Oh hi! *Looks up from book* I didn’t see you there.
It’s weird to think that this time next week I’m gonna be in London (England, not the city in Southwestern Ontario whose city centre features numerous parks and greenways along the Thames River). A whole new city known on a world scale. From my sleepy afternoon vantage point, next Monday seems like a completely different lifetime. People around me have inquired if I’m excited about getting away, to which it’s hard to muster more than a vague I guess? Truth be told, I’m not excited, which isn’t the same as not wanting to go. It’s more so that the holiday doesn’t seem real to me. Taking holidays almost doesn’t seem real to me. I went away last year for five days and that’s been basically all my travel since I arrived here in Toronto. I’ve become so used to the quotidian that departing from that seems strange and weird.
In a way, I guess that makes the need for a holiday all the more pressing. I’m constantly tired, beyond burned out and very rarely excited about much, let alone big international trips. Moving my head into a different space could be just what the doctor ordered, if there’s some kind of academic study of travel in which you can earn a PHD. Flychology, perhaps? It’ll mark the first time in my life I’ve booked an international holiday for myself, aside from my Canadian immigration. Consequently, I’ve done the bare minimum of planning.
I know that I’m staying with my cousin. I have no idea where he lives within London. I don’t know what public transport costs on a weekly basis. I’ve been in contact with friends to find out if they’re gonna be in town. Once again though, I have no idea of where they live within London. I’m not familiar with London’s geographical layout. I’ve made no attempt to research activities in London. I don’t care about landmarks or tourist attractions in London. I’m not interested in shopping. I’m basically flying over to London because a) I need to use up two weeks of holiday before the end of the year and b) I thought it’d be nice to reunite with friends I haven’t seen in over three years. As far as I’m concerned, being in one of the biggest cities in the world means spending quality time and eating new/different foods. If they lived in Southwestern Ontario’s London, chances are I’d maybe be going there instead, taking in the numerous parks and greenways along the Thames River.
None of this is to say I’m gonna have a shitty time. On the contrary, I love travelling. I adore visiting new places, taking in sights and experiences that’re foreign to my everyday. Trying new things sparks something in me that enlivens my spirits. The reason why I’ve put so little effort in is that planning is the antithesis of how I enjoy travel. I have an issue with a lack of presence and if I’m not physically in a place, it’s hard for me to care about that place. When I get to London I’ll be able to pick out events and experiences that sound awesome. I’ll travel laissez-faire, following what I feel like doing each day. Latching onto friends’ plans, wandering the city on my own. It’s a luxury, to be able to adventure to the beat of your own drum and it’s my preferred way to take in a new space. I’m gonna have a blast, but until I’m there, it’s not something I care to think about.
So for the moment, I’ll just get back to my book.