Once I decide on a destination or itinerary, weeks, even months of research, planning, and preparing ensue. I read books about the history, politics and sometimes geography of country/countries I will visit. Whenever possible I immerse myself in novels and movies as well. I spend countless hours on the internet visiting sites both destination-specific and travel in general. Travel Magnolia’s Pinterest boards are full of places I’ve been or want to go. This in addition to assiduously reading every travel magazine and blog possible on a regular basis which feeds my obsession. (It’s a long standing one — I started keeping destination folders with magazine clippings just after college.)
Then, on the given day, the travel begins and I am literally transported to another land. While there, I exist in a different reality. I feel this most strongly in places that are a bit disconnected from the web such as Botswana and Laos. The more time zones I travel, the more I leave my everyday world behind. The great Rocky Horror Picture Show anthem “Time Warp” comes to mind. In fact, as you read this, I am winging my way Istanbul for the fourth (but not last) time.
The weird part is the re-entry, when everything reverts to the norm. No matter how long I have been away, for the most part nothing has changed, except the date and maybe the season. Most of my friends and co-workers have been continuing their routine. They are interested in seeing some photos (about 20 seems to be the max) and hearing a bit about the journey and that interest helps me relive the experiences. Perhaps this is the genesis of Travel Magnolia – a way in which I can share and even re-experience the wonders I encounter.
Barely have the plane’s wheels hit the tarmac on my return stateside and I am already singing: Let’s do the time warp again!
For your viewing and singalong pleasure: https://youtu.be/tkplPbd2f60