talking winter wandering blues;

Thank you, Facebook Memories, for reminding me that this time last year, and a couple of years before that, I was off drinking photogenic coffees and having adventures in properly far away places with fabulous hair and not recovering from a cold, sipping hot honey and lemon on the bus to work.

Drinking a unicorn latte from Cutiepie Cupcakes & Co., Toronto, October 2017

I brought it on myself, really. My brain has come to expect that it’s around this time of year that I take a trip somewhere really exciting from which I can bring my mum back a magnet for the fridge. But with no big trip that I could tag along with this year, and not enough money to justify that solo travel adventure I’m still banging on about, I decided I’d use a week of that holiday time I’d built up for life admin.

And it was… fine, I guess. I did a bit of tidying, a bit of self care, had some day-dates with my best guy eating pancakes and watching movies in the middle of the afternoon. But rather than come out of it feeling in any way refreshed, I came down with a cold and the feeling like I’d wasted a big ol’ chunk of time not doing very much of anything.

Coming from a family of teachers, I seem to get into a lot of arguments about how little holiday time I have (obviously still a decent amount, before Rachelle Renée or any other American readers start frantically @-ing me). So I think there’s a bit of me that has internalised that I shouldn’t be spending my hard-won annual leave sitting around not doing very much.

But I think it’s more than that. I think there’s another, bigger bit of me that needs adventure for my mental health. Which isn’t the same as me trying to run away from the bits of my life that I find unfulfilling; or from my depression which, me not being an idiot, I know only stows away in my suitcase. Travel, rather, gives me a break from my routine as well as something to look forward to – and I’ve yet to find something in my day to day life that inspires me creatively quite so much as the backward motion of a cross-country train.

Joyful on Bleeker Street in the rain, July 2010

I know, sertraline’s probably a bit more affordable, right? Anyway: this was prompted in part by Mark Warner, who have got me thinking about next year’s travel plans (a ski trip? me? maybe not… but with adults-only chalet resorts and a cooked breakfast, dinner and afternoon tea included every day, even I could be persuaded to give the beginner slopes a try) and in part by a really life-affirming phone call with my sister at the weekend. MC pretty much blew through everybody’s travel budget this summer with a month spent hopping around Australia and much of south-east Asia, but as she pointed out Dubai is a well-positioned, and cost effective, base from which to explore a huge chunk of the world. She’s determined for us to cross off a destination that’s on both of our bucket lists towards the end of the year, once her wedding is out of the way, and even the thought of it is so exciting that I’m too nervous to write it down…

Sunset over Global Village, Dubai, April 2017

…but before that, there’s the possibility of a destination I’ve been dreaming of since I was 12 years old (and it’s one that has skiing too, funnily enough). Left Coast Crime is in Vancouver this year, and if you honestly think I’ll be passing up the chance to take nineteen thousand selfies in front of random municipal buildings I don’t actually recognise from my beloved The X-Files then hi, I don’t think we’ve met, I’m Lis.

Do you have any exciting travel adventures planned at the moment? Go on and give me some wanderlust envy in the comments!

This is a collaborative post, but all views are my own and unbiased.