Sunday, March 21, 2010

Travel Plans

“We’re closing”, she says, “Do you have a quick question?” 

The travel agent takes us into her gaze, a moment away from finishing the paperwork for a Spring Break get-away to a giddy twenty-something couple. Translation:  I have better things to do on a Saturday night.  And we too, had plans.  To waste her time, asking question after question about good travel deals. 

Her lack of attention pushes us toward the surrounding walls.  Rob and I browse through the towering brochures, displayed floor to ceiling, as the covers beckon us to other worlds.

We can’t believe these thick glossies are there for the taking.  Plucking one from the shelf, fanning pages, a whisper of a breeze against my cheek as the scenery blurs. Reaching for another title with the first clenched under my arm.   Neither of us even has the pretense of browsing now, as one copy after the other joins the heavy bundles cradled on our hips.

Exiting quickly.  Laughing ourselves silly on the street. Driving home and splaying the publications across the floor. 

Confronted with so many choices:  villas in Tuscany, estates in Normandy, spices in Tunisia, music in the streets of  Barcelona, hiking in the hills of Ulster. Making the pilgrimage to mosques and temples and churches in the Holy Land.

The travel photos are selling dreams come true.  What’s your pleasure? Yoga? Gardens? History? Art? Food? Wine? Music?  Romance? Enlightenment?  The world awaits.

I'm paralyzed by choice.

Travel by land: on foot, bicycle, car or coach.  Floating: on a rented barge, a chartered sailboat, a luxury cruise, an intimate riverboat. 

Catching a glimpse of the Great Wall of China, Ramses’ Tomb, Stonehenge, the Leaning Tower of Pisa... zooming in with Google Earth, these visits are easier than ever to tick off the list.

I want more than just the bragging rights, I want more than to stick a pin in a map and say I’ve been there, done that.

I want to dance under the Northern Lights in Ryshevik.  Stand by all those crumbling castle walls and feel the light fall on my skin.  Wonder at each and every flower in Monet’s Giverny garden as it opens in the sun.

I know.  I want the impossible:  to go to all these places, to be everywhere, all at once. Embodying each eternal moment.

‘Now’ is somewhere else, waiting just around the corner, in some distant promised land.


The Clever Pup said...

Paralysed by choice - good way of putting it but isn't it a good problem to have. Hubby and I were talking about this yesterday. Where should we go? With or without the boy? Sooner rather than later?

I want to see everything. Sometimes I think I'd rather go on my own, but I know I'd be horribly lonely.

Where is the location of the river cruise above? Is it the Rhine near Koln?

By the way - I got your Psst message again. I couldn't see the bad link. My email is messed up this week any way.

Diane said...

Not sure of the exact location... I suspect Germany can pinpoint the exact location. the site I pulled from didn't name it, either... has photos and videos