Before you say it, it’s not plagiarism; it’s an homage to Bill Bryson. Travel literature aficionados like me will get the reference (he published his European adventures under the same title in 1991). Personally, the last time I visited another European country it was 2010, it was Menorca, there was a one year old in tow and I barely saw outside the walls of the Thomson Holiday hotel enclosure. We went with an open mind about travelling with a small child but the tone of the holiday was quickly set when I found myself changing a diarrhoea filled nappy in the confines of an aeroplane toilet.
That wasn’t my understanding of the Mile High club.
To be honest, that kind of holiday (minus the diarrhoea) was about all I could have handled at that point in time within the confines of a limited budget. But holidays and travel are important to me.
I was not confident or secure enough in myself as a youth to do the whole world travel thing. My sister did it in her 20s but to be honest the thought never occurred to me at that time. If I had the chance now (in my 40s) I would do it, but I have a six and three year old to consider.
I recently spotted a picture on Facebook of my friend Louise from A Strong Coffee at a food blogger event and I briefly considered jacking in all this tenuous niche-averse maundering in favour of something more ‘real’ as images of the flavoursome delights on offer to all those flashing the Foodies100 badge were briefly conjured in my mind’s eye. Louise, on the other hand, said she’d quite fancy being a travel blogger thereby considerably upping the ante.
The fact is it’s always been a fanciful dream of mine to become the British version of Bill Bryson (minus the beard). To drift from one country to the next making hilarious observations about bizarre national customs and how easy it is to mistake a box of tampons for a ready meal in Kazakhstan (probably) is essentially my ideal job.
Unfortunately I feel the possibility of Brexit becoming a reality may make even the shortest of hauls a costly exercise if the news reports I’ve been reading lately are anything to go by.
In my current opinion, Britain leaving the EU would be a bit like Iowa pulling out of the US – yes they could control who might benefit from all the corn and start up their own army, but really, who would care? Just imagine the hassle if all the Iowans had to consider applying for a visa every time they wanted to pop next door to Illinois?
This is, of course, a silly example and I know that US states are very different from EU member states and there is obviously a lot more to consider with regards to the EU and our place in it, but I can’t help feeling that pulling out is a step backwards fuelled by a generalised knee jerk suspicion of ‘Johnny Foreigner’.
From a traveller’s point of view it is in no way appealing.
But who am I to call myself a traveller? Can you call yourself a traveller if you never get the chance to travel? I don’t even own an armchair.
I like to think it is more of a state of mind – I’ll also go around calling myself a ‘writer’ – I can string a sentence together and I have also been known to ride the Number 1 bus all the way from Farnborough to Camberley (not my idea) so yes, I do also, on occasion, ‘travel’.
Maybe I just need a holiday.