Sometimes travelling can be a nightmare. I know many people who hate to travel in London – the noise, the crowds, the pushing and shoving, people stopping suddenly in front of you, people almost running for the train, the mad scrabble to get inside with people packed together like sardines…
Yet there are some days when I love to travel, no matter where I’m going. If I’m on time for a train or early, I like to sit on the benches on a platform and watch people (discreetly of course!), or let my mind wander, or read a book. If I’m travelling somewhere far away – I love the feel of departures at airports – the way there is a sense of expectation that you’re going somewhere, that there’s a holiday, that you can relax and see things and experience something new. There is something exciting about the shops in an airport terminal (once you’re past security), even though they are mostly the same everywhere. Especially for a perfume fiend like me! I know most people dislike flying, but I love it – I love the rush of speeding on the runway then the strange feeling of being lifted off the ground, the almost weightless feeling. It is exhilarating seeing the clouds outside the window and seeing all these little buildings below. It makes me want to take photos!
I also love speeding North on the East Coast trains – even though it takes about 5 hours to get to Edinburgh. I have loads of anecdotes about travelling on trains, some funny, some not so funny…like the time Dan got on the train to see me off, and ended up getting stuck on the train, until he got off at Berwick, where he waited for his Dad to pick him up (it takes about two hours to drive from Edinburgh to Berwick Upon Tweed). Needless to say, he wasn’t pleased, despite spending a bit more time with me. The perils of a long distance relationship!
I also remember long car journeys driving to a destination in Europe with my family, for our camping holidays. We usually got the car ferry from Dover and then drove through the night or all day (and sometimes night) as the case might be. It was cosy, with all the sleeping bags and pillows in the back with my sister and I, and reading with a torch and watching France or Austria or Belgium zoom past. Then there are more recent car journeys – driving somewhere with my sister with music blaring, singing along (badly) to Coldplay or The Rolling Stones.
If you wanted to be metaphorical (and possibly cheesy) you could say that journeys are a microcosm of life – sometimes the journey is painful and difficult, whilst sometimes it is a joy and exciting. I guess it depends where you’re going and how you get there. Or whether you stray off the path and then find it again after beating through the forest.
I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within. ~ Lillian Smith