This month we’re talking travels, and I’m having a bit of a hard time with this one. For a lot of people, summer means leaving home behind for camping, weekends away, family trips, or maybe that big one you’ve been waiting and saving for all year. For me, summer means watching everyone around me go off on adventures while I stay behind and just dream of them.
Before I sound too woe is me, I am going on a trip to Hawaii in a few months. (Yay!) I’m not trying to garner sympathy, here, I just don’t travel much in the summer.
But that doesn’t mean I sit around for two months, twiddling my thumbs. I take my kids to my parent’s house (a few hours away). We go to the beach and the local amusement park once a week if the weather cooperates. If it doesn’t, I can take them to the mall, out to lunch, the science centre, or an indoor play gym.
Many of Austen’s heroines did get to travel, at least a little. But I think of the freedom I have that they didn’t. Even if I’m not going off to Disneyland or camping or to Italy (or in their case Bath, London, or the lake country), I can go where I want, when I want. I can drive myself. I don’t need a chaperone. I don’t have to wait on carriages, or slow horses, or a man to take me somewhere. Even if I’m not going on a trip, I don’t have to be stuck inside my home, with only walks and company to disrupt the monotony of the day. I’m not stuck in the same village, with the same people, and the same sights.
I’m painting a bit of a bleak picture for Regency women, and I know it wasn’t always like that. If that’s your life, all you know, you would find your happiness in it. But writing about this makes me realize how fortunate I am. That even if I’m not on some fabulous vacation, I have the freedom to go out and do, on my own terms, my own time, my own whims.
Still, a trip to Bath would be pretty great one of these days. 🙂
Other non-travelers out there? What do you do while everyone else is taking off?
Summer and fair weather is time for travels, near and far. Jane Austen’s characters see their fair share of travels. Elizabeth travels to Hunsford to see Charlotte. Catherine Morland treks to Bath. Frank Churchill journeys to Highbury. Captain Wentworth sails the seas with His Majesty’s navy. The Dashwoods sojourn to Barton Cottage after the loss of their home, thence to London, while Sir Thomas Bertram voyages all the way to Antigua. What new expeditions have we in store for our favorite characters? Check in often through August to find out!