I’d like to use my blessed position as a writer for such a fascinating publication – with such an intelligent, articulate audience – to ask for some good old fashioned advice. This one goes out to all the globetrotters, the cosmopolites, the auspiciously œcumenical mortals that work to live and live to play.
I’m currently on my gap year. I’ve been told that one on one’s gap year should drink copious amounts of alcohol, travel and see the world, catch STIs and argue with foreigners about how great Britain is. So far, four stressful, demanding, emotionally enduring months in, I’ve done no travel (unless you count High Wycombe as travel), seen a limited amount of the world and infuriated only a small subset of the available nonnatives. I’ve done lots of drinking, but that would have happened anyway. It was inevitable.
For the record, I haven’t caught any STIs either. I’m not really too excited about this part. If it really is an integral cog in the machine that is a gap year, I’m sure I can concede to contracting some venereal disease or another, but if I’m honest, the Jury’s still out on that one. I just don’t like the idea of Jamie Junior being subjected to such pain.
My post-coital fears notwithstanding, I am thoroughly anticipant of my travels, and can’t wait to get on the road. In order to do so, however, I need the aid of les gens de PostDesk.
I have a major problem (and, as we’ve just established, it’s not chlamydia). If you’ve ever travelled before I have no doubts that you’ve experienced the crushing pressure of intercontinental journeying. My dilemma, my… question, is composed of two distinct, yet equally significant parts. Part 1:
Where on Earth do I go?
There is a whole world out there. And I’ve seen so little of it. I’d love to go around Europe a bit more, see the Nordic countries, spend more time in Spain and my hereditary homeland Italy. Visit some family in Cyprus, see Greece; before the whole country collapses. Russia, the Netherlands, Germany. Switzerland, Bulgaria and Turkey.
I’d also love to go to Asia, see Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand. I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve never actually visited the Southern Hemisphere, so a trip to Australia and New Zealand is most certainly on the cards. I’d love to work on my Spanish, so potentially a trip to South America? Peru, Costa Rica, Panama? Venezuela, Columbia, Chile?
And of course, we have the United States. Where do I begin? I know and love San Francisco, so certainly wouldn’t object to returning. I’d love to see the East Coast, New York, Boston, Providence, Philadelphia. And what about Austin, Seattle, Chicago? And Canada? Haha, no, not Canada. But maybe Canada…
Have you been traveling extensively? Where did you go, what did you see? Where do you wish you’d been, but had never got the chance to?
And for my second question:
What’s the cheapest way to go anywhere?
I’ve been looking into these ‘around the world’ tickets; the premise being that one pays a flat fee in return for a round the world ticket, granting the recipient of aforementioned ticket a flight through a predesignated route. These seem like a great solution, but I’d rather not take such a dull, direct route through the major cities. I’d much rather jump around a bit, see the world a bit more. Travel some sections by road or sea, for instance.
A much cheaper alternative would be to travel via Whippet coaches, ferries, trains and the occasional cheap flight. It would be easier, but I’d be cautious of traveling through the more suspect areas of South America and Asia by road, just as I would be traveling across America and Europe. Plus this would take significantly longer, and – once my MacBook Air’s dying little battery splutters and coughs into inexorable submission – I have no doubt I’d get extremely bored, extremely quickly.
What’s the cheapest and easiest way to travel? Is there a simple way of traveling via air on a reasonable budget?
I’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts on travel, where I should go and what I should do while I’m there!
If I can travel, I can take a leaf out of my good friend Phil Sturgeon’s book, have a taste of the nomad life and work while seeing the world. I can Couchsurf and AirBnB my way across the world. I can experience the world before we ruin it any more. I can meet a plethora of new, interesting and inspiring people. But most importantly, I’ll get to live.
And after all, isn’t that what life’s all about?