I have a problem, a weakness of some sort. It may be pathological, it could even be genetic, although I have no grounds for suspecting the latter. I stray – constantly. One minute I’m working on something, a piece of prose, a letter, whatever, and the next minute I find myself staring wide eyed at the screen, fingers pressing heavily to slide through the photos attached to one place or another. I know it’s time wasting, bordering on fanciful even, but once I start, I can’t stop.
This morning it was Seattle followed by Abu Dhabi, then Hong Kong. Torremolinos may even have appeared once, (but some things are best left unsaid). When push came to shove, it wound up in Toronto and now my sights are set on a trip to the shores of Lake Ontario. Lust has taken over and preferred hotels have been checked. I’ve imagined myself relaxing in the divine looking leabas of The Ivy at Verity. I’ve planned a Tuesday to Friday type gig, during which I’ll tip down to Niagara Falls on the Wednesday, as you do! I’ve looked at flight options, I’ve looked into Canadian visas and I’ve even familiarised myself with the map of Toronto neighbourhoods. All this happened within minutes or so of thinking ‘Toronto’. That’s whirlwind stuff lads! It’s along one night stand proportions, although a one night stand at least has the decorum to involve some form of opening scene and some degree of lights, camera, action. My brushes with Expedia are spontaneous and all consuming. They are the whole play on extra fast forward, to be acted out in minutes, if not seconds.
Can I control it? Unlikely. I’ve tried but my mind wanders back to the tried and tested well of dreams and travel delights. Can I take an Expedia break? Sure isn’t that the name of the game? It’s excitment bordering on the gorgeously fantastical. It’s a catalogue of possibilities, some for when you win the lotto, others for when you’re picking a honeymoon, most for brief getaways that a few months of hard saving may allow you. It’s having the balls to look into backpacking trips of India and go on your own. It’s being so at ease with yourself that you’ll gladly take a couple of nights to revisit Paris and delight in it’s beauty while enjoying some ‘you’ time. It’s knowing there are probably only a few places that you won’t search, because you’ve been and despised, or you’ve no notion in the world of ever visiting. That list looks like: New York, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Thailand and any ski resort. Out of 195 countries, I don’t think I can be deemed indiscriminate. It’s far from an exhaustive list and you’ll give me skiing as a bête noir of a holiday idea. I love hiking mountains but you shove your skis up your slope.
So today, I still have the remnants of yesterday’s Toronto climax in my mind, and have a window for travel selected, but I’ve since decided that I need to get back to Achill island soon. It’s the most amazing place on the planet and I am rarely as at peace there as anywhere else. If the truth be known, I’d have to say that Expedia is never flirted with while I’m there. It’s the only island that I never want to escape from, either in mind or body. So, AIRBNB has been called up many times this morning and I’ve picked my Achill cottage. A little Mayo magic is the greatest in the world and Achill’s lure is certainly, among the most spellbinding the county has to offer. As the saying goes, ‘Mealfaidh draíocht na háite aráis thú.’ And it does, again and again. The only thing more powerful than the promise of Expedia is a date with Achill.