oh, the places i will go!

Travel. How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

finally!  a prompt i actually want to write on!  it’s been a while for me and #reverb10…so many of them have just been, well, meh.

i have a bit of wanderlust.  this has been encouraged by my parents, who, when my sister and i were both still in school, would beg, borrow, or steal just so we could go on the various school trips we were eligible for (myself, that included hawaii, san francisco, ireland, and boston).

i’m pretty lucky; the BF wants to see the world as much as i do, albeit more slowly than i’d like.  we’ve been on three trips in three years.  2008 we high-tailed it across the pond to prague (in february, no less).  2009 we visited family in philadelphia and had ourselves a three day excursion to good ol’ NYC.  this year…we went to vancouver, bc.  it’s a lovely city, immensely walkable, and so. frickin’. CLEAN.

north vancouver, seen from the top of queen elizabeth park

it was great.  we traveled up by greyhound, and back by train, and all around the city by bus and feet (and the occasional bike).  it was our first summer vacation, and it was pretty leisurely.  we didn’t feel that manic gotta-see-gotta-do-everything-we’re-never-coming-back! feeling you often get with destination vacations (vacations to the beach or camping?  not destination vacations.)

so 2011 brings me back to philadelphia, and it marks my return to ithaca.  i haven’t been to ithaca since 9/11.  i lost touch with almost everyone i met while at IC, and only recently have i reconnected with my roommate.  she’s at cornell, getting a degree in veterinary medicine, hence the reason i’ll be heading back to central new york.  it’ll be…interesting.  it’s an often beautiful place, surrounded by hills and lakes, but it’s so isolated.  that’s mostly why i left.

but the 2011 travel wasn’t supposed to happen.  after our trip to vancouver, we were going to stay put (no matter how jealous i got of my friend who will be in china this spring.  grr.)  mostly this is to save money.  we’re trying to buy a house, and you can’t save money for a house if you’re always spending it on travel.  the goal was the house would be bought in early 2012, and then, maybe in two years, we’d think about another big trip, to ireland this time (the BF’s never been).  zen changed all that.

zen-san is one of my cats.  he was also diagnosed with chronic renal failure a year ago.  this means that his kidneys are unable to process protein as efficiently as they used to, and he needs, well, not constant care, but consistent care.  he receives sub-cutaneous fluids every other day, he eats special food, and he gets his kidney levels checked three times a year.  it’s currently not a lot of work.  cat chores, on a daily basis, take me around 10 minutes (15 if he’s getting fluids).  but because he needs those fluids to maintain his health, going on vacation isn’t practical.

how can you not love this face?

when we went to vancouver for the week, the cats stayed at my parents (who live in the area).  they gave zen his fluid treatment, and it went fine.  they’ll do it again while i’m on the east coast this spring.  but eventually, zen will need fluids every day.  it’s possible he may even need them twice a day, as his health disintegrates.  for now, i consider myself pretty lucky, that his levels have been almost normal for a year now.  but what people have a hard time understanding is that even though he’s just a cat, he’s a member of the family.  and when you have a family member who is ill, you’re reluctant to be away for extended periods of time.  it’s easier when they’re healthier, still able to do many of the day to day activities for themselves.  as it gets worse, though, you don’t leave.  you don’t go off to europe for two weeks when you know it’s possible the person could take a turn for the worse and you’ll be out of contact.  the same goes for the zen-cat.

so.  i’m putting my wanderlust into a bottle and sealing the cork.  it’ll have to hold for a few years.

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