Suzy Snapper
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Beyond the moon
Forgive me, father, but I have sinned. I have not had a vacation in 20 months.

I used to be a consistent and insatiable traveller. I had big vacations and adventures every year. And one year, I was fortunate enough to go somewhere new each month of the calendar. That was a good year.

I love travelling. I love meeting new people. For some reason, when I travel, I feel so free - so unencumbered by the experience that I come out of my self-imposed shell. It's an amazing feeling.

Many times, my life gets complicated by family matters, or health matters or just plain old crazy hectic life. It seems that I have found myself in the role of being there for my family and friends - and while I love it, I also love to get away periodically for me.

This Friday, I will fly to Vegas. It may be only 4 days, but it is long overdue and much anticipated.

Not only will I be meeting the sweet Miss Teresa for the first time in real life, I will also be catching up with some old friends I haven't seen in far too long.

Just about 10 years ago, when the internet was new, I belonged to a mailing list for the TV show, Friends. It was a new experience and at the time, I likened it to the penpals I had as a kid. The list eventually went to it's demise but a few of us kept in contact.

There were about 25 of us from the world over that kept a little group alive, and became very close. We kept it a closed group and for the past 10 years have emailed each other daily. That core group has continued on to become part of each other's lifes. Through the past decade, we've shared marriages, births, deaths and divorces.

However, the miles between us separate the chance to see each other very often. Now with kids, and responsibilities, the meets that used to occur yearly are now every few years.

This weekend, we will be able to finally get together and for some of us this will be 7 years between meets. I last saw Wendy at her wedding in '99 and that was not a good visiting time as she was so busy. Her best friend, Ann Marie was introduced to our little group at the wedding and has become one of us. I have also not seen her since the wedding, but will meet her new husband for the first time this weekend as well.

Kelly is an adorable friend, who not only writes a column for a newspaper but is a great friend who is there when I need it or vice versa. I have not seen her in person since another friend's wedding in 2002.

And of course, Teresa from San Fran. I am fortunate to see her much more often, as we live relatively close. She came up to visit me last summer and it was one of the highlights of my entire year. She is actually flying back from visiting family in England the day before, only to hop on the next plane to share the weekend with us.

This time, though, I am pleased to have Teresa - our resident Cool Single Mom - join our group. While we've all known each other for a long time, it's always a great experience to introduce a new friend to the group.

A long, long overdue vacation. And I just cannot wait.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer trapped in a corporate buyer's body. Steel shopping by day, and freeflowing prose by night. One day I hope to have the nights become my days, but am intimidated by the sheer amount of people who share my dream. So I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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