What destination are you dreaming of?

Some years ago, I accepted it was unlikely I’d do much more – if any – in the way of international travel. Then my mother decided she’d like to relocate to the USA… but let’s put that aside for the moment.

I lived overseas for my first two decades, and travelled a fair bit during those years – yet I’ve seen little of the UK, despite living here for the remaining (many) decades. That fact certainly formed part of my decision to forego international travel, but another important part of the decision is that travelling has become more drudge than fun with the passing of the years, and the increasing of aches & pains. Travelling light no longer seems to be an option, and even when I do, it involves way more stuff than it did before. The result is somewhere has to be really appealing. So… where is?

Himself’s Scandinavian friend recently sold his city centre apartment and bought an out of town house on a fjord. Even before he’d moved in, Himself & I received a phone call and a “when are you coming to stay?” demand. I found myself saying “as soon as it’s possible to travel safely” and I wasn’t being polite at all.

The sum total of my time in Scandinavia was a brief trip ashore in Esbjerg, Denmark when I was 21 and had the opportunity to crew on a sailing schooner. I remember little about the town itself, except for the beautiful Copenhagen glass glistening in the shop windows at night as I rolled along the pavements (yes, you do roll after a week sailing at sea). Sadly, there was no time to shop and no place to store something so fragile and expensive in my locker that trip.

But, Copenhagen glass aside, there’s much about Scandinavia which appeals. I’ve a yearning to visit the vast array of islands in the Stockholm Archipelago, I’d love to learn first-hand about the national differences between the countries, to experience how they celebrate midsummer, the Icelandic Christmas Eve tradition of gifting books – when it’s not required to put them to one side, rather you’re actively expected to snuggle up and read them immediately. I long to find out what makes the Danes the happiest people in the world, to indulge in hygge, and lagom, and friluftsliv (time spent in the open air), to experience life with people whose country provides further education not just freely, but also encourages foreign travel by funding their student’s choice to undertake higher education in other countries (Norway in case you didn’t know), the design ethos of living in homes furnished simply, with quality products – designed to be beautiful and to last a lifetime. I could go on and on…

Of course, there are drawbacks – it’s expensive being a big one. But when you have a system of government which puts support and quality of life for its citizens at its centre – things don’t come cheap. It’s cold too. Himself assures me that it’s a dry cold, not soggy and slushy like we have here in the UK. Everyone drives on snow tyres, the roads and pavements are properly prepared, and having the right footwear is simply the norm. Still… I’m not good with cold.

But there are yet more pros: there’s space – and a lot of it. It’s not crowded like this island of ours, so traffic isn’t a problem. And as a photographer, there’d be the gorgeous light and colours of the Lofoten Islands, the majesty of the fjords, and the graphic brutality of Iceland – all right on your doorstep. 

Is there a destination somewhere out there calling to you? Where are you dreaming of going when we can travel once more?


© Debra Carey, 2021

15 thoughts on “What destination are you dreaming of?

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  1. I commuted to Rome for a year working on a project and saw many of the sites there, but I am aware that there is still much to see. I have been to Amalfi as well, but would quite like to see other parts of Italy. The bits of Germany outside BAOR that I didn’t get to see either, but mostly tthere is still a lot of this country that, like you, I have not visited for a long time, or at all, so those would be my priorities now. Especially, I would like to visit or revisit all of England’s cathedrals purposefully to make memories. Some visits I can’t recall at all, alas.

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  2. My plans, and I use that word loosely, are to go to Hawaii, then London England, then Canada [no destination determined yet]. IF we manage those trips, I’ll start thinking bigger… but at this point I have my doubts if we’ll ever get to travel again. Sad thought…

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  3. A nephew of mind lives and works in Stockholm (he took Swedish in college, which was a head scratcher to all of us at the time). I would like to visit him there, though he and I aren’t necessarily close. His brother, which whom I am close, spent much of his pre-pandemic time in Asia (Cambodia specifically, but also Japan) on business, and I’m sure he will return once things settle down. I’d love to meet up with him on one of those trips someday.

    Though I’ve been to England, I’ve never seen Ireland or Scotland. So they probably are #1 on my bucket list, as it were. – Marty

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  4. I can’t imagine travelling far for another few years, but then it’s a little unfair for me to be blasé about that; I’ve been to a lot of places. But aside from Scandinavia, if you haven’t explored much of the UK, there’s an awful lot that’s worth exploring.

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  5. Alan, I’m very envious of your time in Rome. I’ve visited Tuscany many times and would love to go back (and might even have persuaded Himself whose really a Francophile). I’d love to spend longer there travelling around – that’s more dream than likelihood sadly. A trip around England’s cathedrals would certainly keep you busy and provide some wonderful sights, as well as interesting history.

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  6. Ally, if you ever get to London, I would love to buy you a cocktail in our wonderful city. But, as you say, travel – big travel especially – seems less & less likely sadly.

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  7. Marty, how handy to have relatives with whom you could share some travel experiences. Good travel bucket list btw. I shall whisper the following… I have also never seen Scotland. I do plan to rectify that, if I can only work out what season the midges won’t bite me to death 🙂

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  8. Jane, I also feel most unsure about travelling. If we go to Scandinavia, it’s likely we’d drive and make it a road trip. There certainly is a lot of the UK worth exploring, and I’d planned on doing that a lot more before the dreaded happened. Let’s see if we can get back to those plans, although I suspect it’ll be a slow process.

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