Thursday, 25 July 2019

Off to the Exotic Land of Idaho!

You won't hear from me for a while. I'm leaving soon for a family reunion in the States, for ten days of overeating and staying up too late talking and apparently floating down a river on inner-tubes.

I love to travel, and I especially like travelling alone, without having to worry very much about suitcases and timetables. I enjoy watching people and guessing where they're going and why. Airports are full of stories. I like the feeling of striding through the wide hallways, free and contented. I always pack light, just a carry-on. So long as I have my glasses, book, and passport, I'm good.

The selection of a book to take with me is always cause for intense consideration. It has to be engaging enough to keep my attention and distract me through layovers and flight delays. I have a Kindle, but I've never been very fond of it. After staring at a screen all day at work, I just can't cozy up to another screen at bedtime-reading time. I prefer the feel and smell and convenience of paperbacks. So unless I want to haul several books with me, I have to find one long enough to last the trip. That's trickier than it sounds, when I tend to plow through a book every day or two.

I just finished Louise Penny's Gamache series, and now I'm on to A Year in Provence (again!), but it will be done by tonight. What shall I pick next? Am I in the mood for another mystery? Something non-fiction for a while? I should go through my homesteading books and find something encouraging to buoy me up through the impending harvest season.

Books aside, there's so much more to commend itself about travelling. You learn so much and meet people, explore new places, and sometimes you get to flex some linguistic skills. But beyond that, there's that delicious freedom that comes when the plane lifts off the ground and the tiny town below you falls away and you realize you can't weed the garden or do the dishes now. It's all behind you, and now you have nothing you have to think about or do for the next few hours but sit and read nd look out the window. It's a wonderful feeling.

I know people who have to travel a lot for work and find it tiring, but I'm still at the point in life where it's thrilling. What's around the next corner? What will I find when I arrive? What story will I stumble across? And if I'm very lucky, I won't just read on the trip, I'll come home having written.

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