Since folks are starting their summer travels and I’m not, I’m re-running this post from 2016 on armchair travel
I love traveling.
By car, train, airplane, it doesn’t matter as long as it gets me from home to someplace else. Sadly, actual travel isn’t always possible. I have a job and I’m expected to show up more often than not. And I’m not on anybody’s richest people list. But I’m determined not to let the practicalities of real-life hold me back. I can always travel in my imagination.
Between books, movies, television, and the internet I can virtually visit any place in the world. France, Spain, Iceland, Croatia, Fiji, Antarctica, anywhere. All I have to do is turn a page, click a mouse, or change a channel and I’m there. Given the choice, I’ll take an actual trip over a virtual one but sometimes I have to make do.
Virtual travel has some advantages over actual travel.
No lines at security and no cramped middle seats, for example. Also, you can’t actually travel to a place that doesn’t actually exist. No trains stop in Wonderland. No buses run to Oz. You can’t buy a ticket on Southwest to Tatooine, even on sale. And no roads lead to Hogwarts. (You can drive to Universal to ride the Harry Potter ride but that’s not the same thing.) However, through a page or a screen, you can visit any place not of this world as well as every place in it. Far off planets, underground kingdoms, fairy realms, and undersea metropolises are yours for the adventure and you don’t need a passport.
If you prefer your fictional road trips closer to home,
Pack up your invisible Woodie and turn on your imaginary GPS. Go to Pleasantville or Lake Wobegon. Stop in Hill Valley, California on the way. Fictional road trips don’t have to make geographical sense. Drive to Shermer, Illinois, and indulge in a little suburban angst then head down south and stop a spell in Yoknapatawpha or Maycomb County. If you seek small-town charm with an edge, detour to Cabot Cove, Maine, or to Midsomer County. And don’t forget to add Castle Rock; Twin Peaks; Eerie, Indiana; Sunnydale, California; and Cicely, Alaska to your itinerary. Not everyone’s into small towns, not even the fictional kind. If that describes you, head for the big city. The bright lights and dark corners of Basin City, Metropolis, Dark City, and Gotham await your arrival. Fiction is a travelogue whose “only boundaries are those of imagination.”
Where do your fictional travels take you?