Sunday, 3 October 2010

When I See A Train I Want To Take It in My Arms

I love traveling: trains are romantic, cars are pensive, planes are speedy, and bicycles are liberating. Walking is my favourite mode of transportation.

Photo by Burk Uzzle, 1970.

Over time, I’ve gotten quite organized about the process and intricacies of travel. Here is my advice:

*If you travel with fewer people, you’ll be more in tune with the environment and locals, and thus get into more fun/crazy situations.

*If you like to be prepared go to the library before you leave and photocopy pages of places, important numbers and maps from Let’s Go travel guides. Have a think about what you want to do when you get there (but don’t stick to a schedule or it’ll feel like a school trip. Save some time and flexibility for adventure.)

*Bring a notebook (or laptop.) Flying or riding heightens emotions and provides a quiet time to think about your life.

*Pack a few books you want to catch up on. Toss nuts, water, and chewing gum in your bag, and for epically long journeys rye crackers and sliced cheese like Edam.

*If you get restless or have a lengthly journey ahead, bring Kalms Forte tablets (light homeopathic downers) or chamomile tea bags.

*Pack a cardigan or an enormous scarf in your carry-on to use as a blanket. Make a Sleep playlist on your ipod. I have Air’s Moon Safari album and Spiritualized’s Pure Phase on mine.

*Wear something comfortable yet dapper; you might get unexpectedly upgraded to first class or meet someone interesting. This has happened to me randomly a couple times. Don’t forget a comb and chapstick.

Photo by Ralph Gibson, 1970

Mosquito Advice:

An important thing to remember is mosquitoes, like lovers (or vampires) adore your scent, your sweat, your blood…so the aim is to hide your delicious human smell. Shower before bed and wear long, loose clothes tucked into each other. I suggest thin cotton pajamas in hot climates. For a non-toxic homemade alternative to the sprays, mix a little baby oil with tea tree oil (If you’re not wrapped up in rare sheets.) Citronella oil is another natural repellent. Some say drinking tonic water in the evening makes you less tasty to the mosquitoes but that might be a rumor.

If you’re too busy or broke to go anywhere right now, read about trips instead. Try:

· As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee

· The Places In Between by Rory Stewart

· Rosie Darling by Rosie Swale

· On the Road by Jack Kerouac (that’s a bit obvious, I know.)

· Go Ask Alice (just kidding.)

Feel free to contribute your travel suggestions in the comments section…

This song always makes me think of driving around the city...

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