For years my affection of anything international has led me to believe I was a seasoned traveler. How could I not be? I spent time abroad a few times a year and as soon as I got back, I was mentally planning my next trip already. But that’s not the same as being an adventurous backpacker, now is it? I think I’m ready to admit it: I’m a citytripper down to the core!
Here’s how I travel: I pack my fancy little silver suitcase which fits precisely in the overhead locker of most airlines. (The concept of light traveling: only bring the essentials and save time and energy during your international expeditions.) I usually spend 8 days abroad during one trip, and yes, that includes vacations across the Atlantic. Three or four days is average on a city trip within Europe.
No matter where I go, I have this almost unhealthy obsession with fancy and expensive hotels and I spend ridiculous amounts of money on those. But I see hotels as my home away from home, and as I travel alone most of the time, I prefer to spend the night somewhere nice and cozy, and within the city centre. I’m not taking some dodgy cab in the middle of the night to the outskirts of London, Munich or Prague!
Another important element of my life is food. We all need it and when I go several hours without anything of adequate nutritional value, I tend to get a very nasty and uncharacteristic bad temper. So no, you won’t find me hiking through the desert or trying to navigate my way out of a South American rain forest. Luckily for me there is no shortage of food in cities and nowadays biological food and restaurants are popping up left, right and centre.
Subway or metro
Speaking of directions… I manage to make my way from Point A to Point B in cities with subway or metro systems, such as Paris, London, Munich and Prague. At first you look at the map and be like ‘I’ll get lost, it’s a maaaaze!’, but it’s actually quite fun once you get the hang of it. I even figured out that ‘pristi stanice’ means ‘next station’ in Czech. One downside… There’s usually a train coming every two or three minutes, and having experienced such public transport luxury, I get impatient in the Netherlands when I have to wait fifteen friggin’ minutes for the train to arrive.
There’s another reason why I tend to travel only to places where either English or German is the mother language. Two actually… First off, I’m very impatient. (It has to do with my predominant Ayurvedic dosha called Vata, but that’s a different story which I’ll probably explain in a different article). I’d rather not spend an hour trying to ask the way to the beach in universal sign language or explain I don’t want ice in my drink as it extinguishes the fire of my digestive system. And second, I prefer (to a certain degree) deep conversations with people, and that’s only possible when two people speak the same language at a reasonable level. Especially when I’m doing interviews abroad, it’s quite essential.
Will I ever take my bags and travel a month through Peruvian jungles or conquer the icy landscape of Siberia on foot? I highly doubt it, but if you ever see me there… you should give me a ride to the nearest airport and put me on a plane and taxi ride straight to one of the Fairmont Hotels, either one will do! Thank you!