The Unintrepid Traveller

I read people’s travel blogs with a touch of envy, most travellers land on distant shores with a realm of possibilities ahead of them not knowing what adventures lie ahead.  Not so for me, once my holiday comes about I already have the itinerary mapped out in my head from months of research, every cobbled side street, every cafe, watering hole and train schedule etched in my skull.   I have already gazed upon the sights from trip advisor photos and sampled the cuisine at a local restaurant in my mind’s palate.

I know from living in London, it takes time to find the things that are more interesting that won’t be in a guidebook, and for all my time here I doubt I have seen a  fraction of the sights most tourists will have seen in a weekend, but have found my own gems which rarely get a mention,  your Tower of London is my Camden Canal Museum, your Starbucks is my Cafe Lisboa, a few weeks holiday a year is not enough time to discover these things without some prior research or insider knowledge.

I think of this now having pretty much planned my next trip, 3 weeks in Thailand for Christmas, this will be my second visit there having fallen foul of the monsoon cycles before (hence my paying more attention now) on that occasion it forced me back to Bangkok early to find respite from the downpours, but arriving there with no prior plan left me floundering, I was out of my depth having no bearings in the city and wasted the next few days hitting dead ends and opting to stay in the hotel bar.

With planning in advance I am organising my first tattoo in Hua Hin, with the aid of  a google search bar and way too much free time I found a training school whose teacher’s work is incredible, I’ve been able to email and discuss what I want already and gained some essential advice which I would not have known had I just rocked up to her studio on a whim.   I will attend a vintage car rally from Bangkok to Hua Hin, visit a vineyard which is cultivated by elephants, mooch around lively night markets and have Christmas lunch on the 61st floor overlooking Bangkok before heading for a horse racing meeting the same day.

My problem is with 4 months to go, any excitement has now resided, the initial thrill in planning the trip, coinciding flights to accommodation and all the things in between have passed, having never been to Hua Hin, I know exactly where my villa is and how to get into the city and back at any time of day, I have pretty much designed my tattoo in my head and it’s swam around there so long it feels like I already have it emblazoned in my flesh (wouldn’t that be nice without the pain incurred!)  What’s left to do but plan the next trip.

photo from Flickr 'agowser'

I wonder where I obtained my un-adventurous spirit, I never did the gap year, my youth spent in an alcoholic daze and now I am older I am too secure in my life and work to contemplate leaving for an extended sojourn to exotic climes. 

So for all you modern-day Columbus’ I envy your spirit, your willingness to throw yourself into the adventure, just don’t come running to me when you’ve missed the boat connection from the island because you never printed it out 4 months earlier.

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