstacles and details that would be necessary for that sort of thing. maybe i need to be more tenacious; maybe i need to be more courageous. it's sad to say, but for me these days, traveling is less about being adventurous and more about venturing out of my home comfort zone.

when i was growing up, my family rarely took trips together. the only one i can remember pre-divorce was my father, mother, sister and i driving to the east coast by way of the united states, then back through new brunswick and quebec. i think i was six years old, maybe; i recall the little mermaid soundtrack being played on repeat. i was way too young to appreciate the travel experience, too. it wasn't much different seven years later, post-divorce, when my father took my sister and i back to prince edward island and nova scotia (we have family friends there), though it was my first time on a plane, and i don't recall enjoying it very much. especially not when my father insisted on stopping by the side of the road in pei and scooping up a bag of the island's famous red soil.

[image from canada photo series]

so, excepting a class trip to (once again) the east coast when i was seventeen, that was more or less the end of my childhood travel -- but it was just enough to give me itchy feet. however, i neither had the money or the means to do any more traveling myself, and my mother - who hadn't traveled much in her life either - constantly had to tell me, "you'll have all kinds of opportunities to travel when you're an adult." but, y'know...i haven't really. aside from a couple of work trips last year - and i'm assuming that's what my mother was referring to - i rarely take time off to go places. hence, back to the original theme of the post -- that i want to travel more this year.

with that said, a small list:

canadian cities i'd want to visit: montreal. halifax. st. john's. calgary. vancouver. victoria. most all of these would be for a second, third or fourth time, but i can't help it -- i love this country.

american cities i'd want to visit: new orleans. portland. chicago, for the fifth time. boston, for the second time. los angeles, for the second time. however, i want any or all of these to be with the boy, because i've already done most of them as solo trips and i'd like to experience them with a partner this time.

international cities i'd want to visit: paris. london. tokyo. kyoto. glasgow. moscow. (note that my father once traveled about as much as my mother - that is to say, barely ever - but then he married a woman who routinely goes on massive global trips, so now he's been to practically everywhere i'd like to visit. sometimes twice. there are no "family trips" when the kids are adults.)

i don't know if i could ever consider that a bucket list; it's mindboggling to me to consider that i'd ever have the funds available for these globetrotting adventures. but then again, i managed to hit several american states in one two-week road trip four years ago, so who knows what could happen in the future? all i know is that in order for me to get out and experience the world, i really need to push to make it happen. i've got three weeks of paid vacation this year, and a prescription for ativan -- here's hoping i'm ready.

[ music | leafs vs. bruins on tv, first intermission ]