Monday, June 10, 2013

Seeing the World

I was asked last week where I'm planning to travel to in the future.  Currently, I have no plans for this summer, though I'd like to go somewhere if possible.

Next summer, I'll go to Ireland, England, Wales, and France.  It's a packaged tour, and I wish I could convince some friends to go with me, some even more than others, of course.   It's a teacher/student/parent type of deal, and anyone else we know who wants to come along.  :) 

Why am I going? Well, other than the UK and France being ancestral homes (ooh, doesn't that sound grand?), I just enjoy seeing new and different places.  And as Eddie Izzard says, it's "where the history comes from!"  Haha. :)

Right now, for this summer, I'd be glad to go just about anywhere.  I'd still like to go to New Orleans, maybe to a beach, tent camping, or maybe even just to my family's lake house, which is only a couple of hours away from here.  I just don't want to go alone.  That's where things begin to be slightly out of my hands.  I can request all I like, and that's about all it's worth.

I was in the mountains a month ago and really enjoyed myself there, though as a chaperone I had no freedom outside of my own very comfy suite.  I wouldn't have minded sharing a room with the other chaperone -- she's a sweet lady -- but I suppose it's like getting your own room all to yourself for the first time when you've been used to sharing.  It's just a breath of fresh air, especially when you're staying in such a nice hotel. I felt like a giddy little girl when I had time to myself, alone in my room. Yep, like a fairy tale princess, just like my giant bedroom furniture makes me feel. :)

For many years, I heard various people say that they would travel when they retired.  And I thought about that....

What if I make it long enough to officially retire, and I'm physically unable to travel and see all of the places I've heard about all of my life?  

Right now, my hips are killing me... I took my dog for a walk a little while ago and didn't get down the street before the pain in my right hip made me limp.  I'm not sure if it's just a misalignment or if it's arthritis rearing up.  I've been hurting from this for about three years, so if it's going to be chronic, it'll hamper my desire to travel.

I'd rather not live with regrets of things I could have done but didn't.  I've already got too many regrets of things I missed out on.  Experiences that had a narrow window of opportunity that will never come again, and all I can do is block them out of my conscious mind.  Oh, but they still plague me in my dreams, thank you very much.  :)

Where do I want to go? Anywhere in Europe, Scandinavia, Asia, South America, Australia, the Caribbean (again, sure!), Hawaii, Alaska.... Anywhere I've never been.  :). Some places I've already been, because I'm sure I didn't do them justice when I was there.  I suppose you could say I just don't want to sit home anymore, and I love all the little details of travel.

I love airports and the variety of shops they have to browse in, though I prefer to find an actual seat other than the floor when I have a wait ahead of me.  Airplanes fascinate me, especially the novelty of the compact bathroom, except for the fact that I know it's an unsanitary place and I only go there if I have to.  It's the gadgets. I get a kick out of gadgets.  I also like the challenge of packing very light and still having all the amenities I need on a typical day.  

However, I did leave behind my dryer and curling iron and took bobby pins instead.  Not a fabulous look for me, but I had less of a packing hassle and happily carried on both of my bags.  So when we landed in Milan and half our group's checked bags never arrived, while they were searching baggage carousels and asking for help, I washed my face, brushed my teeth, put on a little makeup, and generally refreshed myself.  :D

Even though the bathrooms were strange to me in Italy and I never wanted to use the bidet (it was the communal hand towel they provided which icked me out), they were still pretty interesting. Our Venice-area hotel had teak flooring and a wall-mounted heated towel rack.  (And a window which was very peek-able for everyone passing by on the sidewalk, LOL) The Florence hotel had a shower with a tiny little corner door opening.  And the Rome hotel had a toilet tank hanging near the ceiling while the shower was incredibly dark.  I was a bit wary that the tank was going to fall on my head.  What a situation to be found dead in, eh?  

Our hotels didn't use electronic key cards.  They had keys and massive key fobs that had to be turned in at the desk whenever we left.  Besides, who would want to carry around a pound of keyring when site seeing?

Still, I'd love to go back there someday. :). There were lots of things I didn't pay enough attention to, but I was overwhelmed and exhausted much of the time.  See, that's something I'd like to rectify.  I need to travel with lots of energy, and if I wait until I retire (70 1/2, if my life never changes for the better) I will be in no shape to walk hours each day.  

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