Late night toughts on Travel
[I began this post writing about our time in Belgium last Saturday and ended up with a full essay on travelling. The Brussels’s post will go up in the next couple of days, in the meantime enjoy my rambling on ways to travel.]
It’s 3.30am, I’ve just woken up after sleeping maybe 2 o 3 hours, I grab my camera, a jacket, two passports and I head to the U-bahn. 4 hours later…I’m in Belgium.
Sometimes, there are offers that are too good to refuse, even if it means short periods of sleep and walking non stop for 5 hours. That for us was a couple of Saturdays ago where we manage to snatch two ticket to Brussels for under 10$. (Which is insane)
Le boyfriend and I have a very particular way of travelling, and I’m not saying that we are the only ones that do this, because chances are we are not. But still, we have a particular way of travelling around. We usually don’t follow maps, we barely ‘investigate’ about the place we are going too. So basically every time we get to a new place, we have a couple of place we know we have to go to and then we walk.
We walk through which ever street looks the nicest, or more interesting o has a cute background. Which means getting lost more times than expected, not really knowing how to explain how ‘our trip was’ and possibly missing more attractions than we would want to. But I don’t think I would change it at all.
I remember a couple of years ago when Le Dad discovered the ‘street view’ on google maps and after spending a couple of hours staring at the computer, it felt like that scene on The Matrix after Neo learns kung fu, he goes ‘I just went to Paris.’
There is soooo much information out there, social media, documentaries, travel guides, travel tv show, cooking shows around the world. It almost feels like you can go everywhere without leaving your sofa.
That’s how I feel when I travel, I’ve walked the streets of Paris in endless movies, seen the Eiffel tower, the Big Ben, I’ve seen New York in winter so many time that when you are actually in the place it feels weird. The best example I can give is the Mona Lisa in Paris, we walked hours to get there, queued for an hour to even get to the museum, got to the actual room, just to be pushed around countless tourists with cameras, shouting, shoving, trying to finally get to the real painting that was no bigger than an A3 probably. I left the Louvre heartbroken.
This is why when I began travelling with le boyfriend we decided to change things, not follow itineraries or ‘must do’s’ to a tee, and discover cities on our own without ‘falling into’ the tourist path. We will still go to know attractions, for example, when in Postdam, we knew we had to go the Sanssouci Palace, so we grabbed two bikes, we went there, took some photos and then biked around the rest of the park for the rest of the afternoon, while doing that we stumble across the Potsdam University, which is amazing, but we had no idea that it was there or how it looked like and it felt better than having to walk straight from the palace to the university. We will still do certain things, but we enjoy more walking around, finding a small café, a musician on a random street, a bookshop on ‘that weird part of the city.’
It might sound a bit hipster, but my way of seeing it, travel is more about feeling the city, getting to know it fully instead of queuing for four hours to see a specific sculpture or some jewellery.
Anyway that’s how I feel, how do you like to travel? do you rather ditch the maps or prefer having an itinerary or a specific route to follow to make the most out of the day? let me know.
Until next time.- Jules