Flat gigi (the ideal way to travel)

August 29, 2010 at 4:00 pm (Book Commentary, Travel) (, , , , , , , , )

For the most part, I enjoyed my recent trip to Scotland. A lot of my fear centered on the “how” of getting there. If I would have had the time, i would have preferred to go by ship. It’s not the flying I minded as much as the complications around flying. Flying seems less civilized than it use to.

To go by ship, even though this would have meant a longer journey, seems calmer. I like to go places slowly. It helps me to acclimate. I hate going to sleep in one country and waking up in another. Though, not sleeping on the plane was worse. On my Scotland trip, I slept the whole way there because our plane was around eight hours late leaving. We all slept. On the way back, even though I lost time (such a strange concept – losing time), I only slept a little bit. After that I was bored and wanted to consistently whine – “Are we there yet?’

On a ship, there would have been time and space to wander in.

In my everyday life, I am a walker.

I walk to work in the morning; rain or sleet or snow or heat. I walk home in the afternoon; spring, summer, fall and winter. I walk to the shops – I’ve walked over two hours once or twice because it was nice and I was too impatient to wait and wait for the bus. I occasionally take the bus; if it is too humid and hot or when the wind chill is minus too darn cold to tolerate. I took a taxi last time to my doctor as it was an early morning appointment. I do not own a car. I do not want a car. I would consider car sharing – I do drive. I have on occasion rented a car.

I have always been a walker. I come from poverty. I grew up in a small town. My mother did not own a car or drive until I was a teenager. I walked miles out of town to see friends. I babysat and walked the girls to the pool every summer. I enjoy the quietness of walking. I don’t use headphones. I listen to the city. I am aware of my surroundings…

that is, when I don’t have my head in the clouds, day dreaming or my nose in a book that I just can’t put down even for a second. I ramble in my everyday life.

Why shouldn’t I then also want to ramble in my travels? I want the journey to be as pleasant, as leisured, and as slow as the destination. Or I want the travel to be instantaneous; one minute here; the next minute there. Like using the transporter on Star Trek…

I would worry though about my bits getting scrambled on the way. I wouldn’t want to arrive somewhere looking like I’ve gone through a fence.

So, how to travel without the stress of traveling when I have no time to meander? I like Flat Stanley‘s solution. Oh, to just be able to mail yourself somewhere. This is the no risk way to see the world. Shh; don’t spoil my happy with talk of logistics.

I’ve gone to the Flat Stanley website and printed off Flat Gran, who looks the most like me, and I think the next time I get the urge to travel I will send her off first to reconnoiter.

I want to travel. I want to see the world.

I want to know who walked here.


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