The time has come. I can’t leave it off any longer. It’s always been inevitable; sooner or later, I was going to have to sift through all 2000 (YES, TWO THOUSAND) photos I took while in Europe. Clearly, Traveller Amy had no regard for my poor current self. Not that I would ever, ever be unhappy about having plenty of photos to work with. It’s just that when you get to photo number 54 of the Colosseum, the likelihood of a) needing a snack break, b) having a pounding head, and c) hating Rome, is dramatically increased.
But I’m getting ahead of myself; Rome is weeks (and about half a 16GB memory card) away.
*insert dreamy, other-worldly tune* It all began in Brisbane, Australia.
My first international flight, and going it alone: I think this was the part where my stomach was supposed to flutter with nervous butterflies and excitement- but apparently I missed that experience.
By some brilliant act of chance, I found myself queuing to board the flight behind an equally clueless traveler- who, coincidentally, was the young man I would be spending my flight seated next to; Winnie.
Looking back with that experience under my belt, I can give you one excellent piece of advice to achieve a total lack of self consciousness in someone else’s company: spend a 28 hour flight beside them. Lapsing into a zombie-like state of complete exhaustion and irritation is a bonding experience like no other. Despite my total disregard for anything remotely ladylike or attractive (hullllo, joggers and jeans!), Winnie became the first of many traveler friends who inspired me and made for what soon became the journey of a lifetime. And, apart from being useful for helping with my (morbidly oversized) bags, he turned out to be pretty decent company too. (I guess I better say that anyway, since I’m planning on sending him the link and all).
28 hours later, I stumbled wide-eyed into the Heathrow Airport, London. My stunned state and naivety, however, was absolutely no help when it came to British Security and the whole not-having-accommodation-already-booked issue. I gallantly made it through anyway, my pride in such spontaneity only taking a small blow, and caught a tube train (another piece of foreign machinery) into King’s Cross in search of a hostel. In hindsight, this was probably the worst place to stay the night, but I begrudgingly handed over 28 pound for one night’s stay and proclaimed all of London maddeningly overpriced. I wish I could say I fell in love with London instantly after this- that the complete lack of sunshine coupled with the city’s miserable residents could easily be overlooked for… what? I spent my first night there regurgitating amazing quantities of airplane food, and decided I hated London. (Not to despair though- if we both persist to the end of this series, you’ll eventually find that I come to terms with London’s Londonness- appreciated it, even).
To be continued (in theory): Next stop, Liverpool. And let’s not pretend I felt a morsel of disappointment to be hauling my bags onto a train out of that big, unfriendly London.
Thanks for reading, I hope you’ll enjoy my misadventures!