Adelaide Writers Week is one of my favourite literary events- a glorious outdoor setting in the Women’s Memorial Gardens by the River Torrens, usually end of Australia summer, programme packed full of famous names from across the globe. All events free as well (though it does cost a bit to get there from Northumberland).
I was lucky enough to be there when Australian writer Robert Dessaix was talking about his work and his travels including ‘Twilight of love:Travels with Turgenev.’ Somebody in the audience asked him what was his favourite place to visit, and he replied ( I’m paraphrasing but some degree of accuracy as I did take notes) ‘It’s not that I prefer one place over another, it’s just that I find myself more interesting in Hobart than in, say, Manchester. ‘
This has stuck with me as I have reflected on my own compulsion to travel, my response to new places, the ones that linger long after I have returned home. So it is with Vancouver- I still feel the pull of the city with its watery inlets, ferries, islands and city high rise. But so good to get back to ‘my beach’.
But I also think about travel on the inside, our own internal journeys through the stages of ageing which bring dementia in many cases. My study visit shows creativity can increase in later life and many individuals living with dementia start to paint, write poetry, sing, dance, well into their seventies and eighties. Maybe during my own ageing/internal travel in the future I might be saying
‘I find myself more interesting in my dementia than in, say, my arthritis.’