Frequently someone asks, “Do you have any vacation plans?” I usually disappoint them with a simple “No”. Sometimes the questioners are disappointed, other times they are relieved that they are not the only ones without such plans.
My husband and I reminisce about our many wonderful trips in the past. We have been North (North Pole above Norway - Reindeer) and South (Antarctic below Argentina – Penguins). We have been West (Australia – Kangaroos) and East (Middle East - Hot – People). We have been many places between those geographic extremes: Mountains and museums, trees and towers, rivers and ravines, glaciers and gorges, caves and cathedrals. It was all fun on planes, trains, boats, helicopters, carriages, wagons, rubber rafts, buses, automobiles, horses and on foot. Fresh caught salmon over an open fire and elegant tea in a manor house were equally enjoyed. We slept in grand hotels, old castles, tiny cabins, and youth hostels. Group tours, Do-it-yourself tours, With kids, Without kids. No trip, long or short, has ever been regretted.
Honestly though, the physical difficulties of traveling have become more troublesome in recent years and I no longer have a need to escape. My curiosity about strange places and alien cultures can be satisfied at home in front of the TV or in a good book.
With the wonders of High Definition TV, we can get the most wonderful aerial views of places we’ve been and those we missed. Docent-led tours of world famous art museums, cathedrals, and underground wonders are all available at the touch of a button. My husband greatly enjoys the huge selection of concerts by the very best orchestras and musicians on Medici.tv or with the Berlin Philharmonic (subscriptions). It is also interesting to see the varied audiences around the world. Meanwhile there are no canceled flights, long lines, museum fatigue, blisters, heat, lost luggage, or sudden illness in strange circumstances.
Ok, Ok. I know. We do not taste, smell, touch, meet, or buy - the food, air-pollution, fabrics, people, or souvenirs. You may say this is all sour grapes. Nevertheless, I am content and I want to do what works for now, not repeat what worked then.