In contrast to my usual posts, I have chosen to write about something personal this week.
The Intimate Newsflash is as follows: I am going travelling. Not as in, I’m going on a gap yah to Asia to find myself/mess around with Hugo and Bunny whilst I wonder what the hell to do with my life/pose in as many thong bikinis as I can fit in to my suitcase. No, instead I am going interrailing around Europe which, in my humble opinion, will definitely have its benefits…
I am travelling by train, staying in a mixture of youth hostels and other people’s homes and not doing a cringey cliché bungee jump. If I wanted to prove my courageous and daring spirit on this trip, I would probably start by attempting to speak to the people I meet in their own language. I might even sacrifice the money for a fishbowl to buy a phrase book.
It is closer to home.
As a person who has never really been capable of going for too long without a) my own bed and b) my Nan’s cowboy hotpot, Europe is definitely a better choice for travelling than halfway across the globe, because I will not have to compensate for the jet-lag by staying away for six months. But before you elect me to Chief of the Fun Police, I have to add that there is just as much adventure to be found in our own continent. It is only the curse of the Bragosaurus which makes people think they have to skip Europe for more ‘exotic’ climes. Paris, Rome and Barcelona are equally as fabulous as the Great Wall of China.
My interpretation of the Bragosaurus
However, even I will admit to there being one flaw in my Grand Plan.
Travelling through Europe is the perfect opportunity, you might say, to practice my undergraduate French, eight years in the making. Yes, I may have dreams of having a tête-à-tête with a Frenchman who is simply blown away by my words; however I don’t think many Frenchmen would be blown away by a heated discussion about euthanasia. Contrary to practically every exam board and university in the country, natives are not accustomed or partial to swotty travellers trouncing them in a debate on the use of genetically modified organisms in farming or the death penalty. Shocking, isn’t it? Hence, I am sceptical that my dreams of being swept off mes pieds by a Frenchman will come into fruition. And I am even less confident about the other countries!
But you never know, in four weeks time I might have donned my flamenco shoes and charmed the churros off a Spanish señor. We’ll see.