Posted by: Rob | June 22, 2009

Ask the Blogger – Answers Part One

Welcome to the first of my answers in response to “Ask the Blogger”. The answers will be coming one at a time, so you will have to wait, with bated breath, for these to roll out day by day.

The first one I’m tackling was asked by Silverstar: What is your dream vacation? If money were no object, where would you go?

I think that the concept of vacations has always eluded me. I’ve always looked forward to time off from work* but it’s been rare that I’ve planned a vacation. I’m getting better at it now, but it wasn’t always so.

When we were much younger, vacations often meant travelling to spend time with family. So, with all of the driving to get there (and back) and the chore list that generally awaited me, vacations were really not vacations. It’s probably the sort of thing that many young families do and, when you live far enough away from parents/grand-parents, it’s overall a good thing to do so your children can get to know their grand-parents, aunts and uncles and cousins.

When we relocated to Kansas in the USA for several years, we still made annual pilgrimages back to the homestead. But because the distance was so great we began to take in some of the sights in between. In this manner we visited many places in the American West, in Colorado (Leadville and Dinosaur National Monument), Wyoming (Yellowstone National Park), North Dakota (Teddy Roosevelt National Park), South Dakota (Rapid City, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument), Nebraska (Chimney Rock) and Montana.

After we moved back to Canada we embarked on a bi-annual journey down to the US to meet up with and vacation with friends we made while in Kansas. We saw Glacier National Park in Montana and the Grand Canyon in Arizona in this fashion. Those vacations were a little more like real vacations as, aside from the driving, there were no chore lists for me to complete. (Not including, of course, the work associated with daily life while on a camping vacation.)

Although I don’t get to go as much anymore, I still love spending several days camping at large in the wilderness areas east of the Alberta Rockies. I find I get significant spiritual renewal just communing with nature.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a couple of Caribbean vacations over the years as well. Both of these were to the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten, the latter being part of the lesser Netherlands Antilles. We stayed on the Dutch side both times and spent a week or so each time sight seeing, going on excursions, laying on the beach or lounging by the pool. While a sun spot vacation is a highly sought commodity around here, especially in the middle of winter, I find myself growing restless after a few days. I have this inner compulsion, it seems, to be doing something constructive. I can’t just go somewhere and “relax”.

And I’ve taken more than one vacation where I simply stay home and complete various chores around the house and yard. More often than not, these chores involve some sort of renovation activity. A lot of people would consider this a crazy way to spend a vacation but, as I am essentially a desk worker, I find that time spent working with my hands and doing a bit of physical labour is very therapeutic.

So, in the context of how I view vacations in general, I will tackle Silverstar’s question. She was a bit surprised when I referred to her question as a “softball” and added,

A softball question? Maybe. But I find it very revealing.

I considered it a softball because I knew the answer I would write right off.

So, if money were no object, and there were no other barriers, my fantasy vacation experience would be to ascend Mt. Everest. Although from what I’ve read, the routes up Everest are ecological disasters (a fact which, I’ve also read, is starting to be addressed), it still seems to be the ultimate in personal challenges to ascend and, more importantly, summit on Everest. I’d always been intrigued with Everest and my interest was heightened after reading Jon Krakauer’s accounting, titled “Into Thin Air”. I managed to view a couple of documentary episodes of an Everest expedition on the Discovery Channel (couldn’t find a video copy of it, though) and I even watched the film version of “Into Thin Air”. The fact that people have died attempting to ascend Everest has not deterred me.

Following on with the “money is no object” theme, my other fantasy vacation experience is not really a vacation. I remember a discussion about different jobs and careers in the control room of the plant I used to work in. The question was put to me, “Where would you prefer to work, if you could have job wherever you wanted?”

Without a moment’s pause, my reply was, “I’d like to work in space.”

From my earliest memories of watching “Star Trek” and reading books and stories by Asimov, Heinlein and Bradbury, I’ve had a fascination with everything extra-terrestrial. At minimum, and in a realist’s view, the closest I could come to fulfilling this life-long fantasy would be a trip as (*shudder*) a space tourist up to the ISS. With a space walk thrown in for good measure!

So there you have it, dear readers, the first of my answers posed via “Ask the Blogger”.

Silverstar, I guess I’d be interested to hear what my vacation picks say about me (to you).

Stay tuned for more answers in the days ahead.

* That is, the paying job.

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Responses

  1. You realise I now expect a 1000 words on where socks go 🙂 Nice post though. If I had a blog I might have been tempted to emulate you and ask for questions. Lucky that’s not happening 🙂

    • Sassy Miss P: Why thank you. And I hope you like my response as to where socks go when it comes later this week. May even be a thousand words (since I tend to be a trifle long-winded).

      And, your (at the time) cryptic statement about not having a blog became clear when I attempted to visit your site today only to find it removed and deleted. What gives? Closing up shop? Throwing in the blogging towel? Now, I warrant that that decision is totally up to you. However, will you still be stopping by here on occasion to visit? Hope so.

  2. You’d have to beat me off with a stick xx

  3. I guess I will need to hurry up and become a best-selling author so you can tackle Everest before you are too old to come back from such a journey in the whole piece I love so well.

  4. I dislike taking roaming vacations. I am one of those that has a hard time if I don’t know where I am or exactly where I’m headed. Hard to believe I’ll be in Syria in 4 wks. Don’t know a drop of Arabic and have never been there before.
    I look forward to the times of “no kids” vacations. alot less stressful I hope.
    ..space…the final frontier…send me a map so I know where I’m going and I’ll take the trip.

  5. I would say that you like technical challenges in your fantasy vacations. They are both a little thin on things like oxygen and water. I’m a more down to Earth type, myself.

  6. loved “Into Thin Air” – more as what it said about the humans involved than the climb itself…

    just back from what may have been my best vacation ever. magical combination of “growth” (learning new things, testing my limits), “vegetation” (relaxation, downtime) and “throwin’ down” (with some wonderful new folks… honestly thing it was the “growth” part that made all the difference…


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