“We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
John Steinbeck, from “Travels with Charley”

Great Expectations
So there’s around one week until we leave for America, the point at which everyone starts to say “you’ll be there this time next week!”
Approaching travel is a funny experience for me, I really love being in Bolton, it’s home and any journey I undertake usually has to be for something specific, even then I have a reluctance to be away from what is comfortably familiar, surroundings and routines. Having said that I don’t seem to mind once the journey has begun and only start to miss it when I know the travel home is on the horizon.
This is also a time for prolonged periods of slight agitation, wanting to get on with it, a bit like waiting for Christmas. There’s very final planning, numerous checklists, making sure everything is in place but really knowing all along the plans are just the start, the frame on which the real experience will settle.
Steinbeck gets it just right, many of my most memorable travel experiences occur where the planned elements of the trip succumb to unexpected fleeting moments, that I’ve experienced something surprising and new, changed in some way.
I was once involved in an artist exchange to Calcutta, India, just being on the streets was exhilarating. A night trip to a framers house, via labyrinthine passages in the dimly lit heat of the city, sticks in my memory more than seeing the Taj Mahal.
I suppose it will be good to keep it in mind this week when eventually no more planning can be done. They should make travel guides on how to handle the run up to a trip!