Monday, April 7, 2014

The Arm-Chair Traveler

I’ve been busy trying to organize my documents and whatnot on my laptop here lately, and I’ve been rediscovering things I had forgotten – among them, the very first thing I ever did for Cherie. She was writing a story and needed to know how a person would go about getting from point A to point B in Rome, and what they would see along the way, how long it would take…that kind of thing.
But it set me thinking about bucket lists. How many of us have put travel, whether to a truly exotic location, or simply to places of interest in our home countries, on ours?

I know there are a TON of places I’d love to visit – natural wonders like the Grand Canyon or Hawaii or the Alps, the great art of the world, places where people I admire lived or wrote  or traveled – but the truth is I don’t want to actually GO to those places. I would have to deal with the confinement of travel (I’ve done East Coast to West Coast on a plane, pregnant, with a toddler and a preschooler, and then the reverse by car with 3 kids under 10, my husband, 2 cats, a large dog, and a U-Haul. UGH.) and I really really hate the idea of the seething masses of complete strangers I would have to put up with. I’ve read about the lines to get into some of the major art museums, thanks but no thanks.

And that’s the glory of the internet, isn’t it? We can see all those things we long to see, perhaps at one (or more) step of removal, but close enough for most of us. Many of us might manage to afford to actually make ONE of the trips we long to make (hubby and I want to go to England, mostly because there’s a tank museum), but all of them? I suppose that’s rather like reaching for the stars.

Isn’t there a saying about that? Something about reaching for the stars, but aiming for the moon? That seems apt, somehow.

Anyway, along with sorting through random bits and pieces on my computer, I’ve also been sorting through my ebooks (I suspect this will take For.Ev.Er.) and slowly trying to read them all & make teeny little reviews on Calibre (isn’t Calibre awesome? That they have a place you can do that, I mean, even besides the rating thing, which I don’t really use that much, but I’m trying to). And here lately, I seem to be accidentally reading a lot of travelers or expats or a combination of the two. It’s kind of making me want to go somewhere, but at the same time, many of the stories are all adventuresome, which, honestly? Kids and pets and hubby are MORE than enough adventure for me, along with the occasional trip to meet a friend for lunch somewhere, so that part is less than appealing.

What things are on your bucket list? And do you actually WANT to do all those things, deep in darkest recesses of your heart, or are they more a “reaching for the stars” kind of thing? What have you read that sparked a desire to explore a specific place, or fed that desire, or satiated it? Is it enough to read and maybe explore by computer, or do you need the actual physical presence?

Also, will we be seeing you in October in Chicago? 

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