The best version of us is the one in transit, not the holiday one or the rush hour one – the travel one. We have frequently attempted to ‘go on holiday’ and have failed every time. Instead we find ourselves travelling. When I was younger my gang would frequently travel to Europe it was like being away with a group of schizophrenic people whose alter egos were Kieth Richards by night and Alan Whicker by day, we quite literately “drank in” ancient ruins, museums and city walks.
Today’s travel version of me is on a quest to uncover what is really there. I say we have failed to ‘just go on holiday’ because we always end up staying with friends, cooking for weddings, doing someone’s garden or fixing up their shop. We have fun, we eat like kings and are present at births, deaths, first kisses and many important moments. We go back to the same places every year and while it is like we have never left we can feel the progression and evolution. This is how the world unfolds for me, since I have been married to someone from another country I have fallen in love with London and the UK all over again. I had started to hate it, every high street looked the same with alarmingly mediocre chain restaurants that all had their food delivered by the same lorry.
It is still all Philip Larkin and George Orwell to me, that is how I have seen it since I was fourteen and uncovered their books. They did not depress me as you might expect – they inspired me and energised me. I still fail to understand the plastic excitement people have around ‘going on holiday to Disney’ I know groups of people who have collectively contributed 100,000’s of pounds to Disney experiences and they are closer to Big Brother or Huxleys ‘Soma’ than they think.
Of course there is nothing wrong with it, what is wrong is that people are committed to working fifty weeks of the year to save for two weeks doing something they watch on TV every week, essentially they are in a “subscription” model or Truman Show type existence. My choice is to do something fifty weeks of the year I love and then have two shit weeks in bed, you get the idea. Those that know me will know this rarely goes to plan but at least I know I am alive and get check in with myself at airports for the experience – again.