Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles. Said the wise man, George Bailey, in It’s a Wonderful Life. How right he still is. And having recently returned from a boat trip, I can ashore you; the anchor chains are still relevant.
Sometimes, it’s the journey to a destination that causes us the most excitement. Other times, it the journey back. How exciting was it? Engines starting up, suitcases packed, and an abundance of warm layers taking up far more room than they should be allowed. Followed, of course, by smiling faces full of cheer. Delightful.
I spent the best part of autumn planning my next trip, determined to escape the chilling dampness of the southwest of England in winter. I made the voyage on a small boat across the high seas, but to my own surprise, the real excitement came when I spontaneously booked a ferry ticket back for the next day. Ferries are funny places. Like airplanes, they are a mode of transport used by holiday-makers, travelers and business trippers alike. But unlike planes, people are able to move about freely, usually talking to, or avoiding one another completely. And of course, there’s a bar, where the talkers congregate. Experiences are shared, sometimes onward journeys are planned and converged. The bar on the ferry is the melting pot for people who take pleasure in journeying. When the big clunks from the engines signify the start, they look about, they watch for land start looking like it’s beginning to move away, they feel for the waves beneath them. Above all, they share each other’s excitement with stories of their ‘worst passages ever’.
The more I travel, the more I love journeys. They’re filled with the anticipation, nervous energy, the understanding that on the other side lies shiny new experiences or comfortable nostalgia, and beyond that, well…another journey, most likely. How exciting.