I want to travel, so badly.
I went through a stint in around 2007/8 (a couple of years before what I call ‘the bad patch’ that lasted almost a decade) of travelling alone. It was nothing fancy, but it was my first foray into true independence, and having nobody at all to rely on or fall back on but myself.
I went to Rome in 2007 for a three-day weekend, where I went on a little self-made walking tour of all of the museums, cathedrals and historical monuments that were within reasonable distance from my hotel.
Rome isn’t quite the romantic getaway spot that the photographs make you believe; it’s filthy, and absolutely covered in graffiti.
The Colosseum is 60% permanent scaffolding, and right across a noisy main road from a really busy train station. My hotel was Chinese-owned (even the sign was in Mandarin, not English), as was the ‘Italian’ restaurant below it (I was the only Caucasian face in there, it felt like being at a Chinese buffet but with Italian food), and across the street was an Irish pub.
I then travelled to Bordeaux in 2008 – I didn’t really have the cash to travel more than once a year, but I loved it. I was extremely disappointed in Bordeaux and wouldn’t really recommend it, as it’s nothing special. Would you believe, the only place I could find any wine (since my hotel literally didn’t serve it, and the only wine store I found was closed on Saturdays) was the duty free on the way home.
In 2009 I planned to go to Berlin, but the airline cancelled my flight and initially refused to refund my money. By the time I got my money back I didn’t really want to go any more.
With all that being said, my trips weren’t bad, they were just badly planned and researched. I more or less picked the first hotel in the centre of whatever city was closest to the action, and rolled with it.
If I get the job I am aiming for, I will have a little more money to travel in 2018 and 2019 respectively (after that, my sister and I are selling the family home, which means I have plans to turn travel into a more long-term, permanent fixture in my life). I’ve had a dream for years upon years to be a travel blogger. I pore over vlogs and blogs of travel all the time and no matter how much I tell myself ‘that will never happen’, the dream keeps coming back.
I’ve realised recently that I just need to be proactive. So, if I get this job, the first thing I am doing is getting some cringey passport photographs printed, and sending off for a brand new passport.