Long as I can remember, I’ve made an effort to skip out of Winter. Cold kills my happiness, though I learned to enjoy X-ski during the years I lived above 45º N latitude. Something about the lack of light, the inability to walk barefoot wearing shorts and a tee to grab the paper off the front lawn patch……Life is too short to wear parkas.
Still, there’s a compulsion to move towards the Equator. One time all I had was 8o bucks and a jar of peanut butter, but I made it last nearly a month in the U.S. Virgin Islands, sleeping under the stars. Stubby beers were only a dollar back then and local food was cheap. I walked or hitched rides.
A few times, I managed to swoop to the Southern Hemisphere for a second summer. As a list maker, I plumbed memory to recapture those Winter escapes.
Like most Canadians, I learned to clip coupons and save up for a winter getaway even while I was at university.
1970-1975 – Barbados, Fort Lauderdale, Bahamas, Sanibel Island, Puerto Rico, Saint Petersburg, Florida
1976-1977 – Big Sur and Santa Cruz, California
1978-79 – Saint Petersburg, Florida
1980 – Cumberland Island, Georgia, U.S. Virgin Islands – Saint Croix, Saint John
1982 – Costa Rica
1985 – Sicily, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Spain
1988-89 – South East Asia, Malay Peninsula, Indonesia, India
1990 – Yucatan, Mexico
1991 – New Zealand, Fiji
1992 – Hawaii
1995 – Hawaii
1996-97 – Hawaii, South East Asia, Indonesia
1997-98 – Mexico
1999 – Florida
2000 – Curacao
2001 – Pine Island, Florida
2002 – Panama
2003 – Gomera and Grand Canary, Canary Islands
2004 – Florida
2005 – Mexico
2006 – Hawaii
2007 – Kunming, China
2008 – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
2009 – Cayman Islands
2010 – Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil
2011 – Coya Costa, Florida
2012 – South East Australia and Tasmania, Hawaii
2013 – Key Largo, Florida
Where to next winter? Belize, Ecuador, Hawaii, Tahiti, Capetown, Madagascar, Seyshelles, Sri Lanka — all are in my dreams. We’ll see what the winter weather brings!