The title of this post should really be Wine Travel YES and, by the end of saying what I need to say, it will be.
But let me work something through first.
I'm at that moment of a trip, at the very beginning, when I've said good bye to my husband and children, when I'm on board the plane, when I'm leaving on the first leg of the journey. The physical side of me is ready to go.
This particular trip, however, isn't to Napa or Oregon or Switzerland or New Zealand. It's to Turkey. And for that reason, it's taken the emotional side of me a few ticks longer to be ready to go.
Partly it's because the trip was almost canceled last week, when political protests intensified in some areas where we planned to be and, rather than postpone the trip entirely, we rearranged the itinerary around the sites of those protests.
Partly it's because of the sharp contrast of news coverage, between the sources I consult at home in the US and the sources my husband consults back in his native Belgium. He reads his news on the Belgian newspaper's app on his phone, and this morning he told me in detail about a US general's presence in Turkey, trying to convince Ankara to intervene in an aggressive takeover attempt of Kobani, a town along the Syrian border. (Belgium is home to a significant number of Turkish expatriates, and their national news addresses that population.) However, I had to dig -- deep -- for similar coverage in the US news sources that I regularly consult, which includes a website that claims to prioritize international news.
Maybe the US news sources are oblivious. Maybe the Belgian news sources are alarmist. Probably some of both. The bottom line is that I've got to cobble together information, which heightens my anxiety.
[several deep breaths and a take-off later]
There's something about starting, about stepping off, that adjusts my perspective.
This train has left the station and, since I'm along for the ride, my emotions need to recalibrate along with my physical location. It's a subtle shift but a critical one, from being anxious to being eager.
When I travel I am focused. I accomplish more work on the road than I do at home. I attribute this largely to my husband who, when we're both at home, is the biggest soaker-upper of my attention! (See what you get for marrying an incredibly interesting person??) And of course I miss our children, but the truth is that they've got fun and highly responsible people taking care of them. They are fine. They will be fine.
And so will I.
This is the kind of trip I adore. It is unusual. It will be challenging. I expect to learn things I won't learn anywhere else on the planet. I expect to meet people -- and taste wines -- that are distinct and unique in the industry.
So, yes, we have arrived at Wine Travel YES!
And for that I am extremely grateful.