Reading my old travelling blog made me realise how much I missed travelling, (http://www.travelpod.com/members/abigailgorman) so I decided I’d set up a little blog, see what I came up with and if it was actually worth continuing?
So, here goes…
Mm.. well, this is awkward. I’m not quite sure what I should write about?
‘What should I write about?’ I asked my friends on Facebook.
‘Write about what’s on your mind right now.’
Okay. Well, right now, I’m thinking..
‘Why is my back burning..?’
Well, I already know the answer to that. It’s because I’m leaning against a radiator. A hot one. I’m actually sitting on the floor in my kitchen, leaning against a hot radiator. I have a whole flat to myself. I have a luxurious double bed in my bedroom, a gigantic sofa in the living room, and a decent chair and table.. and yet, I choose to unnecessarily burn my back by sitting on the floor in the kitchen? Why? Well, logical isn’t what comes to mind when I think of myself. I mean, when asked ‘Where does the Queen spend Christmas every year?’ at the Christmas work do quiz, my answer was..
Well, to be fair, I still think that was a pretty decent answer. I mean, if you think about it.. basically, they have a full English breakfast before church, and turkey and all the trimmings for Christmas lunch. For supper, they eat a buffet that they actually serve for themselves cuz once Christmas lunch is served, the staff get the rest of the day off. They then go downstairs to play Charades and drink until midnight, drinking cocktails. Apart from the Queen, Prince Phillip and Prince Charles, who enjoy dry Martinis.
(Yes, I actually spent 10 minutes researching this.)
All day long, the Queen does nothing but eat and drink and eat and drink. She may be a Royal, but I’m pretty sure she has to take a crap every now and then. I also bet you that she has, quite a few times, drunkenly staggered around the room, waving her hands in the air, shrieking, “WHY SO MUCH GRAVITY?!” before seeing a toilet seat and whispering, “Oh, look.. a bed.” and having to be carried off to bed by Prince Phillip.
Abigail. No. Your first blog is NOT going to be an essay about the Queen, her bowel movements and how she usually spends Christmas drunkenly mumbling and hugging the toilets.
Okay… fair enough.
See? Asking me to write about what’s on my mind right now isn’t a good idea – you’d only get lost in a labyrinth of some sort, where you’d see floating images of the Queen drunkenly hugging the toilet, radiators, and fruit salads. (I’m peckish. I want a fruit salad)
No. Okay, let’s get some professional advice.
‘How to write a good interesting blog.’
Ooh, sounds promising.
‘Pick a topic that you know and are passionate about, one that other people can relate to.’
Or MAYBE.. mishaps whilst travelling..? *insert smirk here*
I was having a conversation with a friend the other week, when the topic of travelling came up.
“What was the worst holiday experience you’ve ever had?” I asked my friend.
“Oh, my friend got this really bad bug. She was throwing up for days and days. We had to take her to hospital and have her put on a drip. Ironically, the hospital bed was much better than our hotel room. Eventually, we had to fly back earlier. What about you?”
“Mm.. I got shot at by the police in Barcelona – they were wearing riot gear.”
“Don’t worry, I didn’t actually get shot. The bullets went flying around me – they were rubber bullets anyway. So, that wasn’t so bad. It was fun, actually. I don’t think that’s the worst thing though..? Oh! There was that time where I was absolutely convinced I had got myself kidnapped by sex-traffickers in Thailand. Mm.. what else? Ah yes. Egypt. I flew to Cairo by myself and booked myself into a hostel in Tahrir Square, a well-known Mafia area, a couple of days before riots started. I got told by some local deaf people I’d get raped, chopped up and have my parts sold on the black market because I’m a foreign woman wandering around on my own… on my first day. Nice welcome..! OH! I was also convinced my friends and I were being kidnapped by a crazy taxi driver in Sharm, so I told my friends to be prepared to jump out of the car and run away, even though the car was travelling at 60mph on the road. But don’t worry, we didn’t. I gave him a massive bollocking afterwards when we eventually arrived at the hotel. A couple of days after that incident, I told my quad biking leader that I was a lesbian – he told me that if his brother was gay, he would shoot him in the head, take him out to the woods and bury him. A charming man. Ah! There was also the time our car broke down in the middle of nowhere, 3 days after we arrived in Australia. All very reminiscent of Wolf Creek. But it was okay – we called the AA. Well, not the actual AA, but the Australian version of it, and they came to get us 4 hours later. We were just surrounded by cows and trees. So, nothing to worry about. Then my mate decided to bugger off to Asia, so I spent the year travelling in Australia by myself. I think I have more stories, but I can’t remember. More wine?”
“Mm.. my life has been rather eventful, hasn’t it? Sometimes, I do wonder if I made the right choice – living in various countries and going travelling, instead of staying in England, buying a house, and all that? You’re lucky – you’ve got a mortgage, you’ve got security.”
“I do have a mortgage, yes.. but I haven’t got stories to tell like you do. I wish I had gone travelling and experienced life.”
That struck a chord with me.
Maybe travelling gives us something that we don’t get when we don’t travel? Maybe we need to feel our connection with the whole world by wandering around it and connecting with people in all kind of places. We can do this to some extent by reading about other people and watching films, but it isn’t the same as the personal contact that you get when you actually go somewhere and meet the people who live there?
Travelling provides you with an opportunity to understand your place in the world: who you are, where you come from, and what things you may have never understood about your home before. There are plenty of chances for reflexivity (moments of awareness about your assumptions and the assumptions of others that are usually accepted as fact) at home. But travel, by taking you to places where the normal rules often don’t apply, increases the opportunities to understand on a deeper level who you are at home and that you have the potential to grow beyond ‘mundane life’.
I embrace change. I enjoy seeing things in new ways. I think change is essential to living well and coming to a deeper understanding of our humanity and of human potential and spirit. And travel is one fantastic way of doing this.
What about you? Any dramatic travel experiences? Do you think travelling has added value to your life? Has it changed you as a person? I’d love to hear your views.
Well, first blog post – done. I hope you enjoyed the read. I know that it was inconsistent, but please bear with me – let me get into the groove of the whole blogging thing. I’ll have the hang of it before long..