I decided to travel more this year and hence I have some free time to do some writing. I am petrified of publicizing my experiences but maybe no one will come to this page!

I am on a long vacation for the next few weeks. When I was getting ready to leave, the temperature had warmed up to a balmy 0 C from -30 C the week before.

That’s where I start my story:

Day -2 (January 24)

The sun was shining and the winter road conditions had improved. It was the perfect day for a road trip. Except this road trip to the city would take me to further travels.

I walk in to work and look at a 3×3 yellow sticky note to review the 10th version of my list in 7 days – only two items from 20 left for the last day remain unscratched. Not bad! I still had three hours before I had to leave town. I printed off my e-tickets and withdrew some cash. A note on my work desk said we have three boxes to pick from the Greyhound station. One thing I wouldn’t get the pleasure of adding on and scratching off the list, I thought, as I walked to my car. I was glad to help with the packages so my colleagues were spared one more task to cover for me while I took off on a long holiday. I set down the boxes and get interrupted by a text – Locklan is now awake in case you still want to see her. Yes, some play time with a four and a half month old can take the edge off, especially since I have no more chores to worry about. I enjoy the visit, head home for lunch and make sure the taps have slow drips as we’ve hit -30 a record number of times this winter. I glance at my watch and feel pleased that I can even stop at the Swiss Bakery and grab a chai latte for the road. I don’t tell Silvia that I am off on a long holiday like I usually do – don’t feel like getting into the where and why. I am still unsure what this trip will be about.

Half way through my drive, I recall a book summary I had worked on the night before. And bits of a conversation with a friend that morning. I could tweak the article for the newspaper and make it more relevant to local issues. I have my laptop and look for a suitable roadside pull-out but winter roads aren’t the greatest for impulse pull overs. I patiently wait until I get into the Slim Creek rest area. Before I get out for a bathroom break, I make some changes to my writing. Wow, the roads have been amazing. I am enjoying the last minute purchase of La La Land’s City of Stars on repeat.

My mind can’t shut off and I have more ideas to make the article better. I am approaching Prince George and have made good time. I still have two hours before my dinner date with friends, so I decide to choose the pretext of grabbing a treat at Books & Company to fine tune my article further.

After dinner, I drive my car over to leave it at Micah’s. I step out and in an instant I am horizontal on an icy driveway. I am stunned. I hear Micah’s head peak out of her front door asking if I am ok, but my head feels woozy and I need a few minutes before I can answer or pull myself up. I am thinking of the 6 am flight in a few hours and recall Grace’s concussion from her fall a few years ago and the after-effects. All the worries thrown at me about high crime rates in a foreign land seem irrelevant; I had hurt myself on home turf or rather home ice! I let Micah walk me off the ice to Laurel’s truck. I request a healing touch treatment when we get to her place to calm my nerves. I wonder what the fall is about. Since I came across Louise Hay’s work a few years ago, I’ve discovered there’s always an emotion or thought behind an accident or ailment for me. I tell Laurel in the truck, “It seems like the Universe is telling me, ‘Give your head a shake.’” I go home and google and I am being suggested that I watch and pay attention and be aware of my instincts and my needs. I already know this and I now have a two-inch high bump on my head to remind me of this for the next few days. I barely sleep two hours, thanks to the bump and a bout of dizziness that caught me off guard. Some challenging interactions from the past week creep into my thoughts and suddenly I get the message – Stay in the moment and clear your head and plate from unnecessary stuff.

Day -1 (January 25)

4:30 am and I let Carla carry my suitcase to her car. I am going to take it easy else I might be Laurel’s patient rather than companion on our holiday. We are spending the night in Toronto with a former Valemount friend and his family. The minute we enter their home, I request a chai of my friend’s wife. I haven’t met her before but I think I can get away with such demands disguised as requests in light of Indian hospitality. Laurel and I enjoy samosas and home-made pakoras with our chai. I build a puzzle with the eight-year old and decide to see what my friend back home had to say about my revised article. I asked for criticism and got it. My lingering light-headedness prevented me from processing suggestions and I decide to let it sit for another day.