To travel

I woke up the other morning with non-holiday in my head.

We were meant to be away the last two weeks of June, the second of two bucket list trips with my son (last year, after exams, was an island in the Indian Ocean for 11 days).

After many years of annual trips to New York to visit family (this ceased in 2018 with the finalising of my father’s estate), I had decided long haul travel was really not high on my list of pleasures – even though you generally did get to visit some place amazing, different, exciting, whathaveyou. But, years ago, I’d promised we’d go some place tropical after A levels (he said “I want white sand and perfect blue ocean”) and the year after that we’d do another ‘big’ trip. After that, I said, I wanted ‘easier’ holidays (I’m now fantasising about a cottage in Norfolk where I can take the dog as well – see the beach at the end of Shakespeare in Love – that’s Holkham in Norfolk).

Anyhoo, last year’s travel was everything you’d hope for in a bucket list trip (including looking through duty free in Doha airport at 3 AM, hoping to find a bottle of Cartier l’Heure Fougueuse – alas, no joy).

I’ve never been a big duty free shopper. However, there have been times I’ve availed myself of it mostly for other people. And, ironically, I remember most of what I’ve bought: returning to the US after a semester abroad a bottle of L’Air du Temps for my mother from Heathrow duty free; on the return from my first and only business trip, to Paris, a bottle of Hermes 24 Faubourg for a workmate (I also recall being totally charmed by the rabbits that lived on the runway verges at Charles de Gaulle decades ago – wonder if they are still there). I think that’s really it.

I had been planning to try again for the l’Heure on this past non-trip.

People sometimes say ‘a change is as good as a rest’ and given I’m living in a different, larger village while the house-house is being sorted I guess I should be thankful, as during a time when most of us have been quite stuck I’m in a different circumstance than normal. And I am thankful for many things (beyond the most important – that we’re both ok and I’m still working): at least the garden, though small, has jasmine which is now in full bloom; there’s loads of honeysuckle lining the lanes; there are horses (l’Heure Fougueuse again!); the blackberries look like they will be abundant this year (I just bought an ice cream maker as I’m sick of saying ‘I want ice cream’).

I am hoping we’ll return to a state as a society at some point fairly soon when I can pick up the organising again for bucket list trip number 2 and gird my loins for the train journey up to London, the overnight at Heathrow, the loooooong outbound flight. However much I don’t love most of the travel itself I do love the feeling of freedom that sets in the moment I step on to the London-bound train – the sense of a new adventure and the being outside normal life.

In the meantime, I look at YouTube videos (what did we do before YT?) and am mostly satisfied with the toy-train trip along the estuary to the farm shop; the walk from the farm shop to visit the house-house; and Wednesday night thin-crust pizza from the local pizza van.

Were you planning a holiday before the world turned upside down? Now that some places are opening again are you contemplating a trip – nearby or far away?

  • Patty says:

    I did some more exotic travel for a while, all after my sons were out of high school – some they went with, some not. I loved it for a while, and I still would like to see some more places, but the absolute grind of actual travel is just not a joy for me at all. I’d like to go back to India, but unless a pot of money falls in my lap so I can ride first class – even then, I hate travel – I’m just not going to do it. 🙂 Paris maybe to see family. My mom and aunt really want to go to see their brother again.

  • March says:

    My trips weren’t anywhere near as exotic as some, but I did have them planned, to three different parts of the country, all involving close friends, so that part in particular chafes me. I’m grateful to still be employed and I guess I’ll be taking some “staycation” this summer and hoping for the best.

    • Portia says:

      YAY for StayCation. Boo for missing your mates.
      Portia xx

    • Cinnamon says:

      I’m having weird NY food longings. My son and I look at YouTube videos and think about eating at favourite places with friends. But it’s all fantasy as I can’t imagine travelling to the US for a long time to come.

  • Portia says:

    GAH! Cinnamon, this year we had SO MUCH travel planned. Already we’ve missed North Korea & China, and the Ghan railway across Australia top to bottom.
    We were supposed to be taking Jin’s parents from South Korea for their first ever European adventure to visit Jin’s brother and family in Slovakia (where they have lived over a decade) with Vienna and Prague. Then when they went home we were going to hit the UK with London, both Irelands and then a few days shopping and visiting in Paris before coming home.
    We had booked Xmas in Koh Samui with our BFF as well.
    Sadly, Australia doesn’t look like it will be opening borders before 2021 and even then it will be limited travel.
    As much as we will miss doing all this though I have enjoyed this enforced inaction immensely. There hasn’t been a time in my life since kindergarten started that I’ve been allowed to do so little. Because I’ve had no say it comes with with zero guilt.
    What a heavenly opportunity.
    Totally know now that retirement will suit me down to the ground.
    Portia xx

    • Musette says:

      the 3 weeks I wasn’t working (my clients all said ‘don’t call us – we’ll call you’, so I didn’t call them) – I, after a bit of terrified nuttering about, poking ‘send/receive’ like a lunatic, decided to make the garden my job – and I am delighted I did! I thought about retirement but… nah. I don’t think I could do it without day-drinking! 😉

      • Portia says:

        So glad Musette,
        It sounds like you’ve found a groove and are ready to get back in the saddle as it ramps back up.
        Portia xx

    • March says:

      This all sounds amaaaaazing and we’re just going to have to muddle through and hey lol yep at least you know retiring works for you!

      • Portia says:

        Yeah, it was a fairly big year March. It will all happen in the future.
        HA! Yeah, retirement looks fun.
        Happily muddling though as best we can hear.
        Portia xx

    • Cinnamon says:

      Portia, It certainly did! How frustrating not to be doing it all. And so varied. We were meant to be going to Japan. Hopefully next year. Still waiting for refund of flights…

    • Brigitte says:


  • Musette says:

    I was planning an annual Girls Trip with a couple of, well, girls… but one of the ‘girls’ would have to fly to get there and that’s just icky AF right now – so I am consoling myself with a newly-refurbished garden (still a work in progress – but what garden isn’t?) and a LOT of real work, as construction is back in full cry, after the shutdowns.
    This isn’t the worst thing for me, as I prefer travel in Autumn and Winter.
    and YAY! on the ice cream maker!!! xoxoxo

    • Cinnamon says:

      No, do not like even the idea of airplanes right now. You see pics of people with masks, without masks, and think, nah, unless absolutely everyone was on the same page safety-wise it’s a non-starter. Good on work picking up. Indeed, construction seems to have been one of the few industries — at least round here — that never quieted down. Loads of building in the village. Yes, indeed, am thinking of all kinds of flavours for ice cream maker, but definitely blackberry once the fruit ripens.

    • March says:


  • Eldarwen22 says:

    I never have plans to go anywhere because I don’t have the cash to do it. Do have a bucket list for traveling.

    • Cinnamon says:

      I actually don’t really have a bucket list. There are the two promised holidays (ie, one done last year) but those are more to do with son moving slowly out into the world and then my world getting a bit quieter.

  • April says:

    I had a fab summer planned, a visit with my dad’s side of the family in Oregon , a music festival in Portland, then concerts in Cali, a first time visit to San Francisco, and a couple of months at home in Florida before returning to the middle east where hubby works. Sadly all cancelled. So I’m sitting in Saudi dreading summer which has arrived in nearly full force and hoping by my birthday next year I can cross Egypt off my bucket list.

  • Tanja says:

    We had planned to go to a frisian island this week to get married in a lighthouse. But alas the boyfriend needed heart surgery urgently a d is in rehab now. So we had to cancel.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Oh my. Best wishes regarding boyfriend’s situation. Hopefully he will be well soon and travel will become possible for you guys.

  • matty1649 says:

    I’ve nothing planned due to virus and lack of money !!!!

  • Tara C says:

    My vacation plans to go camping have fortunately been maintained, very excited to be heading out July 20th, hoping nothing comes up to spoil them!

  • Queen-Cupcake says:

    Although we had no set plans for travel, I had just retired from my full-time job of 31 years, thinking we would plan something eventually, when everything shut down. Man plans (more often it is the Woman) and God laughs. I hope to get to a state park or beach this summer to have a little swim. Other than that, I stay home and force myself to do some of those “someday I’ll get around to it” things, like organizing my music files and photos. Once in a while, I even come across a perfume I have neglected or didn’t even know I had! Like DSH Vert Pour Madame, which I thought I had lost…but no! Yay me.

    • Cinnamon says:

      There are a number of US perfume brands I’d love to sample but I don’t think they ship here (DSH, CB I Hate — I had gotten a few of the latter on a NY trip years ago). Sigh regarding the best laid plans. There’s a wonderful outdoor pool here that is open from May-October. Not this year. They have an early bird (ie, 6-8:30 AM) ‘club’ for swimmers I was planning to join this year …

  • filomena813 says:

    I had no plans for a trip his summer even before the pandemic as I had a big trip (19 days and nights) in 2018 to Sicily and Italy and a trip to Belgium and France in 2019 (10 days and nights) and no money left to go anywhere. I am hoping I will be able to go back to Sicily in 2021, but who knows what will happen by that time.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Wow, the thought of 19 days away sounds awesome. Fingers very crossed that by 2021 things will have settled significantly. I’m still chasing refund for air tickets. Opodo no longer takes calls — which is both irritating and unnerving. Everything is done via email.

  • MMKinPA says:

    We had planned on taking our son on a college tour this summer – a number of schools on the East coast. Then we downgraded to a weekend in Ohio to walk around the campus of one school. That was canceled due to a 14 day quarantine order if leaving the state. Trying to remind myself that at some point we’ll be allowed to do things again but mental health is an ongoing challenge.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Maintaining mental health is definitely a challenge. I’m finding being outside — even if it’s walks twice a day and/or just sitting in garden — help somewhat. Are colleges in the US offering virtual tours?