The joys of travelling

Posted on 4 July 2012

Travelling is not glamorous.

If you’re not sipping on a well-aged brandy in the Executive Lounge you’re most probably standing behind me in line at security as I undress and endure the scorn of the guard because I forgot to take out my laptop of its case again. If you’re extra lucky (like me) your troubles aren’t over yet once you’ve found your seat and await take off. Maybe you also have the added fear of becoming sick during take-off or landing and I can usually only relax once we’re safely on the ground and my dinner is still where it’s supposed to be… It only takes one time to live in fear for the rest of your life.

But of course, upon arrival you have friendly customs officials to look forward to and the prospect of opening a suitcase that has possibly been contaminated with a whole tube of toothpaste or worse – the bottle of red wine a fellow-flyer decided will make across several oceans without breaking. All this means I most certainly don’t look like Janez or Jeannie D when I arrive at my destination.


I often ask why I keep doing this to myself?

  • The cold sweat and suspense every time I walk into a new embassy or send my passport off to another agency to ask politely if I can come and visit some far-off country.
  • The queasiness I experience every time a flight takes off.
  • The uncertainty as I arrive in a new place where I don’t understand anything – not even the numbers.


Why? Because I love it.

  • I love not going into an office every day and facing a different traffic situation every day.
  • I love not knowing which day of the week it is.
  • I love eating stuff I’ve never eaten before, and probably never will again.
  • I love that first shower after you haven’t been able to have one in a while.
  • And I love the people.


It’s rough, it’s dirty and it’s wonderful and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

As I prepare for my next trip, a cycle tour from China to Istanbul, following the ancient Silk Road, I can’t wait to board that flight and try to keep my dinner in. I’ve been home for too long now and I can hear the world calling me.

Now if only I can get my passport back with that all important visa inside.

My next trip will start in Kashgar, China and head west through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey. Follow it on my blog.


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