Four best places to travel – from a stranger on the plane
The best way to find interesting content, as it turns out, is to corner a person who can’t move for eight hours and ask them about their life. ‘Beatrice’ as she would like to be called for the sake of this blog, is seated next to me for our flight to Bali. She offers me a chewy for the take-off (or maybe to mask my coffee breath) and we get chatting. Turns out ‘Beatrice’ has had an interesting life – living in London and travelling Europe and its surrounds on a shoestring budget. Despite her strange choice of name for an alias, she’s all right.
- Beatrice Pro-tip One – living in London
“I am originally from Melbourne and decided to move to London for the experience of living overseas,” she tells me. She goes on to explain that London is an incredible base to travel from: ideally close to the wonders of Europe. Of course, I ask her what the men are like in London and she informs me “there is something for everyone. London is such a large and diverse city that you really can’t go wrong”. True to the city’s reputation, “bloody expensive” she remarks but also insists she wouldn’t exchange those days of debt and adventure for anything else. If you’re interested in living abroad, Beatrice recommends London!
“Ahhh Egypt, one of my favourite spots” she exclaims before we jump into our next round of banter. She tells me about the history, pyramids, temples, the Valley of Kings and her awe at how the ancient Egyptians made colours for their sculptures and “thingys”. There is a strong sense of nostalgia on her face and halfway through I’m wondering if I should jump on the next flight to Cairo. It’s not too long before we go from speaking about culture to chatting about adventure. Her eyes light up and I can see that she has a fun spirit. She tells me about riding camels over steep cliffs to scuba dive in the red sea. Somewhat foolishly I ask “but I thought you float in the red sea”, with a smirk she kindly informs me “no, that is the dead sea”.
The scenery and landscape are etched in her memory. There is something so different about the surrounds of Iceland I can tell she is finding it difficult to explain to me. “It’s just so pretty”. There are talks of going into ice caves and a tail of eating dinner alone one night but the best story is that of a door. On a trip to an ice cave, they took a big car, once they arrived the door was opened to get out, it flung open at rapid seep and was on the verge of being violently ripped from its hinges because of the wind. “It was bizarre, there are no trees in Iceland as far as the eye can see, so there is nothing moving, nothing shaking to let you know it is windy outside”. Weird, I never thought of trees in that sense or how much your eyes take in!
Her biggest surprise on her travels was the joy she got from Malta. The dark horse of her travels perhaps and unexpected win. The beautiful blue seas and the city of Comino are favourite memories of “the tiny little country”. Also, with a grin “the nightlife is surprisingly good”. “I was broke when I went, very broke. I just lived savvy. Free breakfast at the hostel, dinner from the supermarket. You can also get seven tequila shots for seven euros.” .And that’s what I like about my new friend Beatrice: she’s shamelessly normal, which also leaves me pondering about why I haven’t travelled more.
You can learn a lot from life from taking in from your surrounds. Like not opening a door when there are no tree’s around in the middle of Iceland. Or that ‘Beartice’ was a terrible choice for an alias. Whatever my sense of adventure is renewed and I’m excited.
Always smile bright, like Beatrice.
Mr Bright Smile x