I wrote over in LiveJournal (since that’s where most of my friends relevant to the subject hang out) that I won’t be going to WisCon this year. And in addition to not seeing my Madison friends, I’m bummed that I won’t get to see my British friends, whom I don’t really have much hope of ever seeing aside from at WisCon, until and unless I go on my Theoretical Vacation to England.
Naturally, the TVtE seems like a good topic for a journal entry.
I’ve been to England twice before, once with each of my parents, back in the mid-1980s. I had a terrific time, I loved the Underground, loved the parks in London, loved the comic book stores in London, loved what I saw of the British Museum, and was mostly bored silly at the Tower of London and the couple of castles we went to. This was a peculiar time in my life (my mid-teens) to go travelling, as I was starting to become a little more interested in the world around me on its own terms, but I was still very much wrapped up in my own hobbies (I spent a bunch of time perusing rules books for the Champions role-playing game, for instance). In other words, as much as I enjoyed it, I surely didn’t get nearly as much out of it as I could have.
One of the biggest disappointments for me was Stonehenge, which was roped off so you couldn’t get within, oh, 50 feet (17 meters) of it. Actually I have no idea what the actual distance was, but it was far enough that I just found it an unrewarding experience. Of course, it’s roped off because tourists had been chipping little bits off the stones for years as souvenirs, thus the stones were gradually eroding. It makes sense, but I was still disappointed.
Some years later I learned that there are actually hundreds of stone circles throughout England, and many of them, although local landmarks, don’t have the celebrity of Stonehenge. But many of them are interesting and cool in their individual ways.
So for some years now I’ve had the notion of making a two-week trip to England, and spending the first week (or maybe slightly less) in London, seeing the sights there, and then renting a car and driving around the countryside seeing various stone circles, as well as the towns and landscape of England.
If this sounds like a half-baked plan, well, you’re exactly right: I’ve never done any research as to where the other circles are, which ones I should visit, how easy they are to reach, whether it’s easy to find sleeping space nearby, or for that matter how easy it would be to rent a car in England. Heck, 7 or 8 or 9 days might not be enough time to make such an expedition worthwhile. But I figure until I have even a half-formed idea of when I (and Debbi!) might go on this trip, it doesn’t make sense to spend a whole lot of time working out the details. I’m hoping it’s not a completely infeasible idea, though.
It’d be fun to see my British friends in their native habitat, too!
I’m not much of a traveller, though, so I don’t know when I might try to make this trip a reality. Debbi and I still haven’t gotten back to Hawaii in nearly four years since our first trip. I admit it: I’m a stay-at-home kind of guy. I worry about leaving the cats when we go away, I worry about the flight going wrong, or some government-related stupidity that might leave me (or maybe just my laptop) stranded in a far-away land for some unknown period of time.
But, maybe someday. I’m probably not going to stay here forever. After all, for all my sluggishness, I’ve never stayed anywhere else forever, either…