Tuesday, March 26, 2024

keep not traveling

Here's somebody's idea of the 24 Best Islands in the World. I had to go all the way down to no. 24 to find one that I've visited: Kau'ai. I was there on a family vacation cruise when I was 19. We docked at Lihue and took a hired car tour to Waimea Canyon. It was very pretty. Then we went back and sailed away, all in one day. That was it.

During part of their period of frequently shifting abode during their retirement, B.'s parents lived on Kau'ai. B's sister went to visit them, and we were encouraged to go too. But besides the expense, and the time and trouble of getting there, any idea of going was stymied by the question of, what would we do there? Visiting B's parents, but they were often visiting here. Sitting around relaxing we can do at home. Viewing scenery would be nice, but not as the sole necessary reason for a long trip. So we didn't go. Most of the other 23 islands on the list are of no more interest to me.

My idea of the best islands in the world would be quite different. My choice for the best island in the world would be the island of Great Britain. It has lots of things that attract me, starting with some of the people who live there. It has blazes of historic sites and fascinating old buildings, it has bookstores and museums and great concert halls and some interesting food. I've been there nine times, the last six years ago, but what with pandemics and health issues I'm not sure if I'll ever be back.

I'd also put a high ranking on the island of Manhattan. I'm less fond of it as a place, because I found living there for a week to be exhausting in a way London isn't, but it sure measures almost as high as Britain on the scale of interesting things to do.

Now I have an opportunity to go back there. But I'm not taking it. We got an invitation from dear friends to a special anniversary party to be held very near Manhattan in an interesting venue. Once upon a time I'd have been willing to take the trouble to go all the way across the country for such a tempting reason, and would have tacked on other things to do. But loss of physical agility ... the still-high risks of pandemic ... the only partially-consequent decay of my ability at and interest in party socializing ... and the corrosive experience of the time I lost my bag in the airport due to trying to do four things at once ... I'm not up to that any more.

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