Last year when I was still drugged up and gimping around, my cousins generously invited me along for a romp around the UK this autumn. Being the travel slut that I am and feeling quite optimistic about life due to happy doses of Percocet, I accepted the offer. When I’d purged my system of the happy drugs, I had some reservations: I have that sort of blurry double vision which can make little things like navigating busy new environments and maintaining balance on cobblestone streets and dirt paths somewhat more exciting than those activities used to be with fully functioning binocular vision.

Being the perpetual optimist that I am (pause here for raucous laughter from friends and family), I quickly looked for the positive in these potential challenges. What immediately sprang to mind was the therapy aspect: practice makes perfect! Sure, I could drag myself to the Metro two or three times a week, riding it into the District to wander around in that busy and potentially hazardous environment, but England, frankly, sounds like more fun – a fortuitous satisfaction of both therapy and the travel bug. Here in the District I could chance being hit by a transit bus (an oddly common happenstance in DC for some reason), but in England I could be hit by a red double decker bus – way better story! And yes, I could pull on hiking boots and wander through the woods of the park right behind the house, practicing reading depth of field by falling into the creek, slipping down mudbanks, and tripping on vines or logs … but in England those activities will carry an added frisson of anticipation: I could startle a hedgehog. I’ve never seen one in the wild.

So although this trip may sound like an enviable lark taken up by an unemployed slacker, it’s actually part of my ongoing recuperation and ought to be looked upon as a working vacation. Luckily, I like work. I’m looking forward to it.

[post-journey comment: Day 36 is a personal favorite]


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