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Why travelling is great – a riposte
If you’ve already seen our post ‘Notes from the world’s grumpiest traveller’, you’ll have read our resident Victor Meldrew’s complaints and grumbles about the hassles and annoyances of travelling. But the travelling element of any holiday doesn’t have to be a chore – in fact, I really enjoy it! Ok it’s not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, but the ‘getting there’ is all a part of the trip that can and should be enjoyed. So please allow me to offer a riposte to my colleague’s arguments and tell you all the great things about ‘the journey’ that our grumpy traveller has overlooked.
I love airport shops. My favourite is the newsagent / bookshop, because as an avid reader I usually take two or three books away on holiday with me, and I always look forward to choosing which books I’m going to read. The fact that I’m waiting for my plane to board gives me plenty of time to peruse a wide number and variety of books at leisure and find books that I otherwise may never have known existed. My second favourite airport shop is the fragrance shop. Unlike in your local boots, where all of the perfumes are kept in locked glass cases, manned (or wo-manned) by a spray-happy employee with a fearsome arsenal of sales skills – the airport fragrance shop allows you to slowly traipse around at ease, spraying and smelling the contents of each unusually shaped bottle in turn, to find out which I like best. And then I usually leave without buying a thing. The rest of my day is then spent smelling delightful. My fellow passengers are very lucky.
I can’t for the life of me see how anyone could fail to get excited by air travel. Quickly accelerating to high speed and bounding down the runway before rising into the sky, and getting a unique aerial panorama of the surrounding city and countryside is exhilarating to me. And it’s always sunny above the clouds, in flight gives me a great opportunity to do some reading, listen to albums or podcasts that I’ve not got round to listening to yet, play some games on my phone or watch a movie on my ipod. In other words, it is all essentially leisure time! Breaking under the cloud cover as the plane comes into land, provides what is often the first glimpse of a foreign land – and to me that is also very exciting!
The Onward Journey:
Once I’ve passed through passport control (and hopefully received a new and excitingly coloured stamp to help fill out the pages of my passport) the onward journey is something else to be enjoyed. If I’m hiring a car, then the experience of driving in a new country, on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, seeing new sights and listening to indecipherable songs and chat on the radio is all great fun. If I’m climbing aboard a coach transfer, all the better – I get to see the landscape whizz by with zero concentration required and in comfort. If I’m on a city break, it’s even more fun. Trying to figure out bus or train timetables written entirely in a foreign language and navigating streets with eyes glued to a map and dragging a wheelie suitcase behind me are agreeable challenges, and that little feeling of being a bit lost is an exhilarating one.