Photo by Kobby Mendez on Unsplash

Dreaming Up Your Next Trip

With so many restrictions, you still have the freedom to dream.

I stared at the blank sheet of paper I was planning to fill with sparks of ideas and topics which would transform into my first and second and seventeenth stories on Medium.

I’d been putting off the first piece for a week or more. I actually have one tidbit that traveled all the way from a different scrap of paper into my computer! But it regressed from nearly finished to needing a total rewrite, because I want to take the time and make it resonate with the moment.

But I’m realizing this moment in time has been contaminated and rendered unrecognizable by the odd bedfellows on either side of it. In other words, we find ourselves in a moment in history where keeping your fingers on the pulse of the readers around you is very bizarre.

I see this phenomenon playing out as I look down the lists of headline titles across the multitude of topics available to all of us. I see words making up phrases that alternate between downright desperate and a little oversimplified.

Today I want to veer towards the simple side, and set aside all my grand aspirations of mad money from a side gig. Instead, I am going to share something easy with you. Would you like to know my utmost desire in this weird moment?

I’m going to write a simple reverie in which I have the chance to sit with my wife at our favorite table, in a moderately shabby but very familiar booth. We will slide into it and peruse our menus, smiling at the silly quotes in the margins next to the food choices. I will order some pancakes, eggs, bacon and sausage, and finally enjoy some hot food (that we didn’t cook ourselves!) while we listen to 80s music at the Breakfast Club Diner here on PCH in Oceanside.

I might add a beer to my breakfast order, because that’s a perk of living near the Hops Highway in San Diego’s North County — fresh, awesome beer with breakfast!

And the butter will slowly melt between those fluffy hotcakes just before I spill some thick maple syrup right there on the top, and I will let some of it soak onto the bacon and touch the eggs, because I like it like that. Tobasco, or not Tobasco? A rare unknown variable in this breakfast equation, but today, I would use it.

We would relax and watch the colorful tourists pass by the window in flip-flops, distinct from the resident homeless population and the local guys from Camp Pendleton who wander into town for a military haircut, or a chance to take the family out for a bite.

We would talk about going to the beach later, after visiting the Oceanside Public Library across the street from the restaurant, where I would help her look for that novel her Pilates teacher has been raving about.

We would take turns sharing bites of each other’s food (she would get the BC/DC skillet with sunny runny eggs), and look at our calendar to plan out our next vacation, mulling over a destination where we could be the tourists.

Or maybe we will finally visit her mother in Poland, just pick a time of year and dust off the passports and fly!

Why do those simple things seem so foreign? Extraordinary? Any way we slice it, the stuff we have been taking for granted has almost overnight become imbued with magical qualities. In this new world, we look at going out to eat as an amazing possibility!

Meanwhile, traveling out of the country as a way to have an adventure, to connect with each other or to visit our loved ones — these simple desires will certainly be achievable again, we just have to remain patient and keep our eyes on the prize.

We have many restrictions right now, but dreaming up a trip — whether it will take you down the street to your favorite neighborhood restaurant, or out to grab a library book at the local branch, or to venture halfway around the world to see your mom — is very much allowed.

Word wrangler. Rhetorician. Meditator. Runner. Nurse Practitioner. I make fresh sentences every day. Maybe you’ve read one?

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