Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sri Lanka bound

This has been a pretty strange, and exceptional, year when it's come to travel. One of the reasons Cathy and I moved north was to get the resources to be able to see more of the world. We were deeply envious of our friends who were able to gallivant to different places. We simply couldn't do it for the first four or five years we were together. I remember having a serious conversation about whether or not we could go to the Dominican Republic for a week for our "early" honeymoon (we moved to Nunavut three weeks after we got married. There was no time for a honeymoon then, so we had it before we got married). We could, it just meant we couldn't make any RRSP payments that year.

Things have changed a lot since then. We've travelled so much this year that I've been getting questions on how we manage. Honestly, we save our money to do that thing. We don't have kids. We neither smoke nor drink (much). We don't own expensive "toys" like ATVs and snowmobiles (and yes, I know many people up here use them for hunting). We don't have many expensive hobbies. My worst one is buying graphic novels and getting some original art.

Still, I think even we've been surprised by how much we've travelled this year.

1. Back to Newfoundland in February for a friend's funeral. OK, that was not a fun trip, but a necessary one and I'm glad we were able to be there for our friend when she lost her husband.

2. Florida for a week over Easter. I keep swearing we're going to go some place different for Easter, but God help me, St. Petersburg is kind of growing on me.

3. Over to Europe for three weeks, including a cruise of the Baltics where we visited Copenhagen, Oslo, Aarhus, Berlin, Talinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. From there we went to Scotland for several days to visit some friends.

4. Cathy went to Newfoundland for the rest of the summer.

5. A trip to Nuuk, Greenland over Labour Day weekend.

6. I spent a week in New York City in October.

7. And in about a month's time we'll be going to Newfoundland to spend Christmas (we have housesitters, in case you were thinking it's an excellent time to break in. And one of them is about 250 pounds or more of muscle. Seriously). I think it's our first time back there for the holidays since 2009.

I didn't think it was likely we were going to top that in 2013. I genuinely hope we don't have to rush home for another funeral next year. I don't see us going to Greenland again and I know I won't be going to New York (although I'll be pining to go again around October. Maybe in 2014 or 2015). However, we got a little bit of a weird twist a few months ago.

I always swore if my friend, Dups, got married I would go to his wedding. Now, because he's originally from Sri Lanka, this meant a pretty awesome trip. So I was cheering for him to get married one day. I just didn't ever see it happening because, well, Dups is...high maintenance, shall we say. I've known him for about 20 years. I figure I had a good 20 more or so to go before he might settle down.

But then he surprised the hell out of me by announcing he was engaged (I discovered this while checking my email in a shopping mall in Talinn, Estonia. The screaming and profanity may have disturbed the locals). So now clearly there was going to be a trip to Sri Lanka in our future. He managed to further surprise me by announcing the wedding was going to take place in February, 2013.

I don't believe Dups thought many of his friends would make the trip. But a dedicated group of lunatics have decided we're going to do it. He's having a second wedding the summer for friends who can't make it, and I'll go to that as well. I apparently collect major Dups life events, what with me attending both of his university convocations and his citizenship ceremony.

So yeah, as of February 3 I'm on a flight Ottawa-London-Colombo. Which will take about 20 hours, so that'll be fun. I'll be heading back in the 15th, so it's a relatively quick trip. Fortunately, I'll have at least one, if not more, friends to make the trip with me. Unfortunately, Cathy won't be there. It's in the middle of the school year. She asked for time off without pay, but they didn't approve it (which didn't surprise her, but she had to try). It's sad, because I know she'd love to go, but she really pushed me to go when I was hemming and hawing about not going without her. This is why she's awesome.

Oh, and because it's a dig that needs to be made...the Ottawa-Colombo plane ticket? Cheaper than the Iqaluit-Ottawa ticket. So yes, a ticket for travel that will take 46 hours return and get me half way around the world and back (a distance of approximately 27,400 km return) is cheaper than the one for a flight that lasts six hours return (a total distance of approximately 4,100 km return). I don't care who shows up from First Air and Canadian North to defend it, that's bullshit.

Little things like that aside, I'm tremendously looking forward to go to Dups wedding and seeing a country I never thought I would get to visit (mostly because I never thought Dups would get married). So I'm excited by that.

So maybe not as much travel in 2013, but in terms of interesting travel, it's off to a great start.

Last Five
1. Cologne Cerrone Houdini - Goldfrapp
2. Jimmy standing in the rain - Elvis Costello
3. The Burroughs of carbs (comedy) - Patton Oswalt
4. Skip the youth - Frightened Rabbit*
5. England - The National


Anonymous said...

Never met Dups, but a friend of his is a friend and former coworker of mine. I could never help but crack up when Jason would tell me Dups' full name, but I can't for the life of me remember it now.

John, Perth AU said...

Great. Now you've put the crazy idea in my head that I should go to Colombo and meet you "halfway". 6600 km from Perth via Kuala Lumpur (no direct flights). Doubt if I can make it, though. I have to limit myself to one USA Thanksgiving trip every two years to catch up with family. That's all I can do. Maybe someday we'll be in NYC at the same time. Watch out for the worst jet lag ever.

Jeka said...

Flights are crazy up here which is crazy when you can go so far with the same amount of money... I am so jelous hearing of your traveling adventures. Most of my friends are doing their travelling over the Christmas holidays ( they are mostly teachers too) and I am jelous I think I have hit the time where I need to think about my vacation coming up!