Mystery Destination

The second half of Remembering Florida is on its way, but in the interim why don’t I share some other places I went to as a child?

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Joshua Tree Park, California (2000)

The reason that I’m reminiscing is that I’m currently in the middle of planning a furtive ten-day-trip away to an undisclosed location on Saturday. (Hint: it’s not Iceland. Shocker, I know.)

As I only have the first four days and last three days planned out, I have gone against my nature this time and tried not to tell the world about it, and apart from my family, my doctor and the people I’ll be seeing on the trip, only about five or six people know – that’s not a lot, considering that I usually chart every milestone on the planning of a trip in public, on the phone, on facebook, from conception of the idea, through the hassle of booking public transport in a foreign country, to the difficulty of packing… Stuff which other people don’t need to know, because they’ve gone through it too, every time they’ve gone on holiday.

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Niagara Falls, Canada (2000)

And in a way I’m happier with it being kept on the relative down-low. You see, one of my happiest memories is when I was visiting my family in Inverness, and one day my aunt and I just decided to take an overnight trip to Skye. Apart from the spontaneity of it, what I loved was the fact that I wasn’t where everybody thought I was. It feels like prison break, like evading the omnipotent, omnipresent omniscience of society – which says something relatively unsettling about how I feel on a daily basis! In any case, there have been similar situations – an impromptu trip to Italy while on holiday in Austria; a forray to Vik while working in Reykjavik; a day trip to London while supposedly at school in Reading – where a little secrecy gives you the necessary injection of thrill needed to pump you up for another six months of monotony.

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Kinderdijk, The Netherlands (2002)

And this has really got me thinking… I’m feeling very lucky today – if I were religious, I would say blessed – that I’ve had the opportunities I’ve had to travel. This after several months of lusting after the adventures of my acquaintances and friends: to volunteer in Bangladesh, to study at a language school in Spain, to intern along the east coast of the USA, to climb a mountain in central Africa… Well, I may not have done any of those things but I have gone rock-climbing in southern California, I have stood beneath a waterfall in Canada, and I have cycled past windmills in Holland – and all before the age of ten! HOW LUCKY AM I???

So, this mystery trip, where am I going? You’re not getting it out of me – not until I’m there, in any case!

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