Once again I’m sitting at Pearson airport’s Terminal 3 waiting to board a glorified metal lawn dart that will, via some sort of wizardry, bring me from Toronto to a far away land.
Specifically, I’m waiting to board the first of two flights that will bring me ultimately to the land of scotchy goodness. I may or may not be slightly giddy. Part of this has to do with the fact that I haven’t been to Scotland before, and part of it has to do with scotchy goodness, but it also has to do with the fact that this is the next stage of my epic summer of travel. For those not in the know, I was at this very terminal only 3 days ago, having just returned from a three-week adventure in China1, and I’ll be back here (or one of Pearson’s other terminals) later this summer for adventures in Malawi, Labrador, and Calgary.
This will be my fifth adventure to Europe, this time including stops in Scotland, France, and Spain with friends Manon, Mark, Rob, and Rita.
My first visit was with Manon, back in the old-time-y days of 2006. We each had week long conferences separated by a week and several countries, so opted to combine our resources and hit up 10 different countries during our stay2. The second adventure was a Christmas adventure with my younger brother, Aidan in 20093. Less than 6 months later I was back to celebrate the end of my PhD with my friend Matt4. And if you’ve been keeping up with my blog you’ll know that I was in Europe this past Christmas with Aidan & Amanda, and my friends Gerarda & Alan5.
I’m very much excited about this trip as I’ve never been to Scotland or Spain before. But I’m also excited because not only is this the 10 year anniversary of my first trip, it is also the official 40th Birthday Adventure Trip. For those of you thinking – um, you turned 40 last year – you aren’t wrong. But since my friend Rob turned 40 this year, and Rita and Manon turn 40 next year, we thought that celebrating now would make sense. And that is exactly what we are going to do.
Of course, given that I just returned from China only 3 days ago I’m still rather jet lagged. My body still seems to think that I’ve traveled west from Toronto to Beijing, 12 hours into the future. Little does it know that I’m actually 12 hours in the past of where and when it thinks I am. And now I’m going to fly east to end up 5 hours in the future6. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, time-travel is weird.
That, or I’m very easily temporally discombobulated. It’s a cross I’m willing to bear.
1 I spent 3 weeks in China teaching at Dalian Nationalities University. If you haven’t read my previous posts, the tl;dr version is this: China rocks.
2 France, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, and Slovenia.
3 Visiting Germany, the Czech Republic, and France.
4 With stops in the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria.
5 Including France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
6 Insert your own Back To The Future joke here.