The semester is coming to a close soon, and I can’t believe summer is almost here. And that means everyone is chomping at the bit to escape the north of center. I can’t escape just yet as there is so much to do. Grading, making plans for teaching abroad, organizing courses in our LMS, and research. My mind is cluttered and even to-do list aren’t helping. How do you weave through the obstacles and not get bogged down?
The only saving grace is the upcoming travel. Just the thought of it alleviates the anxiety for a precious few seconds. And then that nasty gremlin lurking in my mind, sitting on my shoulder vociferous reminds me to stop skipping along the slip stream and come back down to earth. The softer, sensible side counters, “Five minutes more.” Snooze button engaged. Ignore ugly procrastination monster.
However did my grandparents, parents, and other ancestors, think on the importance of travel? Pico Iyer discussed the necessity of travel in a Time Magazine (Iyer, P. (2002). The necessity of travel. Time, 159(21), 82.). It isn’t a new thought. MacCannell in his seminal work, The Tourist (2013), argues for escapism. We need it. We need it to recharge and refresh. To learn about the wonders of our global community.
Frankly, the monster of need creeps up on me, and I grab it’s spiky ear, lead it to a box and stuff it inside, ignoring its grumblings. I have for more than a few years now. Routine has settled around my shoulders like a vice. A never-ending loop. I don’t mind though. I enjoy seeing family, but I need new and shiny, even if new and shiny is a medallion hidden in my box. Bring it out, shine it up and wear it again. Everything old can become new again.
Scotland always lingers in my side-view mirror. Always whispers.
And finally, I get to return to my second home after a long absence. Home sounds good right now.
Breathe deep, savor the sweet smell of the Highlands. The unpretentious landscape. Will I find it as I left it? Will it be the same genuine atmosphere as before? God, I hope so.