I have travel dreams. I don’t mean thinking about trips, I mean actual dreams. I lay down, close my eyes, fall asleep and they start. I dream of trips on trains and ships leaving port; being upgraded and missing connections, losing bags and shopping adventures.
My dreams are of places I’ve only seen in pictures or movies and places I’ve actually been. Sometimes I travel with friends, sometimes with family, sometimes alone.
Not all of my slumber-induced, full-color “videos” are good ones. I’ve dreamed of losing my kids in amusement parks, fighting over what to pack or not pack, zippers on luggage breaking, losing my passport … I think of these as my travel nightmares.
Of course, that probably shouldn’t surprise me, but somehow it always does. When I wake from a travel dream I can’t imagine why on Earth I had that dream. I wonder what made me think about that in my sleep. Then, when I finally wake up (after that first cup of coffee), I realize it makes perfect sense.
I spend at least a small part of most days wondering where I’ll go next, pricing out flights and hotels, planning routes for big driving vacations and on and on.
This morning I woke from a weird mix of dreams, some good, some bad. I grabbed my coffee and started to wonder what they mean. There’s really no way to know the answer to my question, but there I was, halfway through my first cup of caffeine, thinking about travel.
As is typical for me, I have more questions than answers. What do you tell people when they ask your favorite vacation spot? I mean, how do I choose a single favorite? Or any question that requires personal interpretation like, “What’s the best place you’ve ever been?”
Of course, there’s always the flipside to those questions: Where would you never go back? What was your worst vacation? Those, somehow, are harder for me. As an optimist, I can usually find something in every horrible experience that’s worth sharing. In fact, I’ve gone back to “re-do” a couple of not-so-great trips, effectively upgrading the memory to a good one.
Friends have recently asked how I come up with my blogs when I don’t get to travel as much as I’d like. A single weekend trip can give me three or four blogs, but a good night’s sleep can also turn into a blog – like this one. As the sun sneaks in my window and my eyes reluctantly nudge my mind out of a dream, I start writing in my head. Then I get up, shuffle to my keyboard, coffee in hand, sleep still in my eyes, and share my travel-ish thoughts with you.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. I don’t always have to be awake to explore it.
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