“For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been.” – John Greenleaf Whittier 1807 – 1892 (American poet)
With these words in mind, I booked my flights back to the US to once again attend the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC) annual conference… even though I am currently not a newspaper columnist nor have I done much in the way of writing (so far) this year.
Until May, I had spent a good part of 2014 devoted to expanding my highly developed procrastinatory skills and allowing myself to be seduced by the delusional mantra “Good things come to those who wait.” Good things may come to those who wait but far better things come to those who set goals and work towards achieving them.
I had given a great deal of thought to returning to the US in 2014 for another solo travel adventure and to attend the NSNC conference but the more I thought about the trip and tried to plan, the more daunted I became. (The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, didn’t help.) Too much thinking had led me into analysis paralysis; I felt completely overwhelmed by choices and unable to make a decision either way… in fact, I just wanted to take a nap…
Finally, moments before the early bird registration special for the NSNC conference lapsed, I remembered the technique I had successfully employed last year: I bought my plane ticket, registered for the conference and left worrying about the finer details for a later date.
The Nike shoe company were on the money when they trademarked the slogan, “JUST DO IT” in 1988.
With less than a week to go until I fly out, my itinerary is still looking a little vague but I’m reassuring myself that this gives me plenty of flexibility and scope for adventures. I’m flying out next Thursday morning the 12th June and thanks to the International Date Line; I’m flying into Los Angeles the same morning.
Ten days later on Saturday 21st June, I’m embarking on my first long-distance train trip. The California Zephyr makes a two and a half day, 3,924km journey from San Francisco on the west coast, through the Rocky Mountains to Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan.
From Chicago, I have to hastily find my way down to Baltimore and Washington DC (about 1,100km south east from Chicago) to fit in a bit of sight-seeing before the NSNC Conference. Then it’s on to Boston for four glorious days with my friend Suzette and her family, before I take to the skies once more for the long trip home.
Stay tuned, for the next instalment of “Vague Adventures ‘R’ Us”.