Baja, Other Destinations

From Baja to Oregon: A Last Minute Change in Plans

April 19, 2015

This past week I was supposed to be in Baja, Mexico for spring break, lying on the beach, walking through arroyos, perhaps doing some sea kayaking. But less than a week before I was supposed to fly out of SFO for San Jose del Cabo, I finally admitted to myself that going to Mexico just didn’t feel right.

I’m still not sure why, exactly. But I suspect that it may have had something to do with the unexpected loss of Little Boy, my cat, in early March. Even in my forties, I’ve discovered that from time-to-time, I just need my mom and apparently the death of my long-time companion was one of those times.

So, I called Virgin Airlines (the frustrating experience with their phone reps merits a post of its own) and six days later was on an 8:30pm flight bound for Portland, Oregon to visit my mom who lives just across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington.

It was the first time I’ve traveled by plane since returning from Spain last summer and I was reminded of how much I enjoy traveling, of how invigorating I find it to be in an airport headed out of town. Here’s where I’ll finally admit to you that I sometimes find it challenging to motivate myself to leave home. Believe it or not, it’s easy for me to get stuck in a rut; in other words, an object at rest stays at rest…(hence the “Sometimes”). But in moments like these, I realize that I thrive on this kind of stimulation.

As disappointed in Virgin’s telephone service as I was, the opposite was true of their check-in area at SFO, which was bright, colorful, lively, and staffed by helpful personnel. While I wouldn’t want their particular color combination or decor in my home, it definitely woke me up made me feel animated. The experience continued on the airplane where I was delighted with their upbeat safety music video in lieu of the typical boring seatbelt/oxygen mask spiel by a bored flight attendant. The purple and pink-hued cabin of the plane provided the unexpected effect of being in an 80’s nightclub, something I haven’t done for, well, many, many years so that was fun too.

All-in-all (sorry, my teacher friends, but at least I didn’t use “clearly”), my journey to Oregon was an invigorating and fun experience. Stay tuned for photos and a write-up of a beautiful 13.5 Camino training hike in the Columbia River Gorge complete with never-before met Camino Facebook friends, wildflowers, and incredible waterfalls.

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