I love traveling. I love airports and long car rides and not feeling guilty about eating ice cream at 10am or spending $5 on a pack of gum because - hey! - I'm traveling. I love being somewhere different and the unparalleled energy that comes from just being in a new place.
For a long time I thought that "traveling" meant I had to go somewhere completely foreign, where they don't speak English and the bread of choice is in funny shapes and unfamiliar colours. Over the past year, though, I've come to appreciate even the smallest distance traveled. Just the act of getting there, being with people both familiar and infrequent, is enjoyable. Stepping outside of my daily norm, even for a few days, is enough for a recharge.
Over the Canada Day weekend, I drove to Gander to spend a few days with Kayla and Gavin. Naturally, Kayla decided to host a Canada Day barbeque and there was food, people, and good times aplenty (Mama Gail has trained us well). It's strange, when I really think about it, that Kayla and I are living completely different lives right now. It wasn't so weird to me when I was in Vancouver, because I, too, was experiencing a new home and new friends. But now that I'm back in Newfoundland, it's hard not to miss her, and wish we were living in the same city. So it was really, really great to spend some time with Kayla and Gavin's friends and get a taste of their Gander life. Their friends are good people; they are fun and kind and friendly, and I had a fantastic time getting to know them. It was also great to spend time with "Sister Meghan," Gavin's sister. The best thing about marriage, I think, is the fact that your family grows instantly, so I have a pre-grown sister and brother just slip into my life. It's great!
This past weekend I went to Halifax for the wedding of Kat and Phil Howell, my friends from MUN, and, more importantly, half of the foursome that trekked across Europe with me in June 2008. Two other Harlow-ers, Zaren and Krysta, and I spent a few days in Halifax before the wedding, just making a round trip of it all. We walked around downtown Halifax, stayed in an un-air conditioned hostel with some Germans and Australians, and I had a fantastic tour of the Halifax Citadel fort (I did that alone, because tours given in full period dress are too awesome for some people). The wedding was a good time: the speeches were lovely, the food was good, and dancing was enjoyed by all, even a stuffed horse. Sleeping was not mandatory, and thus I did little of it.
Now I am suffering the consequences of lots of socialization and hardly any sleep; my bank account weeps; and my laundry pile is just unruly. But this hasn't suppressed my need to get up and go, to hastily pack a suitcase and forget important things like a cell charger and toothpaste, and find an adventure.
So: Where to next?