An Introduction to Tuesday Travels
Travel opens my eyes. When I set foot in another city or a different country, I can’t just move along half-aware of my surroundings. Everything comes into sharper focus — the food, the faces of strangers, the smells. And time expands. Because on a trip, everything matters and I am paying attention.
Travel does a body good. But schedules and bank accounts and other responsibilities can easily diminish the possibility of first-person foreign adventures. Thankfully, during those times there are books full of adventures and tales of other places.
So, whether you need to reminisce about places you’ve been, or dream of places you yet long to see — you’re in good company here. Especially on Tuesdays.
Over the years, I have travelled in Canada, Mexico, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Thailand, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Rwanda, Kenya, New Zealand, Sweden and Estonia (mostly in that order). And, I have found a correlation between my response to a country and how well I know and love its literature and poetry. So, it’s no surprise that the UK and Ireland are at the top of my list. Or, that my favourite thing when it comes to travelling is to go back there again (which I have done several times). So, does that mean that if I’m a re-reader, I’m also a re-traveller?
“Stuff your eyes with wonder” Bradbury wrote in Fahrenheit 451. And we are capable of doing so every day, wherever we find ourselves, but I think that the adventure of travel is often the thing that reminds me of the importance of his command.
Perfect example: sunsets. I love sunsets — whether they’re subtle or vibrant, monochrome or rainbow sherbet. And yet, for the most part I’m content to miss seeing the sun set most nights. If I happen to be driving at sunset, I am thankful that I get to watch it unfold, but rarely make an effort to prolong the moment.
But, a few weeks ago I was in Visby, Sweden (on the island of Gotland). The medieval city itself is ridiculously wonderful and I was soaking it up, taking pictures of ruins and red leaves, when my friend, Donna, started noticing the sun setting.
It was just beginning, so everything was awash in a golden luminescence. I can’t remember now exactly how events unfolded but at some point we were practically running to the sea in order to catch the sunset. I felt like I couldn’t get words out, or take pictures fast enough. And I wanted to laugh and jump up and down and be still all at once. That day, I took Bradbury at his word. (The feature image on this post is from that sunset, the one I didn’t let get away.)