I don't enjoy travel like I used to. So I took a trip to PEI to think about why.
I’ve been pretty down on travel this year.
During my most recent trips last fall, to Hawaii and Newfoundland, my generally-totally-okay-but-occasionally-misbehaving kidneys also thought they were on vacation, which in turn made my brain go bonkers. That is to say, getting sick away from home is stressful. The hypothesis was that the physical problems were triggered by the stress and anxiety of travel, which in turn was ironically caused by the potential of incurring health problems while travelling. Hmm. It’s like if you were starving but just the thought of food made you wanna vomit in your handbag.
Anyway, I took some time since then to not go anywhere and chill and just be and all that. I set aside all travel plans. I would be content where I am with what I have like my ancestors before me. Or like most of the world who can’t even remotely afford to travel for their own amusement.
And for a while, it’s been great. We as humans don’t need to travel to be happy, no matter what your Instagram feed may be whispering in your ear. Travel is wasteful and expensive and time-consuming and can be destructive escapism you seek out instead of dealing with your problems. And if you have no problems, why not spend your time and effort and money improving the place you spend all of your time and effort and money?
At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
Sometimes I even think travel as we know it will be nothing more than a phase. Jet fuel will become crazy expensive, we won’t be able to power air travel with electricity, no sane person will get in a nuclear plane, hyperloop looks like a claustrophobic nightmare, and so we’ll just stay put. By the time technology catches up to make travel available to the masses again, it will be out of fashion. Think local, etc. We’ll tell our grandchildren about the time we used to fly around the world in big metal tubes to buy shirts with different city names on them and they’ll think we were quaint weirdos. “Why not take a VR trip?” they’ll say.
(If this sounds familiar it’s possibly because I wrote about this before on an old travel blog about 8 years ago. The blog was called Luftangus, a name that still makes me laugh a little inside.)
That said, being able to travel is important to me right now if for no other reason than to a) see my family and b) do work things.
I knew I needed to dip my toe back in travelling and figure out what was causing my grief. And when my friend Elliot who lives on a farm in PEI invited me to hang out with him and his cows it seemed like the perfect low-stress trip to tackle.
The idea was to chill and do some work from his small island town. And also relax as much as possible. But then I invited a girl. And we brought our bikes. And now I’m not sure where my head’s at because it was way more fun than I was expecting.
But first let’s look at some photos.
I know it’s cool to only show your best photos but let’s start with some cold, hard, what-button-do-I-press reality:
The big ticket item was biking the Confederation Trail, a biking and walking trail made from the old railway line. We did that and it was super fun and we got some pictures:
We were in Summerside, so we also did some biking in and around there. They have windmills!
…which made The Biker Chick want to act like a windmill:
She also gets mesmerized by lighthouses:
I, however, take more of a zen approach:
I also pointed at a lake:
And got stuck in the number 8:
And we played around near the red sand and the red cliffs:
I swear I spend that entire day trying to come up with a Clifford the Big Red Dog joke and couldn’t get there. Now I know what it’s like to be a woman in bed with me.
I also camped for the first time in recent history:
And one lovely night we watched an amazing sunset on the north coast:
Elliot and I, that is:
What is interesting to me is that, while there were certainly times I felt stressed and others that I felt the uneasiness that I’ve recently come to associate with travelling, I mostly enjoyed this trip. And as it ended, I felt that thing of, “oh man, I don’t want to go back to reality.”
I never feel like that. I love my reality, don’t I?
Maybe I don’t love it as much as I thought. Maybe it’s okay to get away and forget about it and that doesn’t mean you care for it any less. I don’t know, I’ve only been home for a day now. It will take some time for my mind to churn on this one and I don’t know where I’ll land. Maybe, like I’ve thought before, my biggest challenge will always be to find a balance between home and work life because I only know how to enjoy either when I give them my full attention.
Maybe this post is too much like a diary entry and I should have waited until I had some real conclusions.
I’m going to add this to a new Luftangus category and maybe it will remain the only post in that category.
Maybe I will be able to rediscover the joy I once felt for trippin’ all over the world.
Or maybe I just miss the ocean:
Fun fact: this post is my 27th, which means I’m starting my 2nd half-year of weekly posts. I have to say I’m loving this weekly writing habit. Thanks for reading!