I had the rare pleasure of travelling by myself this weekend. I love a good, long car trip with only my book on tape and the radio for company! When Big Red was alive, I enjoyed his quiet company, too.
On Friday, I indulged the pleasure by stopping at few stores that looked interesting and I made a couple of side trips. One to a picturesque bay-side town with a pretty beach and another to a bird refuge with a great visitors center and hiking trails.
The weather yesterday did not cooperate, so I didn't do much else other than drive, but even that was pleasant.
On the drive, I first finished reading Eclipse - the third book in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. Although I really don't like the series very much, the occasional descriptions of the Northwest Pacific forests entranced me. Next, I "read" a few discs of one of the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency books and enjoyed the descriptions of hot, dry Botswana -- as different from Forks, WA as you can get! After awhile, I needed a change from Precious Ramotswe because the reader was wonderful, but her gentle voice was not what I needed on the long drive. So, I put in Krakatoa, a non-fiction book about the violent volcanic eruption in 1873 that affected the entire world. The descriptions of life in the South Pacific islands and Southeast Asia totally captivated me.
While listening to each of these books, I found myself imagining travelling there. Just me and my camera. I could see myself wandering around, taking photos, soaking up the local flavor, eating native foods and drinking the local coffee or tea, all while watching people and getting in touch with the rhythm of life in that particular corner of the world.
As you can tell, I love to travel. It's not even that I find it merely enjoyable. It's that I feel actually ALIVE when I'm travelling, especially in a new place. I feel more like ME at those times than any others. Without all the trappings and anchors of the life I've built around me, I can be the person I really am. Like moss on a stone or barnacles on a pier, the inertia attempts to overtake me and I find that only by breaking out of my normal routine can I really appreciate the world around me.
Right now, we are studiously paying down our debt, so there is little chance that I'll be setting off for any very exotic ports of call in the near future. Maybe next year, when all we'll have is mortgage debt; maybe then I'll be able to slip away to somewhere foreign and exotic and new. Until then, I'm going to have to make the best of the small opportunities I have -- a new park, a few stolen hours in the city, my neighborhood in the early morning hours.
And....... I can read and dream and plan.