L'Aventure Excellent d'AB
T minus 3 days Hello, this is my first ever blog, so go easy on me. This is some kind of introduction but assumes you know who i am and dont need to hear my admittedly dull life story, hopefully this blog will be interesting when i finally get out the house. I'm not sure anyone will read this so I may just be recording my own thoughts but that could be useful. Maybe i'll donate them to science. Its now Friday 17th March and i think i'm finally ready. I've wanted to do it for several years, I've spent a couple of months on the internet thinking about doing it and this week i got round to buying my inter-rail ticket. One month of (allegedly) unlimited rail travel in europe awaits! I leave on monday night (20th) by coach to london, (i'm staying in camden because the new musical express made me think its a cool place to go) then another coach to paris (it was cheap, damn the inconvenience) arriving on thursday morning (23rd). And thats it. The inter-rail starts the following monday (27th) and i can go wherever i feel like, i havn't booked anywhere to stay in paris because i expect to show up at this place and find a bed:http://www.fuaj.org/eng/hostels/aj_fiche.php?aj_id=59. I've been busily e-baying all the stuff i need for a while, so i got a rucksack very cheap (i may have misjudged, 75 litres seems a lot bigger than i need but better safe than sorry?) a useful, though awkward wire mesh thing to stop the rucksack being stolen if left in a room, and some other useful things including moneybelts and pouches, so hopefully I'm well prepared. Today I sorted out the last few things on my shopping list: clothes washing powder, toothpaste and an umbrella. Oh yeah and money! I've been watching exchange rates go up and down for the past few weeks and i'm thoroughly sick of it. It was higher yesterday than its been for a while but i didnt have my passport or driving licence, buying today meant losing out on £18 for no reason. Stupid exchange rate, its like a really crap form of gambling. As you can see I tend to spend too much time worrying about little things and probably should get out more, hence travelling might be a good idea. My reasons for travelling: 1) I have problems: I've spent nearly two years since graduating just trying to find a proper job. I feel its time to stop worrying and all the stress of job applications and do something fun. 2) I have money: For about 9 months I was working two jobs simultaneously (one full time, short term the other part time, long term) and, although its disappearing at an alarming rate at the moment, I have a little money to spend. 3) I have time: not having a full time job does mean some freedom, I (hopefully) wont ever be in this position again so i'd regret not going now. 4) I have hope: I was previously working as a research assistant at Strathclyde University, writing proposals for research funding, there's a chance that i may be offered a job if any of the proposals is accepted, but wont find out till autumn. My experience of travelling on my own is very limited, just one week in italy last year (we covered pisa, florence, milan, como, bergamo and, er, newcastle in six days) and a couple of brief trips to various places in england for interviews. On the last of these, in Brighton a few weeks ago, I decided to stay two nights in a hostel, went out both nights and had a great time. I couldnt put it off any longer after that. Hopefully the following entries will have less introspective bawbaggery and more fun, but now i have to go get some sleep, work tomorrow. By the way, the picture for this entry is my street as i was walking to the bus station to get to work last weekend, the weather is another reason for going somewhere nicer!