How do you choose?

I wonder sometimes how other people choose the places they want to visit. For me, I generally travel to places I’ve formed an emotional connection to, often via some kind of media. Is that weird?

One of the trips on my current to do list is sailing around the British Virgin Islands with Intrepid Travel. I’ve travelled with Intrepid twice before – once in Morocco and once in Thailand – and had a wonderful experience both times. For me, it’s the perfect compromise between adventure and an organized tour. It takes away all the stress of planning and keeping a schedule, but I don’t end up just shuffling on and off a bus. I would have toured Greece with them, too, but they didn’t run late enough into the year.

I’ve wanted to learn to sail for a few years now. I fell in love with the idea the summer I worked in Prince Edward Island, but never had the opportunity to follow through. The trip notes for the sailing adventure indicate it’s up to the individual how involved they want to get in the actual sailing of the ship, and I love that they provide that option.

The reason I chose the Caribbean as a destination, though, is largely due to a cheeseball television show I fell in love with over the winter called Death in Paradise. It’s a BBC show about a detective who gets transferred from London to the Caribbean and ends up stuck there. Which would be great, except that he hates the sun, and the sea, and the sand. It’s a simple little detective show, with a little hint of romance, and it was exactly what I wanted over the winter. The past two winters in Canada (in fact, much of North America) have been particularly cold and harsh. And even just getting to see the sun and the sea on television was a relief.

The show gave me a bit of an emotional connection to the area, and inspired my curiosity to learn more. And when I came across the Intrepid trip, it seemed an ideal combination. I wonder, though, if maybe I’m not supposed to admit this kind of thing out loud.

Schrodinger’s Submission

I sent out my first query note today. I submitted a piece back in September that was targeted to a specific themed issue of a lit magazine. That issue hits newsstands this week and I still hadn’t heard anything back. I was just beginning to believe that Canada Post had lost the letter somewhere along the way, and that I’d been waiting for an answer for four months from people who hadn’t ever received my submission.

I was also convinced that it would take days or weeks to get an answer to my query. Editors are very busy people, and really the last thing on their list of priorities should be my insecure pestering. They were great, though. I got an answer back this afternoon, and my piece is still under consideration! That has given me a little boost, even if the ultimate answer is eventually a no.

For the moment, though, I still get to daydream that it might become my first sale…

Daydreaming

I’m daydreaming about a different life today.

In my daydream, I pack it all in and move to France. Maybe Paris, maybe a village in the mountains, maybe a town in the south. Maybe all of the above in sequence.

I’ll live in a little flat and teach English as a foreign language. In my spare time, I’ll sit in little French cafes with views over cobbled streets and write.

In the evenings, I’ll stop at little local grocers and boulangeries to pick up my dinner on the way home.

And I’ll visit Shakespeare & Co. in Paris, and become a part of the little ex-pat community. I’ll sit in dusty corners of the shop on rainy days and read, with the shop cat keeping me company.

And when I’m lonely, I’ll take the train across to England to visit my aunts, or up to Belgium or the Netherlands to see old friends.

Yes, I think that’s what I’ll do. Sounds nice, no?