“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson
I spent a couple hours today engrossed in one of my favorite pastimes…researching travel. I get nearly as much joy from researching trips as I do from actually taking them. I love to learn about other places. Like my son, I am obsessed with Google Earth. As much as I love Colorado (and I do love it), I need to escape it three to four times a year. I simply need a change of scenery. It doesn’t matter where I go, either. I don’t have to travel to an exotic locale for it to count. Nor do I have to travel somewhere I’ve never been before. I just need to “Get out of Dodge.”
Today I was captivated thinking about a trip we’ll be taking to Boston in October. The official reason for the trip is to attend our friend Jeff’s wedding. Steve and I have never been to New England before, though, so we have a lot to read up on before we go. I am the type of traveler who likes to learn about the area I am traveling to. I research things to do, places to visit, and historical facts. When I get there, I’m then prepared to go with where the spirit leads me as the mood strikes and the weather approves. I suppose I could buy our plane tickets and we could wing it completely, but I’m not that spontaneous when finances are involved. Although it wouldn’t be the world’s worst thing if we ended up staying in a fleabag motel because we didn’t have reservations anywhere, I’d prefer a reliable and well-reviewed B&B if I can get it.
If my life ever comes to a point when I am unable to travel, I will continue to use books and the Internet to go places in my mind. I will get on Google Earth or pick up a travel book and I will envision being somewhere else. I will travel to Bora Bora and stay in a hut over the water. I will drop myself onto streets in Paris or Vienna and explore. I will glide over the vast wilderness of Africa and put myself into a world without Starbucks, 24-hour grocery stores, and homes with two-car garages. I will still get out of Dodge because I have to. I live for the opportunity to escape. Sometimes the only way to get perspective is to step back far enough that the entire picture comes into view. I know that travel (even mental travel) isn’t always easy or pleasant; but, sometimes you have to put on an itchy lambswool sweater to remember how good cashmere feels.