I am a writer—a good one. And once upon a time, I just assumed that applied to all types of writing.
I tend to assume a lot of things about my skills and abilities in general. Like that time I took tennis lessons.
I’m a pretty fit and active person, so I just assumed I’d channel my inner Serena Williams and kick ass at it.
I once read that the two least liked manoeuvres in driving are left turns and merging into traffic.
Left turns, I agree, makes sense. There’s inherent danger from exposing your broad side as you cut across the path of oncoming traffic.
Left turns also put you at the mercy of the volume of oncoming vehicles; it can be a long wait before you get a chance to make your move. If you’re a somewhat timid driver, you may fail to take advantage of opportunities that seem iffy, thereby resulting in an intimidating amount of traffic backed up behind you.
Old World architecture in the French Quarter
Aside from the obvious – heat, crawfish, lots of people who kinda look like me – I didn’t really know what to expect when I decided to join in on the trip mother was making to New Orleans.
Part of this was through my own negligence: as per usual, I can be quite gung-ho about actually purchasing plane tickets to given destinations, obsessively checking travel sites, scrutinizing fares, and generally wheeling and dealing my way into a good enough rate.
However, once my credit card has been billed and the all-important travel points accumulated, my preparation and enthusiasm dies off significantly until such time as I actually set foot on the ground. To wit, I signed out three different New Orleans travel guides from the library and had to renew all three no less than five times (each renewal comprising a period of three weeks).
Sunset at a Highway 401 rest stop
Unlike a lot Canadians, particularly those living in Ontario, I love that highway. The thought of going for a drive upon it fills me with excitement.
Highway “four-oh-one”, as its most commonly referred to – or to use its official name, the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway – spans about 828 km across southern Ontario from the Quebec border in the east to Windsor in the west, and in parts is one of busiest highways in the world.
At its widest where it crosses the populous city of Toronto and its suburban hinterlands, the highway’s girth stretches to an imposing 16 lanes, which, according to Wikipedia, makes it one of the widest highways in the world.
They are, in a nutshell, exorbitant, inappropriate, and not at all for the reasons the airlines would have us believe.
Let me back up a step.
Last week, to celebrate Easter as well as to use some of my overtime for a well-deserved break, I took a trip to Ontario.
What keeps you up at night?
For some reason, I have a disproportionately large number of friends who are insomniacs.
I’m not talking people who occasionally suffer bouts of sleeplessness like we all sometimes do. Rather, I mean folk who chronically don’t sleep more than a few of hours, every night of their lives.
That must really suck.
The notion of insomnia really came to the fore of my mind due to my recent trip to Australia. From my connection at Los Angeles airport to Melbourne, Australia, the flight was about 15 hours long.
Flinders Street Station – a major transit hub, Melbourne, Australia
In what seemed like the blink of an eye, I’d travelled more than half a day into the future; perhaps journeying more than half a day closer to my final day.
“I don’t feel like I’ve just come halfway around the world.”
These were among the first words I spoke on Australian soil to my Aussie-born friend and former Vancouver roommate who was the impetus behind my recent trip Down Under. This after she’d retrieved me from a very crowded Melbourne airport and pointed out all her favourite cafés, restaurants, shopping areas and, walking paths during the drive to her apartment.