This trip to Sweden (and England and Scotland) has been in the planning for months. Listening to it all (via phone) from this end, why, I feel almost as if I’ve gone myself.
I’ve been asked these questions a lot:
You’re not going?
There are a number of reasons, but what it boils down to is the main one, to my way of thinking:
Why would I spend $4000 on a trip that the idea of does not excite me in the least?
I’d rather hang onto my cash and go somewhere I’m interested in going, when I’m interested in going.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t mind seeing other places in the world, though I’ve no craving to do so; it’s what am I willing to put up with in order to see them? I don’t like large busy cities or crowded places teeming with tourists and airports aren’t my favourite places and flying doesn’t appeal to me much. So if and when I do go somewhere, it’ll have to be because I really want to. Not because I’m afraid I’ll miss something if I don’t.
World travel is not on my bucket list and hasn’t been since I was 23 and had been rootless and living/travelling around Canada, the US, and Mexico and, as much as it was great to see landscapes different from what I was used to, it wasn’t all that exciting after a while. Yes there are many beautiful places. There are. Gorgeous, stunning, breathtaking, surprising places; some that can send a shiver down your spine when you sense the ghostly footsteps of history there.
But in coming to recognize my deepest needs and desires, I realized that what I was really after was a place to call home. Now that I have it, it’s the place I want to be. I don’t believe I’m “stuck in my comfort zone” by virtue of not collecting travel stickers on my suitcase. I’m well aware of how it feels to be on the road for weeks at a time, and … no, thank you. Not right now.
To those for whom world travel is satisfying and exciting, you go! I understand the sense of adventure you might get from it, or even the pure pleasure of being in an unfamiliar but beautiful land. I haven’t ventured off this continent, but I do remember the wonder of discovering places so different from my own environment, and other cultures, and their foods, and their animals.
Nevertheless, the thought of this trip didn’t light up the old fire. One side of my family immigrated from Sweden; they came from a district not far from where Scott’s ancestors lived and where he went to meet up with the living relatives. As interested as I am in the generations that came before me, I’ve no hankering to go to Hammersdahl, Sweden. Not right now.
My big holiday this year? I’m taking two. (No, three: Kelowna counts.)
Emil and I are going out to Alberta for a week next month. He’ll stay with his dad in St. Albert and I’ll go see my girlfriends. It’ll be a long drive – seven or eight hours to Edmonton, and I’ll be driving several hours north of there – I hope Little Green holds up.
I’m looking forward with the sweetest anticipation to the four nights in August after we return. I’ve booked that lakefront cabin with the big deck overlooking the water, as I’ve done in the past two summers. It’s going to cost $400 — an amount affordable without withdrawing any of my RRSPs, therefore much more financially sensible than going overseas — and I will be far more content there, in one place, starting a fire in the pit early each morning, watching the sun glint off the waves all day, than I would be jaunting around Europe. That is heaven to me. It’s the most luxury I could ever have.
I guess I’m a cheap date.
And then there’s what’s happening right here at home: