South Shore Breaker

A homebody’s guide to modern travel



My husband and I just celebrated our 31st wedding anniversar­y and according to Hallmark’s (very scientific) list of traditiona­l gifts, year 31 is travel. That is to say we must, according to this undisputab­le oracle, give each other the gift of travel. Does Hallmark know we haven’t left our dooryard since 2007, or that we’re still paying off our kitchen renovation from six years ago? Didn’t think so. Honestly, I love the idea of travelling, but from what I gather, it means having to sell superfluou­s internal organs, not to mention leave the house and go somewhere other than your house. Remind me again why I’d do this.

These days, to admit you don’t travel to far-flung places is to feel like a leper. People recoil and (don’t) try to hide their disdain.

“Wait. You’ve never hand-fed a ring-tailed lemur in Madagascar or ziplined through a Costa Rican rain forest with a toucan on your shoulder? Wow. Okay.”

Maybe not, but I’ll have you know I once wrangled a $25 lollipop from my toddler’s sticky hand while he screamed bloody murder at Disney World. That’s got to count for something.

Back in Medieval Times, people rarely travelled, and if anyone did, it was a fulltime job to book a trip. First, people had to consult an atlas (Google it, Millennial­s) or an encycloped­ia (Google it) and then they would go to a travel agent’s office (Google it), where a person would talk you through options and present you with a pamphlet (Google). You were exhausted before you even got on a plane. Now it’s just the click of a button. In fact, you can actually book a trip by mistake while half-asleep/in the bag.

“Alexa, play Green Day” could be understood as, “Alexa, pay Greenland” and boom, you’re on the next flight to Nuuk.

It's not like we’ve never been anywhere. Please. See above Disney World comment — we have fond memories of our young sons asking every 14 seconds if we are ‘almost at the airport’ while we drove through a blinding snowstorm in order to save $400/ticket. It was worth it though to watch them take each other out under the Happiest Place on Earth sign. Another time we took them and our 75-year-old fathers to The Dominican Republic for a week. We all had a great time despite the rocky start. We had landed at midnight, hungry and tired. Our youngest son opened his suitcase to discover his liquids had spilled onto his clothes. “I’m starving and everything is soaked and I don’t like my room! Why would we go somewhere that’s not even as nice as my own room?” Bingo.

I’m a homebody at heart. We don’t live in opulence, but it’s comfortabl­e and safe and filled with the things I love/ require. Look, unless I can find a hotel room that has a Cuisinart espresso maker, an Alexa that plays sleep sounds (I like babbling brook), a spacious back yard, a pantry filled with my favourite treats (dark chocolate) and a gallery wall of photos of my family, I just don’t see the point.

The hassle of getting places keeps me home, too — airport lineups, cancelled flights and well … flights. Eww. I’d thrive in first class. I just know it.

But being squished on a plane where going to the bathroom is more challengin­g than the Crouching Tiger yoga pose is upsetting. Road trips count as travel, I suppose, but my husband will only take me if I’m drugged and blindfolde­d (in the trunk). Something about me back-seat driving and constantly fiddling with the heater… Blah. Blah. Blah.

But if the Almighty Hallmark oracle says we must travel, then fine. We’ll travel.

Now that we no longer have kids to work around (they’re grown and have covered more of the globe than Marco Polo himself), I’m going to pull myself up by the boot straps, take one for the team and maybe go to Paris. You heard me. My husband has a business trip there next summer, and I think I’ll hop in with him and do as Parisians do — eat my body weight in cheese, drink wine with every meal, including breakfast, and smoke my brains out. Heck, I might even go to the Eiffel Tower if my lungs allow. Whatever. The main thing is we’re going to leave our dooryard, sell our spleens, wait in long lineups, miss flights, hate ourselves and everyone around us and become travellers. Sheesh. Let’s just hope with that that recipe (for disaster) we make

it to our 32nd anniversar­y.

Colleen Landry is a high school writing teacher, author of humour book Miss Nackawic Meets Midlife and co-author of the Camelia Airheart children’s adventure series. She and her husband are empty nesters in Moncton, N.B. Their two grown sons have ditched them for wider horizons. She is filling the void with Netflix, dark chocolate and Cabernet Sauvignon.

 ?? SUHYEON CHOI • UNSPLASH ?? Despite being a homebody at heart, columnist Colleen Landry has decided to heed the advice of others and give travel a try.
SUHYEON CHOI • UNSPLASH Despite being a homebody at heart, columnist Colleen Landry has decided to heed the advice of others and give travel a try.
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