Friday, January 25, 2008


I have a bit of a countdown clock in my head at the moment.

Yes, Europe is still three months away, but it's not as far away as I think and I'm busily doing what I've never done on previous trips: planning and making lists. (Of course, lists are those things you leave at home and remember when you're at the shops.)

I have the passport with the ubiquitous awful photo that makes me look like my own grandmother, American money bought when the little Aussie battler was near parity, the Eurorail pass, car hire vouchers, airplane ticket vouchers, power converters, rechargeable batteries, money wallet, compact cooler and maps. What's left? Travel insurance, global roaming for the mobile, and internet connection for the laptop. They're the main things.

But... in reading PBW's post on GPS navigation, it made me think of the times I've travelled with only cursory glances at the map. I found some fabulous places unexpectedly: Hadrian's Wall - where I literally lay on the stones like a squeally fangirl; Tara, on a bitterly cold and sleeting morning, which still held that elemental mystery in the air; Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregan - my idea of heaven; the Vietnam Veteran's Wall in Washington, D.C... The list goes on.

So why did I spend all day yesterday plotting my driving route through England? Not just the route, but timing, mileage, stopovers and 'things of interest'.

I'm usually more adventurous. More "I'll start here, and finish here, and let's see what we find on the way" kind of traveller. I'm guessing that the route I've worked out will merely be the guideposts.

There's something intriguing about the road less travelled that, as usual, I'll find impossible to resist. And getting lost? All part of the fun.

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