On Maybe, Possibly Travelling Again
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Of all the roles I’ve ever played in my life the role of traveller or travel enthusiast has been my favourite. It’s also one I haven’t played in a while, you know due to reasons.
The last overnight trip I took was back in June 2019 when I went to Montreal for a few days thanks to a contest I won. In 2020 I didn’t go anywhere, for obvious reasons (aside from a quick day trip to see my grandparents). On the way home from my one and only trip of that year I took a different route than normal just for a change of scenery. In the before times I loved to travel and I loved to plan out trips. When I couldn’t travel I’d listen to people talk about their vacations, read travel blogs and stories, all that. Back then I had a lot of anxiety when I wasn’t in travel (or travel planning) mode. I don’t know if it was the impetuousness of youth, or maybe something else. Now it’s been reversed. I used to be anxious not travelling; now I’m anxious to travel.
Back in 2019 on cyber Monday I noticed that Alanis Morrissette was having a 25th tour for Jagged Little Pill. This was the very first CD I bought when I was about 10, and so it brings some nostalgia to me. There were no tour stops where I lived, but I thought about travelling somewhere else for this tour. Portland, Oregon was one of the stops (technically the concert would be in nearby Ridgefield, Washington). Garbage (another band I’ve loved since my youth) was the opening act, so it seemed like a great idea. Then WestJet had decent priced flights, and suddenly I was booking a trip to Portland, Oregon. I also messaged a couple friends who decided to join me. Soon I was booking accommodations, looking up cool things to do, and watching Portlandia (for research purposes).
Then 2020 came and this trip was postponed/cancelled maybe/still going on? It was up in the air for a while. I didn’t stress too much about it, and neither did my friends. We hoped to be able to go to Portland for this concert, but as the pandemic hit full force we realized that might not happen. We cancelled our hotel reservation and got our deposit back. I cancelled my flight and got a flight credit. We waited to see if we’d be able to make the rescheduled date for the concert. The concert date was originally for June 2020. It was first rebooked for the end of July 2021, and then rebooked again for September 2021. My friends weren’t comfortable going to the US for those dates. Despite my usual “must travel” mindset I found myself agreeing and not wanting to travel. Not to Portland at this time.
Still I had a travel credit to use before May 2022. I knew with everything going on it would be best to go travel within Canada. First, I thought about visiting my friend in Vancouver. There are a few budget airlines that go there now so it’s easy to get a cheap (for Canada at least) flight to the region. Instead I opted to book a flight to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. There aren’t any budget airlines going there yet (come on and fly to Saskatchewan Swoop or Flair). More importantly I have family in Saskatchewan I haven’t seen since before I went to Ireland in 2016. I’ll be there for only a few days. I have a rental car and hotel booked. It’s not the most adventurous place for me to go to (the flight is a little over an hour). It is somewhere I feel safe to travel to (even double vaccinated and masked up).
Is Portland still on my travel wish list? Yes, along with a million other places. I hope I can go there one day, but I’m not going to stress about the when or how of that right now. The past 18 months I’ve stayed pretty close to home, and it feels weird to have a trip on the horizon. The world has changed. Maybe I’ve changed too. Perhaps I’m not a traveller or travel enthusiast in the way I was before. Or there’s still the chance I’ll board my flight and want to go on another adventure right away. I’m not going to look too far into the future and try to decide anything quite yet. I’ll take this short vacation and hope for the best.