The Great Escape

Life is all about escaping – which is pretty sad if you think of it.  There are even rooms that you can pay to be locked inside just so you can escape.  This is a booming business in Calgary now.  If you have ever tried this as a team building exercise you will know that different people behave in different ways.  Some relish the thrill of solving the puzzle that will open the lock – others (like me) get a little more impatient and if given the option of solving the puzzle or getting hold of a hacksaw I would probably choose the latter.
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For those of you who are still working (yes we do envy the retirees) then you will be very familiar with that feeling on a Friday night at 6 pm when you say – OK – that’s fine.  I did it! Let me out.  I am not sure why we wish our lives into fast forward like this.  We only have a certain amount of time in this world to enjoy so we should stretch out every single day.

Which brings me to my favourite type of escape – travel.  The thing about travel is that the escape is not just when you climb on that plane.  The escape is every time you even think about travelling.   The research that goes into a trip is half of the fun – if not more.  The anticipation of seeing the places you read about is quite delicious.  I usually like to try to read a novel that gives the historical background of the area.  It’s a great way to get a sense of history without having to read a boring guide book – and oh my goodness some of these guide books can be really boring.  Depending on your destination there are some really good reads that will give you a reliable rendering of the history of the area. You can even suggest one of these books to your book club…. if you are a member of one.

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Then there is the shopping.  This is another form of escape which is essential when travelling.  It is so much more fun shopping for travel stuff than shopping for groceries. You know how you need those new walking shoes because the itinerary mentioned “join your guide for a walking tour of ….” and of course you need a new swimsuit and maybe one of those anti-theft back-packs.  Shopping is such a fun escape and it is even more fun when you can justify it.

One of the best escapes is during your flight.  It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of Big Deal Corporation, you just cannot be reached while in mid-flight and please please people – let’s keep it that way.  I do NOT want to receive phone calls or emails during my flight.  I love flying.  This to me is a wonderful escape.

Then – before you know it – you have escaped completely into a different world.  That was how I felt when I arrived in New Delhi.  The traffic, the colours, the food, the people – amazing.  Funnily enough I felt the same way when I arrived in Hanoi.  The amazing ability of whole families to ride on one small motorbike is incredible.  Then again, nothing can quite beat the experience of being on the plains of the Serengeti during Earth Hour with just the brilliant stars and a few candles to light our table under the trees and – Oh Yes –  it is hard to describe the atmosphere of that brooding red rock they call Uluru.

So many beautiful places.  So many memories.  So many escapes.









By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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