… as the song goes – but when we get to travel again without fear of our fellow travellers, will we choose to travel differently?
I flew so often as a child, I found it easier than catching a bus. Seriously, I’ve always found bus timetables in the UK totally incomprehensible, and have travelled in the wrong direction more than once – including (and most memorably) on the way to my daughter’s wedding when guiding a family group – oops! But against the speed and efficiency of the flight itself has to be put the extended waiting time at the airport, the fact that airlines now cram in more seats providing less room even for the normally sized, leaving you vulnerable to the person in front of you tilting their seat until they are all but lying in your lap. Finally getting up to move & stretch is positively frowned upon. Unless I unexpectedly stumbled upon a vast fortune and could fly business or first class, I don’t see this being my preferred method again.
Some years ago, I travelled by train from the UK to Switzerland. The cons were that it involved multiple changes (4 each way) and we had to manhandle our own luggage throughout. But, apart from one leg being a Swiss commuter train where there wasn’t a seat to be found, the seats were roomier and couldn’t be tilted. Finally, you could generally get up to move & stretch. I scaled down my luggage dramatically to ensure that – even with my rubbish back – I could manage it alone, although of course it helps if you know where you’re going & so have a realistic idea of what you’re going to need. It is certainly an option I’d consider again, although Himself is not quite so keen…
Travel by boat – or ship – was something we did regularly during my childhood. My father’s employers permitted an annual “local leave” with one extended “home leave” every three years. For the latter, we’d travel part of the way from India to the UK by ship. Not on the massive cruise ships you see now, but rather smaller affairs. They were comfortable, and we were always very well taken care of by the wonderful, hard-working & friendly staff; such that we all remember each journey with great fondness. I’d not be keen to travel on the huge cruise ships which prevail now, but a river cruise might have appeal.
But the reality is that for travel in Europe, we’d probably drive. Himself can drive for seemingly hours on end without negative impact on his concentration. I need to take a break after a couple of hours, but that would probably be enough to give him a rest period. The pros are that we’d be in the comfort of our own chosen vehicle and we could carry everything we want (within reason), but specifically including as much camera gear as we like. The big cons are how long it could take – and traffic jams. The fact that Himself and I do not share the same taste in music could be viewed as a con, except that we seem to be able to talk the hind leg off a donkey with each other, never running out of subjects to discuss, and are equally happy to sit together in companionable silence.
A friend recently took her family on a UK break in a motorhome. Not something I’d considered before, and it appealed briefly till Himself reminded me of the UK’s narrow roads…
How do you like to do it – travel that is? And has the pandemic caused you to modify your previous preferences?
© Debra Carey, 2021