Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Travel Broadens the Mind

Darlingses, I have spent the morning trying to both master the absolute basics of Polish and skip all the sad parts in a Polish tour guide. Thus my brain has emptied right out.

Have I mentioned that I will be in Poland for only four days? I will be in Poland for only four days because I did not feel I ought to leave my husband all by himself for longer than that, especially since I have already spent 16 days away cooking for a sick pal instead of for him. History is full of fine-sounding people who did daring deeds to great applause while they completely neglected their spouses at home.

Anyway, because my brain is empty, feel free to tell travel stories in the combox. As you may know, I believe travel is the solution for almost everything that ails a Single person. If your boyfriend breaks up with you, off you go. If you hate your job but you've saved a mint, off you go. If you think you can no longer stand another second stuck in Rolling Prairie, Indiana, off you go to La Porte to buy a travel guide.

Stories, pls!


Update: Thanks to Berenike for finding Anielskie Single on a Top 10 List! We're number osiem! We're number osiem!

12 comments:

Jessica said...

I just went to World Youth Day in Spain! I think my favorite moment came at the very end of the trip: We stayed in Madrid until Tuesday, one day later than most of the pilgrims. We went to an itty-bitty restaurant where we were the only people there the whole time. After some negotiating, the owner definitely warmed up to us, and at the end we took a picture with him and the cook (named Carmen). We had been making and giving away knotted cord rosaries the whole time, so we gave them each a rosary. Carmen was so happy she almost started crying. She said she had really wanted to go see the pope but hadn't been able to go because she had been working. She said she just knew the pope would come to find her -- and now she had a rosary blessed by him. It was a very cool experience!

Girl with the yellow hat said...

I love the topic! I had itchy feet and hated my job so I went on a working holiday 10,000 miles from home for six months and stayed for 2 years meeting Mr Perfect for me in the process!!

Jam said...

Hm, maybe I'm just hopeless, or maybe I just travel too often or too cheaply to really make it special, but I find that travel can be kind of lonely. Traveling by yourself, of course, and no one misses one *so* much... after all, they know when you'll be back.

Probably the most uplifting trip I've ever taken by myself was to Seattle for a four-day leadership/self-help thing (my dad had gone and liked it so he sent me). Since dad got the hotel, it was very nice, edging on "fancy", and centrally located. I ate out for every meal and took nice long walks around the city. Except for the meetings I had nothing in particular to do or that I wanted to do, so I just wandered through the shops and markets. I didn't go to any museums or do anything culturally edifying. Rather than stress over finding cheap places or out-of-the-way places or "authentic" places I went to the restaurants listed in the concierge book and had wine with dinner. I have traveled much further and (frankly) to much more exciting cities since then, and I've traveled for much more pressing/important reasons, but those few days in Seattle, pretending to be a Woman of Means, on Important Business, were really relaxing.

Probably my second most liberating travel experience was taking the train from Manchester to London wearing heels. Ok, that sounds stupid, but it felt sort of glamorous to stride around in heels, even though the train was predictably dingy and crowded and my destination was a youth hostel.

berenike said...

Talking my way to the front of the ginormous queue at a pedestrian crossing of the Ukrainian-Polish border, only to find that the crappy wrinkly passport the consulate had made me was so crappy and wrinkly that the Polish passport checkers thought it was fake, and didn't want to let me back into the country.

U2Goana said...

Werenike, you should have contacted the Ukrainian Kolasa mafia ;)
Travelling is very good and never boring: I was going home once for Christmas (from Rome) and, after my check-in, I realized that I lost all my papers, including my passport and my flight-ticket! after long hours of crying and searching for them (it was so good that I arrived early enough at the airport to have time for all this), I went to the check-in desk to ask how much time was left to for embarking...some good Catholic man (God Bless him!) found them at the phone-booth where I talked to my parents in the airport...I know he was Catholic because he left me a Christmas card in the folder ;)(but he was married :( )
but, that's not all....when I got home, I realized that I took the wrong bag....it looked exactly like mine, but it belonged to a friar who studied in Rome( I know this because on the pile of well-folded clothes there was a Bible with his brotherly name on it...I wonder how folded were my clothes in the bag he found...). Fortunately, he was from the same country as I and my brother lived in the same town as he. I couldn't do the bag-switch myself, because I was in the hospital with pneumonia....it was a memorable Christmas! ;)

Athanasius lover said...

As nice as it is to travel, it is really only a solution for people who have money to spare. People who are still in school or who are recent graduates and don't make a lot of money (or don't have jobs) and have lots of student loan debt may find that travel just is not an option for them. I know it's not an option for me, nor is it for most of my friends.

In such a situation, perhaps the best solution is a day trip. It's not quite the same, because you can't go as far away or spend very long there, but it might be something.

Seraphic said...

Athanasius Lover, it all depends on where you live and how far you want to go. For the time being, Europeans can travel quite easily and cheaply, depending on where they want to go. (It costs less for me to get to Rome by air than to London by train.) Torontonians can can get to Montreal, and therefore a French-speaking town, quite cheaply by bus, and so can Bostonians, for a bit more. Of course, the best kind of travel is to homes of friends, for then you don't have to pay even a youth hostel bill!

U2Gonna, any friend of Berenike's is a friend of ours, and we'd love to see the JP2 Centre! Thank you. (Email me!)

berenike said...

You can get the sleeper to London for fifteen squid if you're quick enough (top tip).

Christine said...

Two years ago, I made my First Trip to Europe, and I spent a month in Prague in a teacher trainer course (didn't find a job though), then a month in Italy (and a bit in Austria). Although I was a poor student without a job (and am still close to being that now), I managed to do so much travelling thanks to hospitality of strangers though Couch Surfing. I highly recommend looking it up online; it's an online community of hosts and travelers, and people post references of people they've had exchanges with. This is great for folks who have little money, but a little extra time. Also, it was a very beautiful experience staying in local people's homes on the outskirts of cities, learning how life is really like in Italy, shopping in local supermarkets, and getting a local perspective. Best trip of my life! Favorite part - last 3 days staying with distant cousins in Sicily, exploring my family history and the beautiful island.

Christine said...

Fine print - If you look into Couch Surfing, be sure to keep your head on your shoulders, and stay only with people who have glowing positive references from previous surfers (and never with single men, if you're a single woman, obviously)

berenike said...

My cousin visited Brasil couch surfing, and possibly Cuba. She did Mali partly couch surfing, in the event, though that wasn't through any website but through being handed down along a chain of friends and acquaintances!

kozz said...

I get what Jam is saying. I'm alright with traveling alone. But, when you see something so magnificent that blows your socks off, it is nice to have someone around, just to share the splendor.