This week, the theme for me has been an obsession with whatever new/old travel docos I can get my hands on. I have eaten up all of the shows I used to watch (really – OITNB, Suits, Walking Dead, Grey’s, Shameless) and I’m hungry to find new shows. It occurred to me if I’m going to binge watch something, maybe I should learn, or at least tap into my nature/travel interests. I haven’t finished Departures yet, but it’s definitely a favourite. I recently watched a series called Scotland Revealed, and loved it.
It gives you both a travelers and geographers smorgasboard of tips, factoids and beautiful aerial glimpses of the beautiful country. I cannot wait to go back in two months. I went to Glencoe as a tween to see HP filming, and we will be checking out Edinburgh and the highlands for 5 too-short days.
I have also been watching a series called the Hungry Frenchman. There are 5 episodes with a French chef, Michelin-trained, who wanders France, learning of local cuisine and cooking beautiful meals in a farm-to-table style. I saw the Provence episode and it made me so hungry to go! Only 3 months, give or take…The fresh fish, olives, wine, garlic… Sigh.
I am also now getting into Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. The Croatian episode was amazing, and I realized there is so little I truly know about Croatia. The food looked amazing, the water, the people. We are supposed to hit Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar and Zagreb, so I hope it gives us a proper taste – literally. I didn’t know they were famous for their wines, but I assume we will have a tipple or two on our way through the country.
Finally, as we have now decided our trip will take us up to Loch Ness and Inverness in Scotland, I leave you with a poem I wrote last year. I wrote it after keeping constant communication with a friend on the east coast of Canada. I thought about how love, whether platonic or romantic, is tested by the changes we endure as we grow up. People move away, get new jobs, pursue careers or academic goals in new places, or travel. I think often of my recent past, how I long for my traveling days, how I crave the daily comfort of someone special in my life, but also the unerring sense of spirit and adventure I get by being away. I am not done reconciling the two desires. I know that even when I travel, I miss home and those who have my heart. When I am home, I miss those parts of myself I only unearth when I am traveling. This poem is about distance. It is called, Inverness.
Often, I find myself lost
As uncertain as a flipped coin
Thrown in the air on its face and never reaching ground
A pressure-popped balloon sensing growing burden
Yet feeling such terrible lightness
But in you, I know there is direction
A moral compass or mystical je ne sais quoi
To guide me to what’s right
To bring me home to you
When I sleep you are curved into the edges of my dreams
A palpable presence that leaves me with the warmth of passing memory
Often, I have felt pained
By the broken words of broken people, pulling you into their webs of charm and heartbreak
Promising love like soured milk which reaches expiry and costs you more than its worth
I have given, and seen wasted, what was so precious and vulnerable in me
But in you, I know there is healing
a wind in the sails to lift and bolster the weakest Wills
A quiet strength like the mountains of old,
Unmoving, unwavering, showing peace in calm and tranquillity
In you there is a tenderness that reveals your steady heart
I have been no stranger to loneliness
A traveler abroad who has felt the sweet sting of hellos laced softly with goodbyes
Wishing and wanting to share the stories the miles write
And the beauty of these moments
But in you, there is amity
A bond so strong it spans the breadth of Adelaide to inverness
It was you who said distance is a test to see how far love can travel
Yours is a kindness so gentle
it warms and washes, sweeps over me
A smile wider than the sea and softer than a thousand morning suns
In you, my love, I am home
Your words, your hands, your touch
The very need that flows through my veins
When our legs and arms are tangled so there is no ending or beginning
And the purest joy comes
From a head laid upon your chest in the early hours
These are the things I know
These are the things I love
Do you have any loved travel docs? Shows to recommend? Send ’em my way!