If you think about it, any holiday or journey to places elsewhere is really just taking the ordinary you, with all your everyday thoughts, habits and expectations, to a different location. For most of the time, you will still be the same old you. But, if you think of your trip in parts, you will experience it differently and the ordinary you, for that little part, will be extra-ordinary.
For instance, the ordinary you doesn’t ordinarily experience the lift-off of an aeroplane; the roar of engines as they power-up, the lurch of the aircraft as it leaves earth and your stomach as your body re-configures its place in the world. Your ordinary self does not usually let out just a little, slightly embarrassed sigh of relief as the plane goes from ungainly grounded vehicle to smooth-flying jet: that tiny moment when it feels as if the plane is deciding whether or not to fly or crash. I love this part of a trip. Up until these minutes, the routine of checking in, getting through security and then waiting for your flight to be called, feels like drudge rather than going on holiday. Take-off lets ordinary me know that, at this point in time, I am something more. I am no longer in my ordinary life.
And then there’s the clouds. During my usual week/life, I often forget to look up to see what’s happening in the sky. Even when I do, while the cloud formations and sky colour are often awe-inspiring, seeing them from above is something completely apart from the real world. Last week, I drove toward a sunset in which the clouds appeared to have been dipped in liquid gold. It was glorious! But from a plane, where you can see all the dips and curves, the mountains and valleys that are only hinted at from earth, that is truly heaven.
The next part is arriving at your accommodation. Finally, you will find out if ordinary you was able to choose something out of the usual. Is the hotel room as good as the pictures or better than the pictures, or a dismal failure. I’ve just arrived in Brisbane having chosen our holiday apartment from stayz.com.au. The photos and description all sounded great. The reality was way better. Spotlessly clean, modern, lovely views of the Brisbane River (we’re waterfront), a pool downstairs and nice area to wander around in. We enjoy looking at all the houses wherever we go. Architecture changes so much from region to region and some of the “Queenslanders” here are amazing. We’re in Tennyson Reach (even sounds good) about 20 mins or so from the city.
When we travelled to New Zealand a few months ago, I used lastminute.com and found some so-so and some wonderful accommodation. Queenstown was amazing. Invercargill okay. Te Anau very so-so (don’t get me wrong, beautiful town, wonderful views and lots of great accommodation – just not the place we stayed at).
As usual, I’ve digressed. The part of the holiday where you walk in to the room/apartment/cabin that you’ve booked (almost sight unseen) and it’s great, that part takes you out of the ordinary and into someplace new.
I’m still sitting in my first full day of Queensland. The heat after the cool of Sydney is much appreciated. Our stretch of river changes with the light and, right now, has disappeared into blackest night broken only by the city lights in the distance. It’s wonderful and every step we take as we move around our lovely apartment keeps us out of the ordinary, at least, for these precious parts of our holiday.