The euros and passport aren’t long back in the box of ‘travel stuff’ from Saturday’s day trip to Paris and my mind is already thinking about where to explore next. I have truly caught the travel bug!
You see, I love driving and am often at my happiest when I’ve a list of postcodes for places I think will excite me and the radio is on. I rarely travel by train and, when I do, journeys on my way up to London last usually less than an hour. The journey from Ashford International (in Kent, south east England) to the centre of Paris may have taken just shy of two hours but it’s got me thinking…..I’d like to travel by train more. Of course, there is only so much money in the bank and that’s why I include experiences on my bucket list that cost little or no money but some things are worth saving up for.
So, I have not 1, 2 or 3 ideas but 4! Anyone who knows me in real life or followers who’ve captured good insight into my personality may be thinking “Oh, that’s typical Sarah!” Yes, it is! I like thinking big and, as I’ve really come to passionately believe in over the past couple of years, I don’t want to just think of ideas; I want to make them happen. Without trying to sound too morbid, if anything was to happen to me tomorrow, I’d much prefer that people remember me as someone who filled her life making memories and hopefully inspired others.
Ideas 1 and 2 – Brussels and Amsterdam
Okay, I’m grouping these together but both are destinations accessible by Eurostar that you can do as day trips from England. I’ve visited these places before but not in the past 30 years. Goodness, that makes me feel old! In spring, I’d love to visit the Keukenhof Gardens which are a bus trip away from Amsterdam where you’ll find carpets of stunningly-coloured tulips. There are also the Amsterdam canals to take a trip on and Anne Frank’s house to explore, neither of which I’ve ever visited. Also, going in spring would be cheaper than the summer so this might be a trip for next April or May. The only thing I remember about Brussels is the Atomium which is a famous landmark built more than 60 years ago so a day trip would be a great way to sample Belgian life. Perhaps I could do a chocolate-making workshop. I honestly can’t cook or bake so a photo of doing this would be great for the ‘out of my comfort zone’ category on my photography bucket list.
Idea 3 – Europe
Why stop at one of the nearest European mainland destinations? Let’s go further! A few months ago, there was a fantastic series on British tv called Race Across the World which I was glued to. It was about some couples racing from Greenwich, London all the way to Singapore. Each couple was given cash equivalent to the price of two airline tickets but they weren’t allowed to fly. They also weren’t allowed to use their smartphones or debit/credit cards. There were several checkpoints along the way where they got to rest for 36 hours, places including Bacu and Tashkent, and the mix of best friends, dad-son, married couple, etc. was so inspirational in how they made the money stretch and what they got up to on their adventures. Applications for the second series closed a few weeks ago so look out for the next time it’s on (I think it was on the BBC). Now, before my hubby panics reading this, I’m not plotting travel to the other side of the globe! But how about navigating European rail travel through countries I’ve never been to before. Croatia? Slovenia? Watch this space!
Idea 4 – across the USA!
Okay, writing ‘across the USA‘ must make me sound utterly mad with no concept of the reality of travelling across a large continent. As I say, I like to think big! We have a couple of amazing friends who live in Texas and we were so pleased to see them recently when they came over to England. I just wish we all lived closer so we could see each other much more. I really miss them. They’ve often said about how we’re very welcome to go and see them. Because I’m a carer most of the time, it’s just not feasible for both hubby and me to travel together (which is why I’m always blogging about travelling to places on my own despite being very happily married). So, how about I conquer my fear of flying, travel to Boston for a couple of days, catch the AmTrak to Euston so that I can stay with our friends for a couple of nights and then take the ‘Sunset Limited’ route on the AmTrak which goes through a desert to Los Angeles? I love the sight-seeing lounges where you face outwards. Even flying into Houston and doing the trip to the Pacific coast alone would be incredible. Goodness, this would take an incredible amount of planning, especially to get the best deals possible but it would be an adventure of a lifetime, wouldn’t it?
Have you ever taken an incredible train journey anywhere in the world? I’d love to hear ♥️
Oh and one more thing before I sign off. With our little one off to university in a matter of a few weeks’ time, I’m planning a couple of things to do later this year that I can look forward to. First thing booked? A one hour Mercedes off-road driving experience! As I say, I love driving. In fact, having driven an HGV and tractor leading up to my 40th birthday, I’ve got ‘drive a tank’ on my current bucket list. Perhaps that’s for next year.
Hope your week is going well and, as ever, thanks for reading!