January 23, 2017 §
I feel now like I did before my first grand tour to Sweden, Berlin, Vienna and Munich in 1999; incredibly small and attacked, yet hoping to learn something about myself in the despair and the black nights and the loneliness of my journey. This is when the wolves all come out and fall upon you.
January 22, 2017 §
It is true, though, that I love those long train journeys across Europe. Just to spend some days alone with my thoughts and my pen and paper. Perhaps I can enjoy one last Grand Tour of all my favourite places, before I retire from it. Oh but then a year later I will want one more Grand Tour just for old time’s sake, and it will never really end. I don’t know if I can really give up the solitary travelling. It does fulfill some need I have for solitariness. Like Helmut Kohl once a year would take himself off to a health spa. Last year I travelled to Europe four times and spent a total of 12 nights away from home, away from ——. 12 nights to myself out of 365 is not much is it? Perhaps I should allow myself just one Grand Tour a year, and in that tour go to all my places in one go. That is the glory of the Inter Rail Pass. If you are bored in one place, just jump on a train and leave sooner than you planned. If you stop off in another place not planning to stay, but find something amazing to detain you, just hang around longer than planned. That is why going on holiday by plane and just flying from A to B then back home to A again is so boring. Yes, let me allow myself one Grand Tour a year. Then I can just dip into northern Italy for a day or two, just dip into Switzerland and the Alps for a day or two. Get little tasters of those places I have always wanted to go to but will probably never have the time or money to ever really explore as much as I want. If I allow myself one Grand Tour a year, I will be free to go to as many beaches and clear blue seas as —— wants the rest of the year, to try to erase my guilt and shame at leaving her alone! See! I have already talked myself back into travelling alone!
January 17, 2017 §
I think my sub-conscious knew I was edging towards returning to a Grand Tour of Europe I can certainly in no way afford, and deep down do not want to go on, as I do not want to leave —– anymore, but still I was getting closer to doing it, so my sub-conscious knew it has to throw a huge spanner in the works, and make sure I did not make that terrible mistake again. The virus is my also nagging desire to go back to Europe, and as long as that is in my system, and as long as the consequent repulsion at the thought of going back to Europe is also in my system, so the infection will persist and not lose an iota of its virulence. The infection is manifest visual representation of the battle that is waging inside me, Jakob with the Angel, Gandalf with the Balrog, over whether I go back to Europe or not. The infection is me telling myself: No! Do not do something you really do not want to do! Resist your old temptation! You must fight against slipping back into that old addiction, travelling, travelling, travelling, all with money you do not have! Do not slip back into the plus £20,000 debts again! There will not be another financial miracle sent your way to get you out of it next time! That was your second chance and don’t blow it!
January 12, 2017 §
It is funny when I find old notes from previous holidays previously disregarded. When I look back at some trips there may be one or two things that I always remember that trip for, but then when I find my old notes from that trip I find those one or two things were never even mentioned by me at the time. When I put old notes that I have just rediscovered into my book so often they instantly become the best and most powerful part of the book. Munich is really where it all began for me. It is where I was born as a European traveller. I got the Eurostar to Brussels and after taking no more than one step outside the Gare du Midi station into the alien Brussels street, I changed straight on to the night train to Munich. Arriving at the crack of dawn next morning with no German language, no German money, nowhere to stay, that is where I began to learn how to be a traveller. That was the start of my first Grand Tour. I itch to start another (literally & metaphorically).
October 8, 2016 §
How soon after returning from a place declaring I will never come back to Munich again, I will never come back to Vienna again, I will never come back to Berlin again, I find myself looking forward to going back. That first Grand Tour to Europe in 1999 has marked me for life. Will I return so disappointed from Berlin again? I hope I can relax there this time, rather than missing —– so much and being desperate to return home before I even arrived like last time.