This is perhaps the first summer I’ve ever had that feels plagued with thoughts, but not realizations, about travel. As I often do, I took several trips in the spring, so I knew that the next trip wasn’t likely to be until fall, due mainly to work concerns and work we need to do (have done) on the house. I love planning trips, but I’ve felt almost paralyzed by the panoply of places I want to go and people I want to visit. These include: bike trip in France, a camping & road trip in US, or any kind of trip to Peru, Thailand, the Philippines, Bolivia, Iceland, California, Kentucky, Arizona, Mexico, or Costa Rica.
Additionally, I’ve been tasked with finding lodging at the 2012 Birkebeiner in February, and that’s been daunting. I’m presently 98% convinced that there simply isn’t enough lodging in/near Hayward for all the people that want to do or watch those ski races.
It’s been almost pure torture, thinking and thinking and thinking about trips but not taking them, when the sun is shining, and there is a beach or mountain somewhere that is calling my name.
However, I realized a few things today that will help me get through this. One was the topic of my last post: my 2-3 bike commutes to work are great boosts. They are simply so much fun, both when I must or I choose to pedal, and also when I coast. They are also reminders to me that I am so lucky to be able to bike, and to own a bike (ok, two). I took (even led!) longer bike trips in the past, and these short spins remind me of those adventures. The sense of resourcefulness and power I feel, knowing that I can get myself from point A to point B, relatively quickly, on my own juice, is satisfying and makes me smile.
The other is food! Fresh produce, in particular. In the last year or so, we’ve made an effort to do a lot more plant-based cooking, with our meals at home. We’ve used and loved “Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine” for awhile now, and we recently got “Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook“. Those, our Moosewood standards (yes, the college where we met was friendly, nerdy, and also very granola) and a few internet searches have yielded some delicious, very colorful, and jam-packed-with-good stuff meals and desserts. While neither of us is inclined (or even able, perhaps) to go to a completely plant-based diet, doing so for most meals has been feasible and sustainable for our health and for the planet. It’s generally easier for planning the week’s meals – there’s less need to take meat out of the freezer to thaw or worry about dairy going bad. The meals are usually very pleasurable to the eyes and the palate.
What dish in particular inspired this post? A Golden Gazpacho, that I prepared last night, and will be enjoying today at lunch. What’s gold about it: yellow and orange tomatoes, yellow pepper, mango, cantaloupe, cucumber, and turmeric. Sunshine in a bowl.
The drop in temperature outside has also turned my mood around: it was 73, rather than 93, when I got on the bike today.
Gratitude is the order of the day. I may be stuck in town, with a pile of travel planning to do, but I have it good.