I think everyone has a travel wish-list. My list covers the globe, but Seattle was never at the top of my list. Not that I had anything against Seattle, it was just never on my radar. That was until I stayed home from work one Saturday morning. I felt awful and turned on the TV. I didn’t have cable, and the only decent show on was a travel show. I don’t even remember what is was called, but the premise was that the host would spend twenty-four hours in a a different city each episode, showing views at home the things you could do in a day. The day I watched they went to Seattle. They covered tourist spots like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. I began to think that Seattle looked like a pretty awesome city to visit.
From a budget and time point of view Seattle seemed like a completely doable trip – some place new, but not too far. Aside from visiting relatives in Alberta and Saskatchewan this was the second year I’d worked without a vacation. I was living under this false ideal that I should keep working forever at job I loathed, and for a company that I didn’t respect or believe in. I got stuck in a horrible rut. Seattle wasn’t an around the world adventure, but it was different and new. I’d only been the US once before that. This was a chance to travel.
Procrastination is a major problem for me, until I find something I want and then I’m super stubborn in getting my way. Soon I began to make a plan to visit Seattle. I visited the library, went to the local CAA office and talked to my friend. I was going to drive down in a day, and then see the sights, maybe eat some seafood. One friend convinced me that trying to drive and navigate (this was before smartphones – and we didn’t have a GPS either) might be difficult solo. She talked me into letting her come with me, and while I didn’t want to admit it at the time I was glad she did. Our 2005 road trip to Seattle was a fantastic.
Ironic that it was television that got me to break free (ever so slightly) from the shackles of a job I hated (though I stayed for another 3 years) and travel. If I hadn’t stayed home that day and watched that show I would’ve never gone to Seattle. I shudder to think about that because without Seattle there is a pretty good chance my travel life would be completely different. I may not have gotten the inspiration and courage to go to New York, Las Vegas or Europe. Even though I had traveled a few times before Seattle was the trip where I feel in love with travel. Without that trip I probably would have stayed stuck at my job for longer than I did, never taking a chance to try something new, or do something I love.
Now I get inspiration to travel from many sources, sometimes television but also from books, blogs, websites, and talking with other people. I get the courage to travel from all the experiences I’ve had before, however brief and sporadic my travels may be. I haven’t been back to Seattle since that trip, but I’m always grateful for the door that trip opened for me.