My girlfriend and I are going to Europe on Tuesday. I’ll be there for about two and a half weeks. We land in London and we’ll be visiting Edinburgh, Dublin, and Paris before we part ways, and then I’ll be heading for Amsterdam.
This will be the second time I’ve traveled to the continent. I visited my girlfriend for the 2008 New Year while she was living in Berlin. I enjoyed that trip but for some reason I’ve never felt as though it really… counted. While I have some great memories of the trip, I also remember that I spent too much time worrying about where I was going and when I had to be there.
Traveling great distances is something I always expected to do. I grew up in a fairly small city. A concept of the size of the world came very gradually. As I moved from location to location, and then eventually from city to city, it felt like a series of graduations. I continue to admit to myself that I’m not one who remains. I am a perpetual motion machine, even when standing still. But I’m still training myself to have a look around.
I want to promise myself that I will look around this time. I will take a moment or two in each city to simply relax and feel myself immersed in it. I will not punish myself with schedules. I will not give in to culture shock. I will look and listen and grow rather than panic until it’s time to catch a flight back to Ottawa. I will explore my own interests in my surroundings and let new interests come from them. I will let this be the next of the trips I’ve always wanted to take, for the reason that the world is big and aches to be explored. And I’ll be happy with the lack of real answers to questions I never ask of myself, regarding flight and movement and crooked streets.
I’ll be providing updates when I can grab an Internet connection. Stay tuned.