I can’t remember exactly where in China I was at the time, but perhaps it doesn’t matter. My seven weeks travelling through the country had become a bit of a blur anyway. I was on a train, my ass parked on an unforgiving bench with a cup of salty noodles for lunch (again) and a bottle of 2.5% beer to wash it down.
Ask anyone what their dream job is and (right after Full-time Lottery Winner and Smooth-talking Billionaire Superhero) you’ll get Travel Writer.
Alain de Botton is the man who made philosophy cool again. A modern day Proustian who has written about love and happiness, deconstructed some of the most famous thinkers of all time and founded a global institution, the School of Life, a centre dedicated to “developing emotional intelligence”.
‘What is travel?’ is an interesting question, but more for what it tells you about the people doing the asking. The meaning of travel, despite ‘definitive’ articles to the contrary, is pretty subjective. And your relationship to it changes as you get older and begin to spend your weekends doing things like browsing health insurance policies. Reasons and motivations begin to wrinkle, just like us, revealing character.
When you’re a kid, everything is an adventure. A pavement is a runway; your arms the wings of a Boeing-747; your mouth and lips the noisey, spluttering engine. You can make magnificent medieval castles out of sheets and you can fight off any danger with your fabled Blade of Mercy (so long as mum’s not using it to mash potatoes).
Call us biased, but we’re pretty fond of this recent customer complaint from one Intrepid traveller from England. We did our best, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to keep us from feeling the full wrath of Rebecca Gadsby. What can we say? You can’t win them all…
When life gives you lessons, make lessonade.