7 Minutes to a Warm Weather Escape: An Exercise in Imagination
On an unremarkable fog-turned-to-sprinkle-turned-to-downpour winter morning, I opt to put off my inevitable bike to work, and check my email.
Groupon deal, delete. Costco flyer, delete. Photos of a friend’s cat—laugh—delete. And then, like a shiny oasis amidst the drone of the morning’s grey, an email from Air Canada pops up: seat sale to Australia. I feel warmer already.
I glance briefly at the clock. While it means I need to pedal to work in half the time, I grant myself 7 minutes of vacation fantasizing.
First, what to pack… no wait, first – what to pack in.
Ideally, I’d like something like the Supercontinent 65 Travel Pack. I can scale it down so that I’m not hiking a 50lb roll-bag around Ayers Rock, but it has space for more than just a pair of runners and a tube of lip gloss. And I can carry a sleeping bag in it, so whether I’m at a hostel or a campsite, I have bedding cased. The Travel Wash Case holds a towel, my shampoo bottle, and is a steal at $17. And speaking of stealing, being able to tote around all of my toiletries eliminates the worry of accidentally leaving my face wash in the hostel shower and never seeing it again.
On to wardrobe. Since I picture myself getting acquainted with as much of the Gold Coast as I can, Carve’s Catalina Bottom is an easy pick – it actually covers my entire bum, and sits at a reasonable height on my hip, which is nice. I’m going to relax, not enter a bodybuilding competition. The versatile Andi Reversible Top gives me options with a plain and patterned side, and it has a 50+ UPF rating – important, because my snow-white skin is going to go bananas when exposed to light. Which reminds me: I’ll need sunscreen. Loads of it. Mental note: Get to the bottom of what SPF ratings actually mean.
Begrudgingly, I recognize I should pack something other than bathing suits. The smocking on the back of the Sur-Mer Dress elates me, as does its A-line silhouette. And for packing points, it doubles as a beach cover-up by day and a dinner dress by night. Also, being able to see has always been pretty important to me so sunglasses are a non-negotiable. And aviator, if possible.
Because I’ve never been on a snorkeling trip, a fantasy seems like a good time to make that happen. The Aqualung Mask fits tight on my nose so I can pop my ears before they implode, and the low-volume design stops me from feeling like truck is being pressed against my face every time I dive. The mask’s companion, the Aqualung Snorkel , has a slotted opening so I won’t be choking back a heap of water, and the mouthpiece is non-allergenic, which is comforting because I’m putting it in my mouth.
A clock check indicates that it’s time to go, immediately. While launching myself into the real-life version of Water World is not an ideal wake-up call from the underwater world at Byron Bay, I must say—even if it is just the sheen from the reflective strip on my bike jacket—my fantasy vacation did help restore me to restore a bit of a glow.