Thursday, February 14, 2013

Packing My Bags

Appropriately and serendipitously, Norah Jones is singing “Come away with me” to me through my speakers right now. Huh.

New Orleans was charmed. All the conditions were perfect for an unforgettable trip: a native for a tour guide, a Garden District maison, my lifelong bestie as one of my fellow travelers (plus the whole reason the trip got to happen in the first place—thanks again, J!), and my safe and very sensible introduction to alcohol. But it was also ages ago. I have probably forgotten much more about our adventures than I can now remember.

London was incredible. It was thrilling to be among the buildings and books and bustle I’d read about and hungered for all my life. I’m still inept at putting my brief time there into words. But it was also grimy. After a day on the Tube, a young lady’s handkerchief wasn’t a pleasant sight to behold.

Stratford, Ontario, was a fairytale. The Boy and I nerded out on theatre, ate wonderful food, walked the whole city hither and yon, chatted with sweet little ducks and fled from big evil swans, sipped wine at dusk at our B&B, and had an enormously blissed-out honeymoon. But it was also crystallized. I’m afraid to go back there, honestly, in case it’s not as perfect the second time around.

Glacier National Park was coming home. My inaugural visit there was actually a premonition—I moved within three hours of it 11 months after setting foot in it for the first time—as well as the start of a still-torrid love affair with wild mountains, midsummer snow, and huckleberries. My sister and I should have put out a comedy album based on our shenanigans … we had that much fun. I don’t feel quite right if I don’t get there at least once a year. But it’s also changing. Don’t click this link if you don’t feel like thinking about global warming.

Seattle was a whirlwind. Everywhere I went was fascinating and crowded; somehow it made me feel more like a local than I had any right to in such a metropolis where I only spent a few days. But it was also depressing. I’ve never seen so many panhandlers in one weekend and on such well-to-do streets.

What I’m realizing about this Wonder, and what Norah was saying, is that in the end, it doesn’t really matter where any of us actually goes. There’s clearly a theme. My favorite place to travel in the world? Somewhere—anywhere, almost—with family/friends in tow.

1 comment:

G Love said...

I actually almost listed Glacier instead of Yosemite. It was a toss-up. But I didn't want to steal your potential thunder!! ;)