26-HOUR ROAD TRIP
Do you treat travelling as an adventure or a chore? Is it an opportunity to see the world or a pointless waste time?...
I am one of those annoying people who loves the journey and even a short train ride into London has me bouncing about! (Of course my sustained excitement is normally dependent on whether or not I have found a seat. Preferably next to a window.) It does not matter if I am travelling by plane, train, car or bus- in my mind these are all vessels for adventure! So when I heard that Sophia was hitting the road as part of her debrief duties, I had to jump on the bandwagon. We used the excuse that "Lola Emma will worry" if we aren't travelling together, (which is partially true) and I am proud to say that my counterpart played out the little white lie to perfection! (I'll make an actress of her yet!) As with MPR (mid-phase review) we go away for a few nights as part of our programme debrief, but before doing so the team have to plan, survey and select a location that works around the limited budget.
The four of us started our journey at 4am. We got home by 6am. The next day.
What happened in those 26 hours is a beautiful blur, like the view from the coach window as we sped past the world outside. Yet, this 'moving picture' always manages to distract me from doing anything remotely productive. Reading, writing or even watching films can never hold my attention for too long, before the world beyond the glass lures me back in... I am unashamedly playing out that 'rom-com' cliche, where the lead character gazes longingly out of the window, dreaming of another tomorrow. Or of some other cheesy crap like that. Perhaps I am inspired by the people and the places that pass me by- because my dreams just keep getting bigger and brighter, mile-by-mile. After the first leg of the journey I was convinced that I could set up a beach resort in Cebu and move here by next year. I will also win the X-Factor, donate all my earnings to charity and start a travel magazine for back packers...
...I didn't say that my dreams were realistic! But you've gotta love a good daydream!
Still smiling seven hours later, I crawled out of the cramped tricycle carriage to find myself staring at sand, sea and a stall selling San Miguel Light. Beer and a beautiful beach. Bliss. However, we still had an job to do, so whilst Sophia negotiated prices with the resort staff I took it upon myself to carry out a health and safety inspection. Naturally this involved a long dip in the sea, to check for sharks and sharp rocks of course. My evaluation: the waves are fun to jump over. The accommodation we have chosen is pretty basic: wooden beach huts sitting on the sand. We did take a tour around the fancy hotel next door, but the cost of one night could buy us four nights in the humble huts. So we've gone with the sensible 'savers' option- leaving us more time for our "goodbyes" on the beach (que sad but uplifting music!) In all my excitement I almost forgot that debrief signals the inevitable 'break-up' of the team.
Okay let's not talk about that one yet!
As for the journey home? Well it was certainly a 'character building' experience! To summarise, we missed the last bus and ended up having to sleep half of the night in 'Jollibee.' Living life on the road for real.