Friday, May 19, 2006

Weekend away, or Why I hate to travel

We are heading off to Yorkshire again for the weekend, so, obviously, don't expect much in terms of the blog for Saturday and possibly Sunday. I actually get fewer hits on the weekend, so maybe this disclaimer really doesn't matter. It's funny how I make going to Yorkshire sound like heading off to the African jungle. There will be no broadband there. The heathens. We are staying with Fil and MIlee's mansion again. All that money and they don't have broadband. They just have a very old and slow laptop from her work and an even slower dial-up connection. There's no hope, none at all.

I know, we were just down there. But Grandma has gone into a home to recuperate because she broke her knee. As delightful as she is, she doesn't deal well with new people. I think having gone from living rather independently to now living with others might be a shock and I hope she's not depressed or anything. So we're going down to call in on her.

But I'm pissed off. Not about visit Grandma. She's a fab person, as I might have told you previously (refer to 31/03/06 post called My weekend, AKA My in-laws). I'm pissed off about travelling there.

I know I'm getting really old because I don't travel well these days. I'm almost getting like my father in the fact that I'm beginning not to like to travel. I like being here (at home) and I like being there (wherever I go), but I hate the journey a lot of times. Hellish. For example, Christmas trip to Roma was fantastic, but flying a low budget carrier right before New Year's is crazy. And, you might remember, Boy and I don't have the best track record when it comes to travelling. We tend to miss trains and planes and such.

The thing is, I actually really love to travel and have rad memories of travelling when I was a child. We did loads of car trips to visit my grandparents and other family members and my sister and I had a very bizarre game that involved overpasses and "getting ready" for them with our dollies when we were little. When we got a bit older, it was the only time my parents let us get horribly sugary and wretched processed foods, of which I was very thankful. In uni, I once took my friend a.t.w. on an impromptu trip to Athens, GA, after we were reminiscing of our high school love of REM (no, we did not manage to see them, though we were hoping to). And there was a routine I had when I was leaving my parents' house to head back to uni or home: leisurely wake up; have lunch with my ma; fill the car's tank (she'd usually pay for it -- yay!); get some snacks or stop off at McDonald's or Chick-Fil-A (cos you don't normally do it, but hey, you're travelling and you're entitled to some crappy food); listen to some jams, singing along. All in all, a great time.

There is no such freedom when travelling by train, which is the only way we travel long distances these days since renouncing the automobile (well, more like not having enough money to have an automobile and less like renouncing it altogether). You have to be there at a certain time or you miss it. And if you miss it, you're more than likely to have to spend more money in order to make it. Travelling by car obviously has no such conditions. I remember yet another a.t.w. visit in which I left at midnight in order to make a 8 AM class. Crazy, but made it.

So now I have to prepare so much more because so much more outwith my control. I could not control the icing of the wings to our flight to Rome, nor could I control that our flight was an hour and a half late on the return trip. I can't control construction on the rail lines that hold me up for hours. That can cause stress, so I don't want to experience any additionally undue stress. Because for me, travel is about fun and freedom. It's special and different from my mundane, day-to-day existence and I don't want the stress of my everyday life infusing this lovely time. But when you're with another person, especially who does not subscribe to your perfect idea of travel, it can be fucking irritating.

Boy is clearly in the "all's well that ends well" camp -- a very Yorkshire mindset. In essence, "We got here but with no shampoo, toothbrush or clean kacks cos we were too busy to pack. But we're here!" I, myself, can very forgetful about the little details of travel and I might not remember each and every fucked up thing that has happened since we have started to travel together. But I do remember the feelings I have -- anger, stress, sadness, anguish, worry, anxiety. And it clouds all my journeys, and, ultimately, my visit. Once again, we will be meeting at the station; he's coming from work. And he doesn't leave work very well. Let's hope this time I won't be standing on the platform waving to him as he's on the train heading away. And yes, that did really happen once.


Anonymous Amah said...

Sorry to hear Grandma had to move into a home. Is this a permanent move or just temporary until her knee heals?

Travel can be fun if your mindset is "whatever happens I'm not gonna let it ruin my day." Also, agree to meet at a specific place at the train station (under the clock, in front of gate whatever) at 15 minutes before the train is suppose to leave the station. You have mobiles now, call him for his ETA (estimated time of arrival).

Pack the night before. Fun requires forward planning. If I left packing to the Dad, we'd have to buy new things every time we travel.

Learn to control the things you can control and have fun with the rest. You can't make a plane arrive on time, you can't make a bus go faster. Sit back and smell the roses along the way.

P.S. If we didn't distract you and your sis with the overpass game, you'd have been bored the first 1/2 hour of the 13-hour trip.

Friday, 19 May 2006 at 23:01:00 BST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know all these things you're saying. It's my husband who doesn't!

Grandma is only temporarily in the home, but no-one is yet sure what will happen when her 12 weeks are up.

Saturday, 20 May 2006 at 16:41:00 BST  

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