Habitual runners get off on the endorphins that kick in and give them the extra boost they need. I get the same jolt from an exciting day of travel or an unexpected side trip to a new and undiscovered land (for me… not for all mankind) that I hadn’t planned to visit. Traveling seems to give me a near constant roller coaster type of adrenaline rush. It’s a healthy drug, travel, but may cost a bit more than crack.
I was flying to New York City in five days. My trip was winding down. I was about to return to the United States after 15+ months traveling around the world and living out of the same bag (my faithful traveling companion… which I often refer to as my boyfriend—he’s sturdy and trusty, but can often be a pain in the ass and the wheels and metal zippers aren’t too cozy to cuddle with). My last few days in England I was not planning a whole lot, but then wham!
Another spontaneous trip miraculously presented itself on my very last weekend abroad. I was staying in the charming old Roman town of Bath, England (aptly named for the natural hot springs discovered there by the Romans about 2000 years ago) for a few days.
Then I was headed back towards London just to jump into Heathrow (one of the world’s busiest airports) and go through a possible strip search at the tight British airport security for the zillionth time and board the thirty-fourth flight of my world tour to rack up approximately 115 hours of flight time and 42,220 miles (67,946 kms) around the planet.
A British friend and fellow world traveler, Caroline, who I’d met during a swim with the dolphins experience in the chilly waters (freeze your ass off type of ‘chilly’) off of the North Island of New Zealand, lives near Bath and we planned to meet for lunch before I was to hop on a train and head back into London.
I was planning to spend my last three nights in England actually outside of London in a small town near Windsor with another friend I’d made in Turkey who graciously offered up his flat to me and my boyfriend (Mr. Suit Case), but then he (Glen, not my bag) came down with the flu and feared his nasty germs were coating all the surfaces of his home. Caroline emailed me about how it was too bad I couldn’t join her and her girlfriends for the weekend in a resort town on the north coast of Wales. ‘But… wait… I can join you!’
And another great trip unfolded perfectly before me right when I needed it.
I joined four other single thirty-somethings for the weekend in Llandudno, Wales where we hiked and laughed over glasses of wine by the fire sharing tales of travel, men, and other girly things (so “Sex & the City”).
We even got pulled over by some lovely Welsh policemen. Caroline had forgotten to put her lights on—good thing they didn’t notice us driving the wrong way down a one-way street about five minutes prior (and it was the Brit driving on the ‘right’ side of the street, not the American). The area was beautiful with rocky, green hills meeting the sea through the foggy mist. It was a perfect weekend and the perfect temporary ending to my travels.
Oh, how I will miss this rush of the unexpected trip that seems to come out of nowhere, but really comes from all the cool friends I’ve made around the world. If it weren’t for them I would never have seen the amazing terraced mountainsides of SaPa, Vietnam, the beautiful vineyard covered island of Bozcaada, Turkey, or the multi-personalitied charming yet industrial city of Gothenburg, Sweden. I guess it’s true what they say: When one door closes, another one opens.