It seems like everyone I know is going to Europe. I don’t know how I feel about that. When I left Europe after my solo journey, I didn’t think I’d be back any time soon. I felt ready to come home. I’d been going long enough to get those travel blues where everything becomes a blur and each city becomes indistinguishable from the last.
Now I’m not sure I feel the same way. All this travel talk has me reflecting on the memories of that trip and how life-changing it was. Something like that only comes around once in your life, or twice if you’re lucky.
On Sunday night my brother left for London. Before he left he came to me a few times for advice and I told him what I could. I remembered too late that during my trip I had specifically written some notes for exactly this purpose. I’m not sure how readily he will be accessing the internet, and if so whether he would bother to read this, but just in case I’m going to publish what I wrote. Maybe other readers can benefit from it as well.
So here are my exact, unedited words from 2008/2009:
Matt’s Travel Tips for Kieran and Zac
Food / Nutrition
- for energy, get chocolate bars or small candy
- these will be good for the body and spirit and don’t do as much harm
- avoid temptation to drink coke. Coke is what gets you
- when getting fruit, go for bananas – most filling
- always pronounce ‘hostel’ like ‘turtle’. It’s a common joke amongst other nations that Aussies emphasise the ‘el’ and say ‘host-ayl’
NOTE: I NEVER MADE THIS MISTAKE
- Never answer anybody who tries to get your attention in a train or bus station. They always want your money
- If someone asks you if you speak English in one of those places, they want your money
- keep some small change in pocket in case you need to get rid of a bum or gypsy (Never open the wallet)
To be honest I thought I had written more than this, but from that point on the notes are mostly about the ideal packing list for clothes and other items.
Perhaps these notes aren’t helpful after all. Perhaps we all need to discover our own travel tips, to have our own adventures and misadventures. In any case, brother, wherever you are when you read this, know that I was thinking of you then and I’m thinking of you now. Enjoy your adventure.