“He Took The Daytime Train Goin’ Anywhere…”

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

After reading one of Bill Bryson’s amusing travel books (Notes From A Small Island) and taking several trips to London for days out with friends, my desire for travel and enjoyment of such has been reawakened. Part of this is that my grandfather used to take me on trips down to the beach when I was an infant. I enjoyed the mystery that he layered the trip with, not knowing where we were going (incidentally, we once went to a place called Broadstairs, I really have to go down there again to see if I can jog any memories), merely inviting my curiosity by answering my questions with ‘you’ll see when we get there’. Thanks to modern events, the idea of an old guy taking two infants out to a beach town probably sounds a bit dodgy, but it was a better time without any of this modern worry.

Listen to me, I sound like an old man, reminiscing on a long-gone relative. The fact is, I’m probably not much older or younger than a teenager reading this blog and my granddad is still with us. I remember going to the London Eye with him once, so it was a joy to be able to share a similar experience with my girlfriend recently, when we went on the Hype Park Giant Wheel Thing together.

I have devised a plan to get a daily travel card and go round London for the day, stopping at whatever stations I feel like (although there will be a few preplanned ones). I want to capture the old feeling of making a day of it, rather than the commute from home to college that I normally take. This reminds me, I go to college in Windsor, a historically interesting and beautiful place. And yet I don’t spend nearly enough time exploring and taking a stroll around, which I aim to fix soon. I plan to make this trip alone, mainly because I’m worried that as I have no fixed destination in  mind and no real idea where I’m going once I get there, that the other person or people wouldn’t enjoy it very much and that I would just bore them.

The little trips that my granddad took me on gave me a lifelong love for travelling on trains that I still have to this day and will probably continue to have for as long as I live. We don’t see him so much anymore, but the love of travel is an enduring little legacy that he left on my young mind.

I said in the introductory paragraph that I took several trips to London with friends. All of these helped me feel happy, journeying into London for the first time in a while and recapturing how I enjoyed similar trips when I was nothing but a child, so for that I thank them. Particular shout-outs go to my girlfriend Annie and my friend Sam, because one of the best ways to see a new place or revisit an old one is with loved ones around you.


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