travelling /'travəlɪŋ/ : Make a journey, typically of some length.

Oh and what a length it is set to be!

Today I booked my flights from London all the way through to Japan. After a good few hours in the travel agent, deciding against AirIndia and some other seemingly sketchy airlines offering cheap prices and lots of baggage allowance, we decided that as a single female traveller not coming back to the UK for a full year and living out of the same suitcase, it might be best to ensure that suitcase actually made it to the first destination!

As a result, I've somehow come away with 2 really lovely flights with Thai Airways (oh A380 planes, how lovely you are) and a Malaysian Air flight from Kathmandu to Osaka via KL. That rules out the long layovers I had mentally prepared myself for in either Mumbai, Delhi, or some very small airport in southern China. I am somewhat reluctant to admit that I wouldn't feel comfortable travelling through India alone and 8 hours at night in a small airport did not sound like my cup of tea, but actually it is so sensible to make sure my flights are going to get me there in one piece. My mother will be substantially happier, I will be undoubtedly be far less stressed at the thought of actually being reunited with my bags, and hopefully without long layovers will arrive in Kathmandu after stopping in Bangkok for only a short time, refreshed and ready to go. Only downside... I've got 30kg to last me a month in Nepal and a year in Japan. Something tells me I'm going to have to embrace minimalism and pack incredibly sensibly - from travelling clothes in Nepal to smart dress for work in Japan and warm things for the winter, it's going to be tight but I'm (relatively) excited to think about packing! I see it as bit of a jigsaw. Minimising the inevitably huuuuge pile of things I'll begin thinking I definitely need to a much smaller, actually necessary pile, is going to teach me a lot.
All that said... to the actual post!

Travelling by boat is one of my favourite types of travel. Phang Nga Thailand. 2016

When we think about travelling, or when someone says they are going travelling, the emphasis is never on the physical movement from place to place, but what goes on in those various places. That's all well and good because ultimately you don't go somewhere to see the inside of a bus, do you. However, a big part of travelling for me is always the physical getting there which ramps up the excitement. And I'm not just talking about the endless supply of films or generous hospitality of the airlines I have had the pleasure to fly with, but I crave that excitement of getting up early to go to the airport, flying through the night, and waking up in the morning in a new place, with new things and people to meet and explore. There is something truly magical in that, and to me, a holiday that doesn't begin at 4am is not nearly as exciting as one that does.

On sports tour to Dublin (how exotic I hear you say) 2017

Flying to Okinawa from Ibaraki. 2016

The ultimate journey on my trip to Nepal would have been getting there overland from Delhi. That was my plan at least. My Dad, who is very well travelled and spent a long time in India on his own when he was only a couple of years older than me, has told my brother and I a lot growing up that India is the ultimate destination for a total assault on every sense: everything is bustling, loud, colourful and chaotic. I have the most incredible image of that in my head, I'm unsure whether it is totally my imagination, or based on travels to Moroccan and Emirati souks, which were the most eye opening bursts of activity, noise and all round excitement. However: something told me that after a long flight, the last thing I'm going to want to do is spend 30 hours on a bus to Kathmandu, however beautiful it may be. I'll save that one perhaps when I'm travelling with others: I'll need someone to watch the bags while I take pictures of the scenery and the extremely likely presence of the occasional goat or chicken sandwiched next to me on a stuffy bus.

I know to a lot of people a journey like that sounds utterly horrific. Part of me feels the same. Part of me thinks if you're going to go travelling in Asia, you might as well actually experience real travelling, like the locals do.

4 hour drive to Krabi Thailand, spent staring out the window and spotting the weird and the wonderful. 2016

So that's my musings on travelling. I enjoy the getting there just as much as the being in one place, however long that might be.



Popular Posts