Welcome to my 100th post on Blog on the Run! In ten days it will be the one-year anniversary of this blog; it was originally started to document my last-year travels, most of which involved writing workshops and conferences. It has since morphed into what it is today–a self-centered rant on travel and travel planning. This makes sense, as my life has morphed into one big trip-planning fest (and, as an only child, I’ve always been self-centered!)
It is only fitting that I use this post to document yet another important date–my negative one month-a-versary of Europe Trip 2010. One month from right now, I will be sitting in a terminal at JFK, waiting to board a flight to London. But, sadly, two months from right now, I’ll be flying back over the Atlantic on my trip home. Is it wrong to hope that the waiting month goes quickly, but the travel month goes slowly? Perhaps it is not wrong to do so, but it is likely a vain hope. Good thing I’ve already started planning the next trip!
Speaking of which, let’s take a moment to be visited by the ghosts of travel past, present, and future…
Until recently, I never had the desire to travel outside of this country. Heck, we even spent our 2006 honeymoon technically on domestic soil in the great state of Alaska. Though I suppose ‘soil’ isn’t really accurate, as we went on a cruise–‘on domestic astro-turf’ is more appropriate a term. I don’t know when the desire to travel far and wide hit me, though I think it might have something to do with Rick Steves, Samantha Brown, PBS and the Travel Channel (the latter two having replaced The Food Network and HGTV as ‘the only channels I watch’), not to mention the travel section of all of the local book stores. I do know that tourism fest 2009, which was our Thanksgiving weekend trip to DC, rekindled my love of going places, doing things, and seeing sights. We had such a great and productive trip, I began to say things like ‘we should live like this all of the time’. And thus began the planning of The Great Trip of 2010.
Said Great Trip began as a plan for a two-week-long road trip up the New England coast and into Eastern Canada. I’ve talked briefly already about how this transformed into the trip we are now taking, but I failed to mention one small detail about myself–I’m a trip planning junkie. I don’t have the scientific evidence to back this up, but I’m pretty damn sure that the mere act of looking through a tour book and, even more so, the act of actually booking a trip to somewhere–ANYWHERE–triggers the same pleasure centers in my brain that are triggered by things like, say, sex, cocaine, and chocolate. Give me priceline.com and a CAT scan, and I’m sure you’ll discover I am correct.
Which brings us to the present–one month from our Europe trip and two weeks away from Las Vegas. And today, as I sat in yet another bookstore and looked at yet more travel guides, I contemplated both the soon-to-be and the distant future. I found some good tips on weekly email newsletter subscriptions for London and Barcelona, and felt that same pitter-patter of my heart as I perused books titled ‘Flying Solo’ (on women traveling alone) and The Rough Guide to Your First Time Around the World (first time?) It seems I’m always looking forward–possibly too forward, but there’s nothing to be done about that.
As of today, June 13th, 2010, I’m waiting. Waiting to see how I like this whole traveling-out-of-the-country thing. Waiting to see how I feel about being away from home for five weeks. Waiting to see how I like spending a week by myself in a land where I know no one and do not speak the language. I’m waiting and hoping that the outcome is good, because if it is, the next trip will be farther and longer–in a totally non-sexual way. I will end this post with possibly my most frequently written line in all one hundred entries–I could not be more excited!