Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | July 14, 2011

Prolegomena to Any Future Entries (At Least About the Next Trip Journal)

The adventure begins...

So here’s something you might want to know about me:  I’m perfectly comfortable traveling alone.  In fact, contrary to what my entries to date will, I’ve actually done it quite frequently, though I’ll admit most of my solo travel is to cities where I have friends or family in the vicinity.  This is not, however, always the case.  I’ve travelled alone for work several times, and even taken solo vacations every now and again.  In fact, I like to travel alone every now and again.  Sure, there’s no one to chat with over dinner, but I get a lot of quiet time and I can go anywhere I want at any time I want.

Of course, there’s nothing quite like traveling with that perfect travel buddy.  The kind where your rhythms mesh in near perfect sync so that, at the end of the trip, no one wants to stab anyone with a fork.  Someone with enough interests in common that you can do activities together, but who doesn’t mind if you want some time to yourself and isn’t going to get resentful if you don’t want to be glued together 24/7.

A few years ago, my friend (who shall, from now on, be known as “The Dolphin Whisperer” or DW for short) and I were both single ladies* who liked to travel and had been talking about seeing more of the world.  So we moved from talking about traveling the world to talking about talking about traveling together.

We decided to start small.  The last thing we wanted was to do something like take a long trip across the pond, get off the plane jet-lagged and stiff from our crappy economy class seats, only to discover we hated each other’s company.  So instead jetting off to Europe or some tropical country, we went to one of my favourite places on the planet: Tofino to ring in the New Year.

I wish I had journal from that trip, but I don’t. Mainly because I wasn’t doing the journal-so-my-parents-know-I’m-not-dead thing yet.  If I had kept a journal, it would have been awesome, because DW and I are not only able to travel together, we are also able to do it well. Consider the test aced.

There are little moments that were tiny proofs: hugging the 800 year old tree, wading to look at starfish while the non-Northerners looked at us like we were crazy for walking in the ocean in late December, reading silently at a coffee shop to escape the rain without speaking, maintaining that silence as we simultaneously glanced up, closed our books, and walked out the door when the screaming child and passive parent came in… This was, by the way, also the trip where “The Starfish Dancer” originated out of a random moment that involved a lot of champagne and my deciding to demonstrate how a starfish would dance.  In case you were wondering.  There’s no video, thank goodness. No embarrassing moment on Youtube for me (that I know of).

The MS Ryndam (and the Ms. Starfish Dancer)

Anyway, back on topic:  DW and I are excellent travel buddies.  So when I asked DW if she wanted to go somewhere new with me (I suggested San Francisco) as part of my annual birthday adventure, she asked if I could move it a little earlier to tag on the end of her annual visit to Florida with her snowbird parents to reduce her leave time, and if we could perhaps take a cruise from there instead.  I said yes and, in the same breath, asked if she’d be willing to also go to Harry Potter World (the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando) while we were there (I’m a giant Gryffindork and proud of it).  She was excited to learn there was a Harry Potter World and said ABSOLUTELY.  Further cementing her status as perfect travel buddy.

And so planning and the adventure could begin…

*One of us still is.  That someone is not her.  But, making her extra awesome, she’s cool with leaving the boyfriend by his lonesome to be my travel buddy.  Just two of many awesome people in my life.

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