Thursday, 29 December 2011

About travelling

 I'm sitting on a train, on my way to Cardiff.

People's reactions have been rather interesting when I've told them that I was about to go to Cardiff.

Example conversation 1:

“So are you going home tomorrow?”
“No, I'm going to Cardiff.”
“CARDIFF? Do you have a friend there?”
“No, I'm going alone. Just visiting Cardiff.”
(seemingly unsurely of whether it was a joke or not:) “...Fair enough.”

Example conversation 2:

“I'm going to Cardiff.”
“Well, I've never been to Wales.”
“Well most people live quite happily without ever being to Wales.”

So in this blog post I'm going to talk about travelling. And how it's good for you.


I ended up booking the tickets to Cardiff after watching Torchwood, Doctor Who and Gavin & Stacey. I thought that going to Wales was an excellent idea. My flatmate pointed out that I could go to Wales. Indeed, I had never been to Wales and I had just handed in my dissertation and I technically had a holiday.

So I did some research of how to get there. Unfortunately the Megabus website had once again collapsed (resembling the way their buses normally break down when you're on them), and Ryanair had stopped flying from Aberdeen to Dublin, so I couldn't fly to Ireland and get a ferry across to Wales. Thus, I booked train tickets through 4 different train companies, and here I am. - I even managed to change a train in Birmingham, although my train was late. It was very exciting: I run around the station panicking that I would miss my connection and would need to spend a night in a McDonald's, until I realised that my connecting train would leave from the same platform the previous train arrived at.

It didn't even occur to me to ask someone to come with me. I wouldn't mind company, I really wouldn't (unless, of course, it was someone very annoying with very different ideas of what travelling is about), but during the holidays most people have plans and the rest probably wouldn't fancy a spontaneous trip to Cardiff.

Last year, I did manage to convince a friend to go travelling with me. It took her a few days to decide on, whether she wanted to come or not. We ended up going to Spain, which was never on the list of places I wanted to visit. But since I had never been to Spain, I figured why not, I should give the place a chance.

Spanish palm trees.

Travelling alone is alright, and it has many benefits: you get to decide what you want to do, and when and how you want to do it. You don't have to visit all the boring tourist attractions or walk around all the boutiques if you don't feel like it. You don't have to carry anyone else's stuff, let them take pictures of you or listen to them complain about something you don't care about. The down sides are that you will have no one to talk about the trip with later and the only person who knows the inside jokes concerning this trip is you, and you will become even weirder.

Why should you go and see places then? Well it's true that all the same chains are everywhere. As I learned watching Torchwood and Gavin & Stacey, Cardiff will have McDonald's, Boots and Tiger Tiger just the same as Aberdeen. But the town is different! I will probably get lost again! But I'm prepared – I draw myself a map.

My map.

When I went to Anchorage I hadn't done that, but fortunately they gave me a map at the hostel so that I could pay, as I didn't have enough cash either. I then managed to find a cash machine, which inconveniently was a drive-in ATM with a sprinkler next to it. It took some planning to choose the right moment to approach it without getting wet in the process. Turned out the machine was out of notes. But I didn't get wet and I had a map.

Drive-in ATM with a  sprinkler challenge.

What I'm trying to say is, that by leaving home once in a while, you will see and experience things that you otherwise wouldn't. And after your adventure you will get to come back home with many more stories to tell and remember. Travelling is never complete waste of time. Even bad trips having something positive about them. If nothing else, they made you more patient and to appreciate all that you have at home.

Let's see how this Wales trip goes.


  1. Vähän kummallisia kommentteja mun mielestä :D. On kyllä hirveän jännittävää vaihtaa junaa, kun juna on myöhässä, vaihtoaikaa on kaksi minuuttia eikä tiedä, mistä juna lähtee. Mäkin siinä kohtaa jo pohdiskelin, miten vietän yöni Hampurissa ja miten sitten muka jatkan kotiin. Ja jossain Puolassa ym. on ollut myös tällaisia kiinnostavia vaihtoja, mutta silloin on ollut Jonna, eikä ole niin huolettanut. Mun mielestä tuollainen matka olisi kiva. Munkin mielestä voi matkustaa yksin, mutta kyllä mun mielestä silti on kivempaa yhdessä. Mä en ole oikein koskaan joutunut matkustamaan niin, että olisi ärsyttänyt. Turkissakin sain viedä lapsia miten tykkäsin ja minne tykkäsin ja yhdessä mentiin mukaviin kohteisiin. Perhematkoilla Tukholmaankin oon vaan vienyt Nean eksymään kanssani. Ja Jonnan kanssa ei kyllä ole mitään ongelmia, meillä on niin samanlaiset matkustustavat ja toiveet. Sunkin kanssa varmasti onnistuisi hyvin. Musta on ihan kivaa antaa jonkun ottaa musta valokuvia. Kartta kannattaa tosiaan piirtää itse.

  2. Kiitos Tiia! Kyllä minäkin mielummin matkustan jonkun kivan kanssa kuin yksin. Mutta nytkin olen jo tutustunut kahteen mukavaan huonekaveriini! Nekin ovat yksin täällä, toinen vahingossa ja toinen tarkoituksella. Ja Tiia, on mun matkat sun kanssa tähän mennessä sujuneet ihan hyvin, vaikkei missään kovin pitkällä ja kaukaisella matkalla olla yhdessä oltukaan.

  3. WAU on varmaan hurjaa matkustella ympäriinsä! O:

    1. Joo, suosittelen kyllä aina lähtemään matkalle, kun on mahdollisuus! :)