My evening commute, which currently is often ruined by construction delays, suffers even more in winter because the darkness that neither the streetlights nor the car headlights can penetrate, robs me of the much-needed visual distraction the scenery provides. On a bright morning or summer evening, I can while away lots of time looking out the window.
Yesterday’s commute home was made better by a stop I made on my way to work. I’ve been planning—or at least trying to plan a January getaway for some time. My budget is modest and despite my independent streak, do not want to do the hostel backpacking thing or be alone all the time. So, I’ve been looking at various companies that I have travelled with before. Thanks to the internet, this is relatively easily done on any number of devices. All the information is there, and booking can be done without even talking to another human being with just a couple of mouse clicks and some back finger pecking typing. The thing is, the wonder of the whole enterprise seems a little lost that way.
Maybe it is because I am old school (hopefully not too much emphasis on old) but I prefer to look at brochures or catalogues. I know this doesn’t bode well for the trees, but I can’t help it. Seeing it all in front of me—the pictures, the maps, the schedules, –is somewhat akin to looking through the catalogues of my childhood. I am full of wonder and awe.
A quick aside about catalogues. I remember making a detailed list of all the camping equipment I was going to buy from Canadian Tire. I scoured the catalogue, totalling up prices and adding the tax. The catalogue was mostly black and white and relied on artist illustrations for everything except a few full-colour photograph supplemented pages. Despite that, I loved it and devoted many hours to the task.
Getting back to yesterday. Realizing that my brochures/catalogues were almost out of date, I decided to stop by a travel agency to get some new ones. The last time I was at this agency, they seemed to be rationing the things and only gave me a couple and were a little difficult about it. They gave me some regional ones—which I thought were the only things the companies issued. I asked for several regions (Asia, Central and South America, and Australia and New Zealand. Without prodding, she brought me out the catalogue for the whole world. Sadly, it was not a new one, but it did make me wonder why they hadn’t given me that in the first place.
For my commute home, from the minute I sat down, I was engrossed and started dreaming of trips far and wide. I devoured the information and virtually went page by page, cover to cover. I considered and reconsidered so many times that my head is still spinning. I didn’t look up until I heard the announcement for my stop. What a great way to spend a commute. It was so good that it was Yesterday’s Perfect Moment.