On a personal level, one of the most significant bummers of 2020 has been scrapping my original travel plans.
Okay, sure. I did take a truly mini getaway last week; and while it was a bright spot in the summer and lovely in many ways, it was vastly different from what I planned and deeply insufficient to scratch my ever-abiding travel itch.
In the grand scheme of what’s going on in the world, this may not sound like the biggest deal. But if you grew up reading that inspirational story about individual starfish getting thrown back into the sea, you know that while personal impact is not everything, it’s also not nothing.
Most of us haven’t been much of anywhere this year, and I suspect that I’m now at a dangerous emotional tipping point: as soon as everything opens back up, I’ll be ready to go anywhere with anybody.
Any trip, any time. Real or fictional, possible, impossible, or totally imaginary.
I’d go anywhere with anybody.
I’d time-travel back to when my nieces and nephews were still babies and re-take that family road trip in which that plastic number-counting toy was stuck under the luggage for eighteen hours straight, and every time we went over a bump, it bleated, “THREE! THREE! TH—TH—THR—THREE!”
I’d chaperone large groups of church teens on weekend camping trips in Florida swamps and never complain once!
I would walk 500 miles.
And I would walk 500 more.
I’d hike the Appalachian Trail with that woman from the dermatologist’s office who wouldn’t stop loud-voice talking about politics.
I’d picnic in Mordor.
I’d consider climbing Everest.
I’d let Mr. Collins give me a tour of Rosings Park.
I’d join the Little Prince on his boring little planet and stare at his silly little plants.
I would sail the seas with the Dread Pirate Roberts (any holders of the title thereof).
I’d take a vacation rental with my high school lab partner, who famously took the frog we were supposed to be dissecting, stripped its skin from the waist down, and made it dance around the blue rubber mat of our dissecting pan, singing, “I have no pants!”
I’d sail the Pacific on a bamboo raft with pretty much the next person who asks.
As you can see, I’m in dire straits. (Sailing pun absolutely intended. That’s where we are, folks.)
Until the days of safe passage return, I’ll just be over here, curled around my travel journals and snuggling this stack of international cookbooks, keeping my sanity stitched together one lush food photo and one scribbled memory at a time.