What is your dream vacation? I’m headed out the door on mine, and it is surprising how few of these I have taken. I’m talking about going somewhere I’ve never been; somewhere far enough off well-traveled roads that no one I know has ever been there. Except for my travel companion, I won’t know a soul. I have no plans for what to do when I get there, and no real expectations for how this will turn out. There is enough time, a whole week, for exploring and relaxing and seeing what will happen.
The truth is that I love out of the way places. I keep tucking them into my books, from the town of Flores on Lake Peten Itza in Guatemala in z2 to the to northeast corner of Greenland in d4. You can’t get too remote for my tastes.
On the other hand, my traveling companion, who is usually referred to as my husband, is noticeably agitated about this dive into the uncharted, combined with a notable lack of advanced reconnaissance. I agree that it adds potential for problems, and I try to think of why such an adventure calls to me in a way that sight seeing and visiting loved ones and going and laying on a beach somewhere simply does not.
And I remember Charles Kuralt.
When I was a kid, we watched the evening news with Walter Cronkite. On a good night, the broadcast would include a segment called “On the Road” where this older, balding guy would wander into some town in the middle of nowhere and, always, discover a fascinating story to tell. I loved him, loved his travels and loved his stories. One could say I’ve spent much of my life trying to become Charles Kuralt, and I don’t know why. I even seem to have moved to his home state of North Carolina.
What was the charm? Maybe it was finding something you could not predict. Perhaps it had to do with taking a step back from busy life, and enjoying, for example, the simple pleasure of watching 8000 dominoes fall over. See for yourself in this video from 1983.
Will I make discoveries like this on my vacation into the unadvertised, non-simulated nooks into which I go? Oh, I hope so. I really hope so.