Travel. Ha.

Travel. How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt)

For those of you just joining us, this year’s traveling gong, er, ROADshow is well documented here and here.

I don’t think I will be traveling anywhere next year. Except maybe maximum an hour out of town to try camping again. SA is sure as hell not traveling anywhere either, so no one invite him because he won’t come.

Here are the places at the top of my list for ‘someday.’

– Chicago

Because I went there for a day in 1999 and it was electrifying, even more so than Greased Lightning and that is really saying something.

– Paris

I went to Paris, France for two weeks when I was in grade 11. We did an exchange with a grade 11 class there. I lived with a girl whose dad was a cab driver. He had one of those twirly, waxed mustaches and he chain-smoked from his easy chair and he served martinis to Canadian girls of only 15. The streets were dirty and crooked and the people gestured wildly about everything and sneered a lot and it made me so very happy to be there. I have wanted to go back ever since.

– Oregon

All of it. I want to walk up and down its coastline, drinking Rogue beer, smiling broadly.

– the Qu’appelle Valley

In Saskatchewan. We were going to camp there this summer but it didn’t happen. It is this amazing dip in the prairie, lush and green and – I gotta say it – it’s Biblical. It is A Valley of Biblical Proportions. Hey, Saskatchewan Tourism, hire me!

– Italy

Specifically, to my dad’s hometown, but anywhere would be fine.

– Sweden

I love the idea of Sweden. I think it’s because I watched too much Swedish Chef growing up. Bork bork bork.

– Newfoundland

Giant waves, huge wind, crazy fog, burly dogs, heavy sweaters. It’s the other coast. I want to have a cabin there, full of big blankets and empty of furniture and stocked with cast iron pots, tea, books, and maybe a radio.

– Scotland

So I could appall any number of people with my atrocious Scottish accent. And look up the other half of my ancestry. And bury my face in the side of a sheep and drink some Scotch and run across a field hollering “Heathcliff!”

– Australia

To see if I could find the wall in Melbourne where my old pen pal wrote my name with spray paint.

I also wouldn’t turn up my nose at just about anywhere else in the world, although I have never felt particularly drawn to Asian countries. I can say “hello” and “thank you” and “what is that” in Japanese so it wouldn’t be the end of the world if someone kidnapped me and took me to Japan.

I love traveling. I love cleaning out the sink and saying “goodbye house” and proceeding into the unknown. I love packing and unpacking. I love airplanes. I love tiny spaces, like on planes and buses, that are only for me. I love that shiver of fear that passes over me when I think about the plane crashing. Seriously. The anticipation is a quarter of the fun.

Disclaimer: All of those things? I love doing on my own. Traveling with children is different. So far, I don’t love it as much. When they are older, I hope we can travel more. I won’t have to worry about being the screaming baby lady. I won’t have to pack four thousand crackers for a two hour flight. I hope that we can afford to take a train somewhere someday, and drive our car across the country with a clear conscience, and not have to subject ourselves to ridiculous screening exercises in order to take airplanes.

I hope, too, that travel will be as exciting for my kids as it was for me growing up. I traveled a lot when I was a kid and it wasn’t always roses but it did create in me a desire to see other places and be other places. Be with the people who live in those places, see how they live. Drink their coffee and play their jukeboxes.

It’s not about seeing X attraction or Y place on the map for me. I saw Graceland but what I remember is the look of people walking around with headsests on, listening to the guided tour, completely apart from the other tourists in the room. I saw the Grand Canyon but what I remember is the guy in the campsite who said to me, “It’s a big ol’ hole, innit.”

It’s about smelling or feeling something that you can’t experience just by reading about it or looking at pictures. Eating local food, touching sand that is finer than any you would find on a West coast beach, watching storms gather from hundreds of kilometres away, picking up the local free paper and reading about the guy that got arrested last Friday night for stealing someone’s garden gnome.

OK now I need to go somewhere.

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