Posts Tagged ‘trips’

Two things I’m struggling with during this time: being unable (or deeming it unwise) to travel very far, and – related – having no fun travel plans to look forward to.

Like a lot of folks, I had to cancel several planned trips when the coronavirus hit the U.S.: a work trip to NYC, pleasure excursions to D.C. and California, a beach vacation with my family. I did squeeze in a day up in Salem with my guy, before the restrictions really clamped down, but I haven’t been on a plane since Christmas, and who knows when I’ll get to hug my family in Texas, or other far-flung friends, again.

It’s a first-world problem for sure. I am healthy, I am safe, I have a steady job and health insurance and plenty of food, or the means to acquire it. I know all this, and I am grateful for it. But I am missing my annual dose of California sunshine and flowers (I usually take a trip there in the spring), not to mention my West Coast girlfriends. I’m craving the wide-open skies of my West Texas hometown, and my nephews’ excited chatter about bikes and board games and Disney movies. I’m longing for the bustling streets of Manhattan (though I know they’re not bustling right now), or the excitement of packing a bag and heading somewhere entirely new.

None of us know, of course, how long it will be till we can travel freely again without putting ourselves and others at risk. So, for now, I’m losing myself in the occasional travel memoir or novel set in a faraway place, and dreaming of future trips that take me farther than the grocery store.

Are you missing travel during these strange times?

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Back at home

Back from two wonderful, sometimes chaotic, action-packed but also peaceful weeks. Back from wading in the Bahia de la Concha, making footprints in damp sand, and taking photos of Jeremiah as he jumped all the way in. (Brrr!) Back from crowded pintxo restaurants filled with cigarette smoke and red wine. Back from practicing my Spanish and talking to Trent, our Australian hostel roommate, and watching the sunlight on the water. Back from seeing Jersey Boys in London, laughing and weeping and singing along to “Sherry Baby” and “Oh What a Night.”

Back from – before that – a whole week in Oxford, still my favourite place and my soul’s home. Back from three nights in the basement flat in House 10, dinners with Mike and Jacque, hooting with laughter over episodes of Fawlty Towers. Back from hugging Janine and walking to On the Hoof for a Tom’s Le Club sandwich and a chat with Clara. Back from afternoons in University Parks and surprise English thunderstorms, and scones and tea with Sally at Queen’s Lane. Back from hours of chat with the lovely Lizzie, a day trip to Wales for a fantastic wedding (our Jo’s), and lots of laughter with Sarah and Grace in a formal garden. Back from another wedding, this one at St Aldates, with a sermon by the unmatchable Simon and a rockin’ dance party afterward. (My favourite little black dress, pressed into service on so many occasions, once again played its part with grace and aplomb.)

Back from snuggling baby Ella during the morning service at St Aldates, and worshiping with both hands flung to heaven in the evening service. From lunch in Laura and Owen’s tiny flat, nestled on top of Charlie and Anita’s house like a baby bird. Back from four nights on Lara and Jacob’s futon, from hot chocolate at G&D’s, from a cup of tea on Simon and Tiffany’s sofa, from books at Blackwells and tea at Whittard and a new, green-patterned pashmina. (Well, those last few objects came home with me.) Back, and wishing I were still there, yet glad to be back in my house, on my street, in warm West Texas, to savour these last bits of summer. (Well, who am I kidding? Summer, despite what the calendar says, will linger here for at least another month.)

Instead of my usual cleaning-laundry-organizing-readjustment frenzy, I’ve been trying to follow Jen’s advice – her post on What To Do When You Get Home has been my mantra. Rest and silence first; then stories; then a bit of unpacking and shopping (for fresh fruit and other essentials) and laundry, not even because I have to, but because it helps ground me, put me back more firmly in my own dwelling space and time zone. A bit of knitting; a few Friends episodes; simple homemade meals; sorting things out gradually and putting my life back in order. But not in exactly the same order. Some things have shifted; I don’t know exactly what they are yet, but I know this trip has changed me, as all trips should. I’m trying to sit with that a while and let it enter my body, my consciousness, while being present in the moment, and the realities of life and work and church and friends here. (And coffee night tonight – to which I am so looking forward.)

May you find rest today, in the midst of wherever you are, be it routine, packing, unpacking or another transition. I’ll be back soon with more stories and photos. Blessings to you all, and a big thank-you to my guest bloggers who kept things lively around here while I was away.

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This is where I’m going soon.

April 08 472

May 2008 627

may day girls

I can’t wait.

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I think we’re going somewhere
We’re on to something good here
Out of mind, out of state
Trying to keep my head on straight
I think we’re going somewhere
We’re on to something good here
There’s only one thing left to do
Drop all I have and go with you

Somewhere back there I left my worries all behind
My problems fell out of the back of my mind
We’re going and I’m never knowing where we’re going
To go back to where I was would just be wrong
I’m pressing on

-Relient K, “Pressing On”

I’m pressing on to Longview in less than an hour – to go visit Jeremiah and Bethany! Blessings on the weekend, everyone!

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