They say that all good things must come to an end.
Though this may be well and true, a silver-lining lies in wait if you simply read the fine print. You see, if you carry on, the adage actually states:
All good things must come to an end…But that is not to say that the next best thing isn’t directly around the bend.
As unlikely as that may seem, it is the absolute truth.
And trust me, you will not believe it until it comes about and smacks you upside the head with a two-by-four.
I arrived in Bath carrying the weight of a five-day sleep-deprivation delirium. Minutes after exiting the train I was accosted by a gregarious lad. One whom I believe was sent purely to test my sanity and patience. Right off the bat he came up to me, pointing out the bruises on my leg.
”HA! Did you get those skating?”
”Either that or falling down a cliff,” I replied.
Nothing like a stranger pointing out your issues right away before any formalities have even taken place.
Thank you for pointing out my irregularities Rico Suave.
Despite this shaky introduction, I followed the boy-man as he walked home, still exhausted from the mayhem the night before.
After a brief walk through the town square I decided to part ways from the cupid lookalike. I’d like to think that I have made it through the vast amount of adventures in my life partially because I am a good judge of character.
This one in particular just seemed suspiciously nice.
You know what I mean? It’s the kind that takes you on a fantastic night out, wines and dines you…
”Wow I must be a lightweight now, I’ve only had two glasses of wine…*giggle”
”WHERE ARE MY KIDNEYS?!”
Albeit my insides may not be in the best of conditions, I’d still like to keep them intact if possible. And waking up in a tub of ice just sounds like a shit situation no matter how you slice it.
Anyways, got up the next day and proceeded to wander around the immaculate city of Bath. While walking the night before I was told a bit of the history of Bath. Part of that history includes the unbelievable fact that every building in the entire city is made from the same stone. One which he just referred to as a Bath Stone. It was stunning.
Did the tourist thing and visited the Roman Baths. Amazing ancient ruins that are way too easy to fall into and smell just like the Pirates of the Caribbean. Made a wish, threw a coin into the coin bath, and went on with my day feeling satisfied.
From Bath, I made my way to London and was immediately enamored. This city was unbelievable…Like New York on crack. Regrettably, I was only able to be in town for a few days but I wish I could have stayed forever. I know that even if I were to live in London for an entire year I still would not be able to see and experience everything. That is quite a unique quality to have in a city.
I gave it a good shot though.
It seems that every place I go, I will inevitably be the one wearing the least amount of clothing. A fact that doesn’t even make sense. I come from a climate that is warmer…Therefore I should be freezing my ass off. Au contraire my little one.
Literally every person on the street has a minimum of three layers on. Not to mention scarves, gloves, beanies, the whole nine-yards. Meanwhile, here I come on my little board…stretchy pants and a tank-top. I swear it’s not cold.
*Says the girl who got pneumonia traveling last year.
Went out to a great rock bar with one of the best jukeboxes I’ve ever seen. Popular and obscure metal, punk, rock all together in slew of goodness.
Each time I enter a country, there is usually some sort of hidden stereotype lying dormant in the back of my mind. Something regarding their accent/language/culture…
One that should never come out.
However, due to my extreme enjoyment in mimicking people…sometimes this doesn’t stay in when I drink.
Exhibit A. The first time I stepped foot in France I specifially said that I would not do an impression of a crazy French chef.
Got drunk and the first thing out of my mouth was
”HOHOUHUHHH WOULDJEW LIKE-A ZEE FRENCH-A FRYYYYY?”
After a long night of drinking I apparently did the same thing in London.
(Brought to my awareness the day after)
This time, since I was in England, I felt it necessary to put my best Oliver accent into action.
Walked into a food stand at some ungodly hour, leaned my drunken ass up against the counter and said ever so cooly…
”ELLO GOVNAA!” And proceeded to place my order of everything on the appetizer menu in a cockney accent.
Apparently the guy looked at me and said in a thick mob accent ,
”…I am Russian.”
Against my will I got on the plane and headed back towards Ireland. A short trip but I still managed to make my mark. This feat was accomplished by knocking over a freshly poured cup of scalding hot coffee on the plane.
Thankfully, the flight attendants were Irish and the nicest people in the world. They must have come by at least five times just to make sure that I was alright.
”I’m fine thank you ladies, just my pride that has been shattered.’‘
Just kidding. I’ve tripped, spilled, fallen, etc. so many times in this lifetime that there is nothing to do but laugh now.
So suck it pride.
Made it into Cork and began skating until I struck gold. Gold in this case happened to be a nice little hotel in the city center. Every now and then while traveling it is nice to have a proper shower and bed. Took it easy, wandered around town for a bit, met some good folks and was serenaded by a bum. It was quite the night. Topped it off with the season finale of Breaking Bad and went to bed.
Morning awoke me with the ludicrous decision to rent a car. A decision which led to probably the most terrifying portion of my trip…
These little devils are small circular roadways of sheer terror.
Forget the fact I stalled twice just leaving the car lot (stickshift is on the left-hand side and my brain doesnt function that way) but, I also wound up passing the same lot three times because of these damn roundabouts.
I could just imagine the little guy in the rental office sitting there, ”Well…here she comes..again.”
After I finally got the hang of the road and stopped screaming every time a car passed by, I found myself in the middle of nowhere on a farm. And I mean a proper farm.
Equipped with one of the most pleasant families I’ve had the honor of meeting. They took me in, cooked me dinner (all vegetarian and all home grown). It was like a home away from home and that is definitely a gem to savor whilst traveling.
Went to the cliffs of Moher and embarrassed myself at a skatepark just to come home to a warm home, crackling fireplace, and Shepherds Pie.
Now, a lot of times I live outside of my head, something of an omniscient narrator of my own life…But in this particular moment I was just…there.
Advice for travelers:
*Stick a shitton of dryer sheets in your backpack…It’ll give your clothes at least a facade of freshness even three weeks in.
*Don’t know where to go? Follow the general flow of people.
If enough people are headed in one direction, there has to be something worthwhile there.
*Coffee shops are your friend. A near guaranteed source of Wi-Fi splendor.
*Learn certain phrases in the country’s language so you don’t come off as a total asshole.
Useful phrases are as follows:
Do you speak English? Hello. Goodbye. Thank you. I’m sorry. Where is the bathroom?
*90% of any other conversation can be communicated via body language
*Hold on to your train ticket…You’ll need it to exit the train station. Found that one out the hard way.
*Bring earplugs to sleep. (Unless you’re in a sketchy place, in that case your ass better wake up at the smallest creak)
*Bring headphones for music. Life is always better when you feel like you’re in a movie.
Music does that.
*Go to the ticket window at train stations rather than the self-serve ones.
They can usually give you a better deal.
*When you land in a city, find the tallest building and use it as a reference point
Lastly, I would just like to say that I have run into far too many people that think it is ”brave” what I am doing or ”admire” what I am doing (regarding traveling alone). They tell me they’ve always wished they could do it themselves.
While I think this is very sweet and an extreme compliment…I just tell them all the same thing: Anyone can do it.
So many people seem to have this dream to go travel the world and ”see the sites”, but for one reason or another they never manage to do it.
It winds up being one of the top regrets of humans as they age.
So…Get up and go somewhere. Go explore. Book a one way flight. Jump on the train headed North, South, up, down, whatever. Just get the fuck out of dodge.
”But, it’s not that easy. I have a job and a mort..’
It is that easy. There will always be jobs to be had, always. And traveling does not cost as much as you may think.
There are more good people out there in the world than bad and they help each other out.
Go make your life something worth living.
That’s my two cents for the peanut gallery.
See you soon America.
Over and out.