From Jenni Murray:
“Do you remember how exciting it used to be to arrive at the airport, stand in a queue for just a few minutes to check in, whizz through passport control, have a stroll around Duty Free, wander down to the boarding gate, find your seat on the plane where there’d be plenty of knee room and, full of anticipation, you were up, up and away?”
I think she’s talking about the 1960s. Personally, I would feel pretty much the same as she does, because even before the Wuhan virus flying had become a post-9/11 nightmare. As she puts it:
Hours of checking in and security. Anxiety about whether any cosmetics might be confiscated if they were more than 100 ml. The humiliation of removing shoes…[etc]
So my bucket list loses Peru, San Francisco, the Maldives, Japan, Australia and gorillas in Sub- Saharan Africa. I shall never fulfill my longing to dig my own opal from the mines at Coober Pedy, north of Adelaide, or delight in the cherry blossom in Okinawa. And my trip around Kolkata, Calcutta as my parents knew it, is off.
In terms of travel, my bucket list is not the same (San Francisco? Kolkata? LOL), but in terms of places I still want to visit (for the first time), it’s essentially European: Budapest, Prague, Dubrovnic, Milan, to name but some); and I also want to revisit some of my favorite countries: Britain, France, Austria, Holland… All seem so far away now, so out of reach because of all the travel restrictions and other nonsense.
We won’t even talk about Australia, where I have cousins and a step-family via New Wife’s elder son, with grandchildren I’ve never met. (She’s off to South Africa next month to visit younger son and his wife and baby — grandmothers will not be denied.)
Don’t even talk to me about local travel. Certainly, New Wife hasn’t been to any of the major U.S. cities except to fly through, but answer me this: if you were in my position, are there any U.S. cities you’d want to take your wife to these days? We’ll probably end up going up to New England again in the fall, and maybe a trip up to Glacier National Park before the heavy snows, and she’d probably love that:
But compared to Amsterdam, Vienna, Lake Como and Villefranche-sur-Mer? Well, that’s a little more to consider, isn’t it?
Part of me wants to say, “Ah, what the hell”, and let it slip. Then there’s the other part of me that says, “Hell no — I am going to see all those places, both where I’ve never been and where I’ve been before.”
And all that despite the TSA bullshit, the crowded planes and airports…
I’m not like Jenni Murray.