Most of you who are reading this are reading it while I’m on a plane. And, as I’m writing this well ahead of the time you’re reading it, I can only hope that I have Internet access in the sky and can reply to your comments! But yes…it’s the 22nd of December and most of the universe (it seems) is in an airport, on a train or in traffic! Holiday travel is upon us.
It’s worth noting that there are few things I like less than holiday travel, as it all-too-often involves airplanes and the ever-present possibility of there being a winter storm while I’m in an airplane. That said, it occurs to me that holiday travel in 2012 is definitely better than holiday travel in 1812 for any number of reasons, not the least of which was this:
Traveling in the winter in a carriage could not have been a picnic.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking, “But Sarah! Surely you’ve read the novels! Surely you’ve written the novels! There’s always plenty of room and a virile, warm male willing to cuddle beneath a toasty traveling blanket!” To that I say, in novels, yes. But in real life? It was cold and drafty and cramped and I’m guessing that warm virile male was just as grumpy as I would be and decidedly not in a cuddling mood.
Also, it doesn’t have much shock absorption, and the roads…well…let’s just say that if you were traveling any real distance through cold, wintry England, you’d bounce around in there. And not in a good way.
Add to it the fact that if it did snow (very possible in late December in central and northern England, the riders had to disembark and walk while the poor horses yanked the carriage through the snow. So now it’s cold, you’re wearing a dress, and you’re walking. Yikes.
All this is not to say that I either a) apologize for writing so many scenes in what seem to be clown-carriages, or b) plan to stop doing it. BUT…it is to say that I am, I suppose, grateful that I am right this very minute, traveling across a country in five hours instead of five months (assuming 20 miles a day…which is the general rule), albeit in a metal tube.
So…here’s to advances in travel! I hope yours is easy and safe…and ends with lots of love and excellent gifts.
Are you a holiday traveler? Or one of the lucky ones who gets to stay home and have everyone come to you?