The Lure of Travel Planning by Kelly Reising
Sometimes I think I like the planning better than the actual traveling. The speculating on all the exotic locals I could feasibly jet off to on a moment's notice. There is something so romantic about being able to travel. I’m constantly on the lookout for airline promotions, hotel deals, and out of the box travel ideas that filter into my email’s inbox from all the travel websites I subscribe to.
The concept of travel is very appealing. Going someplace new and getting out my daily routine with my freelance writing career is just downright exciting. Plus, with my laptop, I can essentially work anywhere that has a wifi connection. That being said, I plan more trips then I go on. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up places, made out itineraries, planned everything precisely, but when it comes to making the final decision, I back out. What’s wrong with me? Why is it so hard to veer out of my normal routine?
I did manage to pull the ol’ travel trigger on two trips this past winter. Considering that I live in Ohio, it’s basically imperative that I get out of the winter doldrums a couple of times to avoid just a bit of the ice, cold, and snow that permeates the area I live in by the lake.
Florida was first up on my agenda. By December I was ready to leave the cold weather for some balmy Miami air. So my husband and I felt that four days down south would do the trick. A nice hotel on the beach, some fresh fish, and plenty of sunshine was all I craved. So it makes sense that when we got there, leaving 22 degree weather behind in Cleveland, that it would be thunderstorming in Florida.
Even with the sky as gray as the icy snow drifts back home, the air was still a balmy 80 degrees. Walking along the beach in basically a small scale tropical storm was just fine with me. The air just felt better down there. Eventually after three days, the rain let up and we were rewarded with a full day of sunshiny weather. Trust me, it was very hard to get back on that airplane to go home.
As I sat on the beach in my bikini, running my fingers through the sand in the glorious weather, I thought to myself, why in the world do we live in Cleveland? It must be some kind of long term torture to live in the dreary midwest. My husband always jokes that he wants to make t-shirts for all these rah-rah pro-Cleveland retail stores that just say, “Cleveland...we’re sorry.” It’s just that bad here weather-wise, especially when you consider just how happy I am staring out at the Atlantic Ocean, feeling the warm Florida breeze on my skin. I was actually born in Jacksonville, so maybe that’s part of the reason why I love the beach so much. My mom said that she used to take me to the beach when I was a baby and set me up under my playpen, so I could safely play in the sand, without crawling away.
Speaking of my mom, the next trip I made was at the end of January to another warm locale, Scottsdale, Arizona to visit her new house. I flew one of those no-frills, budget airlines where you basically can take only what you can fit into a small backpack, if you don’t want to pay any baggage fees. Considering I could live for a few months off of a small pouch of stuff, that fact didn’t intimidate me. I’d rather save the $40 bucks than take a bunch of extra clothes I don’t really need.
It was nice to spend a week in the warm Arizona sun. It’s been awhile, too long in fact, since I’ve been out west. If I say it’s been almost 20 years, that just makes me feel old and baffled by where the time has gone, so I won’t dwell on that.
The highlight of the trip had to have been seeing the spring training facilities of my beloved and now I can proudly say World Champion 2016 Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona. They were a week away from the whole team showing up, but a few players had already taken a few swings of the old bat at the practice field, according to the security guard who chatted my mom and me up for a few minutes.
So now that I’m back home, I’m ready to plot my next journey. Each day I tinker around sites to scout out new locations I haven’t been to, or favorites that I’m dying to see again. Picking up travel magazines at my local bookstore to leave on the coffee table, in hopes of the next great adventure that takes me out of my day to day life, is always something to look forward to.
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