The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Monday, July 09, 2007


By Tamara Lee

Montreal this year, because of its unseasonably warm winter, had a rather pesky onslaught of mosquitoes while I was there. I can’t hear or see one without a surge of panic ripping through my neuroses-addled brain, ever so briefly positive West Nile or the Plague are just a mosquitter-prick away. Like most bugs, though, the feeling passes soon enough.

This travel bug, though, is not going anywhere.

Back in Vancouver barely a week after nearly seven weeks away, and already I’m researching possibilities for my next trip. Not that I have the money to travel right now, or seemingly ever again, but oh that itch.

Much like the schooled desire to buy Duotangs, spiffy pens and a new swanky wardrobe sometime near Labour Day, this urge to skedaddle in the spring and summer months is fueled by nostalgia.

Growing up in the Lee family meant we were always getting away to somewhere, any chance my parents could. We were spoilt for all the trips we took up and down the west coast. I was one of those lucky kids who occasionally left school early, before the rest of the holiday travelers took up precious driving room on the Interstates, thus forgoing the dreaded Sports Day and awkward end-of-year goodbyes. Instead, my classmates would watch silently as I gathered the last of my books and pens and headed out on An Adventure. And I’d try not to skip on my way out the door.

But maybe it wasn’t envy those kids felt, like I’d thought it was. Quite possibly they couldn't have cared less where I was going.

Some people are not into travel, I've heard. But are non-travelers actually lacking a ‘curiosity gene’? Surely there are genuinely curious people who prefer never to leave home? Perhaps travel-bugism is nurtured, or could some folks really be born to travel?

Nevertheless, now more than ever, I’ve the yen to travel longer distances, to get beyond the damned mountains that always seem to be getting in the way these days, to cross terrain and visit monuments with names I’ve always pronounced incorrectly.

But then again, is this really travel-bugism I feel, or some other condition, like writers-blockosa?

Perhaps I’ll first try my hand at some travel-based fiction, then see what condition my condition is in afterwards. Although travel writing, I fear, has become the new literary heroin, I think it's time to pick up some Bruce Chatwin or better yet, 'The Lore of the Wanderer'.

Not sure if this prescription will cure what ails me, but it may ease my buggy brain for a while. At least until the bankbook starts showing more promising numbers.

(photo of ‘Travel Bug with Trailer' courtesy of fullmoonclayco)


Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Both your post and Tricia's make me feel like such a homebody!

I'm going to take my inspiration from you and plan a holiday to see if I like it!

Mon Jul 09, 10:48:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

I think some people have the travel bug more than others, Tamara. I couldn't wait to get out of my hometown and it amazes me how many people I went to high school with are still there. I traveled and moved a fair number of times in my younger years. At this point in my life, however, I like smaller trips so I can make it quickly back to the nest.

Mon Jul 09, 06:49:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Yes, maybe the bug affects us in fits and starts. Andrew, I think you should definitely try a short trip somewhere and see how it suits you. I am thinking Eastern Europe for my next trip; I am trying to think of places where I know people, so solo travel doesn't feel too lonely.

Tue Jul 10, 01:04:00 am GMT-4  
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Wed Jul 31, 05:46:00 am GMT-4  

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