… with images of Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera.
I am filled with a lust that cannot be ignored and shan’t settle until I’ve been there. And I want to go by train.
Apparently it’s possible to do the journey, via that mode of transport, within a day. So, coffee in Shrewsbury, breakfast in London, lunch in Paris, afternoon tea in Turin, and dinner in Monterosso al Mare. Perfetto!
I idle away a fair bit of online time perusing three things: travel, food and poetry. Recently, I asked online friends where would you go with an unlimited budget?
There were some interesting replies – places seen, places craved. But a curious answer came from the wonderful Liz/Sheena who said we travel because it makes us feel a certain way, so should focus on inducing this same feeling in our ordinary lives, in ordinary places.
To some extent I get what she’s saying, but a large part of what appeals to me with travel couldn’t be reproduced in my native land.
I love being the foreigner. The detachment that comes with not speaking the language – tuning out, relaxing, knowing nothing is my concern – the sheer selfishness of just being. I love the quiet watching and pondering a person is free to do when in the role of visiting ghost.
I asked my dad – who’s travelled the world the hard way – where is his favourite place? He said he couldn’t answer. Did I mean most pleasurable or memorable or intense…? He gave a few examples of each – all exotic, dangerous ventures – before settling, briefly, on:
“…the time, having canoed 3000km down the Danube, to stand alone with my feet in the Black Sea, eyes closed, knowing I had done it and it could never be taken away from me.”
Ah. And that’s the difference between armchair travel and the real kind… now where’s that train schedule?