Monday, May 12, 2008

MYSTERIES OF TRAVEL...

A while ago someone left me a voicemail message saying, "Oh, you're probably in Paris or jet setting somewhere having a really fabulous time, I'm so jealous." I was, in fact, unable to answer the phone because I was buying cat litter. In Deptford.

A lot of people have asked through this blog recently how I manage to travel so much. I seem to have this reputation but I actually haven't been anywhere since Christmas. For me, five months without a trip is a really long time and I'm so hopping up and down excited that I'm going to Italy on Wednesday - and you're coming with me, internet connection willing.

I come from a big family of travellers, by which I don't mean they traverse the world in brightly painted caravans or put a hex on you if you don't buy a posie of heather from them. I just mean that most of them are at any point either about to get on a plane, are on a plane, are visiting some far flung destination, are living in some far flung destination or have just been on a trip somewhere. My travelling, mostly within Europe, is relatively minor compared to theirs.

These five months staying put in London have been good actually. As I was here, I was more able to commit to stuff, but there's no denying my life felt at least 73% more glamorous and exciting when I was popping off to Paris every other month. The only reason I was able to do that for two years was because I looked after the poorly geriatric Parisian cat (sadly no longer with us) of some friends in exchange for staying at their place. I never thought of all my times in Paris as me "going on holiday;" I was just living in a different place. Getting the train from London to Paris is cheaper than getting the train from London to most places in England if you book in advance - and once you're in Paris, the cost of living is cheaper too. But yeah, mooching about in Paris vs mooching about in London = no contest.

I really, really love to travel and I make it a priority. I didn't mind going without a working washing machine for six months as it meant I could spend the money I'd have spent on a new one on travel instead. I'd rather go away somewhere than have a new computer even though my laptop may die any day now. Lots of my friends and family live in other countries - I want to see them and they seem to like seeing me so sometimes that involves getting on a plane. And me getting on a plane means a cheapo midweek flight, usually leaving home at a ridiculously unsociable hour. You know I (ahem) like the finer things in life, but I assure you it's glamour on a shoestring all the way. I wouldn't want anyone to think that I'm gadding about on private jets and staying in five star hotels or anything.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

amen. i totally come from the same school of thought.
nancy

Anonymous said...

nice try, but i'm still insanely jealous-- wildly-- await photos of Italy through your lens . . .

~bp

Stephanie said...

Glamour on a shoestring is way cooler than having anything you want and going through couture dresses like a box of tissues. Its so much more discerning, creative and integrated into one's life that way. I love to travel, and although I don't get to do it as much as I would like, I'm in the same camp- I'm seen as the "world traveler" in my circle. It isn't as much for glamour as it is for the experience of being a part of the world, expanding my sphere of comfort, understanding that there IS something else out there- and its fabulous! Have an amazing time in Italy and have gelato for me!

stacy said...

Traveling makes the world feel smaller and your own world feel so much bigger. So keep traveling, I say.

Iheartfashion said...

I'm with you!
I get similar queries from parents at my childrens' school, and know that people who don't know us think we must be insanely wealthy, but we're of a similar mindset to you. We make travel a priority, above things like flat screen TV or other gadgets, and we book cheap, torturous flights, and rent apartments through Craigslist in Paris or Rome. Not that I'd mind the occasional stay in the Georges V, but all in all I'm content with the way we do it, and it allows my two small kids to see the world while their friends are spending the same amount of money to go to Disney!

Lola Is Beauty said...

see? I knew you lot understood...