Several posts ago, I may or may not have mentioned my need to travel. I also may or may not have mentioned that I had no idea where I was going to go. Chicago, Vancouver, Calgary, New York, Montreal, Belize – all we’re likely candidates.
As the days ticked by and Reading Week approached I found myself unable to decide where to go. For a notorious wanderluster, that was weird. I always seem to know where my next trip will be, and if I don’t, I usually don’t take this long to decide.
Given the duration of my travel related indecisiveness, I started thinking that I might just head to the airport and decide my destination on the fly. Ha – see what I did there? Anyway, the as-last-minute-as-you-can-get type of travel has its drawbacks. The main one is not really knowing how to pack. Of course, the major advantage is that it is by its very nature, an epic adventure. This latter consideration, at least in my books, far outweighs the former drawback.
So here it is, Saturday night of Reading Week 2013. I have yet to buy a ticket. I haven’t packed a thing. And although I have narrowed my travel destination options, the official decision awaits the moment when I hand over my credit card to pay for the flight. Despite everything remaining up in the air and being very last minute and unorganized, I still have a big mischievous smile on my face. Why? Because regardless of where I’m going, I know that I should be in the air come Monday morning.
Where will my flight land? That’s a great question.
So it’s Friday night and I’m suffering a mad case of wanderlust. I’ve been suffering with it all week – ever since getting back from Florida. I’ve been trying to distract myself by watching an Arrested Development marathon, but it doesn’t seem to be working. The most recent episode had me considering a trip to Reno. Yikes.
The worst part about suffering wanderlust is trying to determine where I should go. All week I’ve been toying with ideas. New York City? Costa Rica? London? Chicago? And how long should I go? A long weekend? A week? Longer? Should it be all about relaxing on a beach? Or should it be an adventure filled excursion? Do I go somewhere I’ve never been? Or do I return to a place that I’ve been to many times because I love it and haven’t been back in what seems like years?
About the only question I can answer for sure is whether or not to plan the trip in great detail (once I figure out where I’m going). The answer is a resounding no to planning. I prefer to travel where not much more than my transportation and hotel are predetermined. Adventure has an easier way of finding me if I’m not on a schedule. And we all know how well adventure and I get along.
Anyway, I’m making this trip my top priority for the weekend – I must have a decision by Sunday night. Because wanderlust doesn’t just go away. It’s a beast that just gets hungrier and hungrier – demanding more and more of my time and mental energies. And if I don’t have my mental energies, I can’t do my job. Which means science and statistics will suffer. Which means the collective knowledge of the world will suffer. Which means humanity will suffer. And I can’t have that on my conscience.
So there you have it folks – I travel for the sake of humanity. I’m giving like that.
Remember that time I decided to take a trip every month for an entire year? Yeah, while I’m still doing that. W00t!
Yesterday I departed YYZ (also known as Toronto Pearson Airport) for the 10th time. That is, I started my 10th trip in 9 months. That’s right folks, I’m ahead of schedule. Does this mean I’ll slack off next month? Hells no. Next month I’m heading to Victoria to give an invited talk at the GEOMed conference of Awesome. And I believe the month after that I’m going to be heading to New York with Dr. Gerarda and Dr. Steph, hopefully to see The Book of Mormon. It shall also be filled with excellent food, tasty beverages, and lots of laughs.
Is that weird? I mean, is it weird that I think about new adventures even as I sit at an airport, watching planes load and unload, planning to head out on my current adventure? Apparently my wanderlust is just that strong. I’m not sure that I really mind though.
Back to the story at hand. My current adventure is a short trip to Montreal. I had planned to meet up with Dr. Steph on Sunday to work on a few papers, and was going to stay until Wednesday, however, the Fates conspired against me and I’ve been forced to cut the trip short in order to be home in time for a meeting on Tuesday. Thankfully, the Fates also decided that I should be rewarded for attending this meeting on Tuesday, and thus provided me the perfect excuse to fly to Montreal on Friday, instead of Sunday.
What pray tell is this perfect excuse? Only that Mr. Rick (whom you’ll remember as the man who played the part of my hero when I smashed my face, and also the part of fellow adventurer while I dove out of a plane, climbed several mountains, and poked the lava, or even perhaps for this), had a meeting there on Friday. That’s right, he’s in Montreal too.
So, while the Fates have conspired to cut my trip short, they have also granted me with more than just some much-needed Dr. Steph time. They have given me some Mr. Rick time. And hanging out with those two nerds for the weekend sounds like a fair price to pay.
Getting here was a bit of an adventure; meetings that ran late meant I had to rush home to pack (with only about 35 minutes until Red Car picked me up), only to realize that I lost my glasses at the school; back to the school to do a quick search (thanks Dom for driving my sorry ass all over the place); no luck, return home; find glasses attached to my school bag (what the what?); board Red Car; head to the airport; board flight; flight delayed 50+ minutes for some odd reason (apparently only 1 runway was available at YUL); leave Toronto; land in Montreal (a.k.a. YUL); flight again delayed at the terminal for 20+ minutes (the gate wasn’t free because some silly WestJet flight was in our way – what’s up with that WestJet? I thought we were friends?); finally leave the plane to wait for 20+ minutes for a cab (really, another line?); traffic; more traffic; even more traffic (good lord I’m never going to get there); and finally, finally, I arrive at my hotel.
And right at the moment I arrived at my hotel, Rick sent a text asking how soon I would arrive. You see, Rick being Rick, he had wandered over to my hotel from his hotel in order to facilitate our adventure, so he had been standing in the relative cold for probably 20 minutes or so. He’s just efficient and crazy like that. This means that as my cab drove up, the first sight I saw was my friend, my hero, my fellow adventurer, and the man who did this standing there with a big goofy grin on his face. And suddenly the crazy trip didn’t matter at all.
Truth be told, by the time Rick and I finally met up last night, I was tired and ready for bed. But clearly we had shenanigan-ing to get up to. And so we did. It definitely involved almost having dinner with a smoking man who clearly was suffering from something that probably wasn’t being helped by smoking. It definitely involved a highly inappropriate gift. It definitely involved a random karaoke bar. It definitely involved wandering and chatting and some tasty beverages. Most importantly, it definitely involved laughing, and chatting, and catching up, and a lot more laughing. A most awesome way to end a day that was a bit on the questionable side.
But I’ll leave all that for another post. Especially since it’s a beautiful day outside and I really shouldn’t be sitting here poking away at the keyboard.