Wednesday, December 06, 2006

melancholic holiday rambling

I'm feeling a wee bit blue at the moment. Perhaps it's because a leg is aching, or it's the middle of the December teaching struggle, or listening to Susie Suh's gorgeous music. Quite possibly it's travel.

In nineteen days, it will be Christmas day and I will be off on another solo Europe trip. But while I am relieved to have travel plans, to know that I'm going somewhere, I'm not feeling it all the way. I 'chose' Amsterdam for this trip because it was the cheapest option and I haven't been there, and it's supposed to be nice....? Eh.

I'm not excited to see it. I don't really know anything about it. I just reread a few blog posts (namely this one), and another one, and they seemed to have enjoyed it. But, meh.

I think I was like this about Prague. That was another random choice, and I knew even less about it. In fact, I probably still know less about it, having been there! However, Prague simply blew me away with its splendor and sights, and I cannot wait to visit again, in the summer (when it's warm, sunny, and everything is open).

That may be part of my blahness--the season. Visiting most any nontropical place in the depths of winter is not enticing at all. Sun makes things better and prettier, even if it's not warm. (As a lifelong gloomy winter sufferer in Seattle, I have come to love and rely on the cold sun of New York winters.) Also, I'll be there, or somewhere near there, for an entire week.

One week is too long for one city; I've long thought that. But I don't know if there's anything interesting enough (and new to me) nearby to stay for a couple days. Advice or tips welcome!

When I was in Paris for a week in 2004, I left in the middle (even my favorite place is too long for a week) and visited Brussels and Bruges (the former for about a day and the latter for just an afternoon). Apparently those are good places to go from Amsterdam, but I really don't need to see them again. Lovely, both, but for the time and money, I would want to see a new place.

Look at me, full of bourgeois travel woe. Poor little girl, depressed about her Europe trip!

I want to be excited. I bookmarked a bunch of sites, and that inspired a bit of hope in me. Maybe I can finally visit a concentration camp. I didn't have time in February, and now I'll have lots of time.

Extra time, in fact, because I don't know if I'll have lodging for the last three nights of my stay! I'm leaving on New Year's Eve morning, I think, and naturally, hostels and hotels are quite full up for that time. I don't think I'm adventurous enough to think about camping in a park or something...eek. I'll cross my fingers that my hostel will have room, or I'll have to suck it up and pay for a real hotel. With holiday prices. I could find a little budget hotel on my own, perhaps. But what if everything is booked? What will I do? I'll really have to leave town then. Ack!

Note that Boyfriend got me a Let's Go Amsterdam guidebook for my birthday, and I haven't touched it yet. I know that that would build up some excitement and hope for the trip, not to mention knowledge, but reading that and planning and thinking is a day-long task.

Not to mention that I have this weird avoidance-therapy thing with travel. It's like I ignore it because if I get too excited, things will turn out badly. Or I'll get too anxious to go when it's still too far away. (Like freaking London, which is still two and a half months away! See why I had to go somewhere at Christmas?) Plus, this month is always crazy anyway, so it speeds by and rather takes me by surprise. Which I like, because vacation is always better than working.

It's after 9 on Wednesday, and I should be watching television like a good little addict! So I'll shuffle off this computer coil and try to drown my worries in other mindless electronic drivel.

1 comment:

Fred said...

Amsterdam. I'm soooo jealous. You'll love the museums there. Make sure you find the outdoor markets, too.