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Trowbridge Travel Blog

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If only you could see me now! Sat with my new gear on and around me, including a compass (always points North-East for some reason...) a travel towel the size of a large tissue, a combination lock which took my dad all of 2 minutes to break, and a universal plug hole (recommended to me by a man with a very large smirk on his face in BCH Camping - I still don't know whether he was taking the mickey or not, but considering I walked in and said " I'm going travelling in three days, what do I need?", I am surprised he didn't try selling me the kitchen sink in the shop's staff area...)

I am also currently sat in my new footwear, again from BCH camping, and again I think he saw me coming. Mr. Smirk at BCH informed me that "bright-orange colours on walking shoes are better for deterring snakes and scorpions", but all I knew for certain was that there were nineteen pairs of them on the floor of the shop, marked 'Discount', and reduced from £100 to £75 and eventually to £50. I know a bargain when I see one, and trust me - the only reason people didn't buy these are because they look disgusting - as if Jackson Pollock went to work on them, then vomited on them, then filled in any gaps with bright orange. They ming. But they were cheap - it works for me! However, I am still convinced his snake-deterrent line was a lie, but we shall have to wait and see!

Clothing wise I am excited that I have anticipated the seasons we will experience and have packed wisely. There is a mixture of shorts, trousers and jeans, and trousers that turn into shorts, and shorts that turn into trunks (if I can't be bothered to get changed). All areas covered, no pun intended. I feel I have a suitable amount of t-shirts that can be multi-layered to accomodate the sub-zero conditions we will inevitably experience on our first night in the campervan please note that these t-shirts will probably be burnt to keep a fire going when we are stranded on a Whitsunday Island with nothing for company other than a pack of sharks and crocs with 'Skinny Dave' on their menu for that evening!).

There is one thing in common with all of the aforementioned items though. No, not that I'll lose them all during the course of my travel, and NO, not that i'll have a swearing match with them when they don't fit in the 'Easy-to-Carry' bags which they were sold in, which are absurdley tiny!! The thing all these items have in common is that they are finally all IN THE BACKPACK!!

Wahoo! After struggling and stressing (and swearing at the zip, my boxers, my socks, the zip again, and finally the combination lock - I forgot the code already and had to get Dad to open it for me!) I managed to squeeze all the shirts, shoes, socks and sprays (deet, anthisan, anti-bug, anti-beetle, anti-any-spare-room-in-my-bag) into la bulging sac and, through a combination of sitting on and hitting any lumpy areas, did the zip up, and gave a sigh of relief. I was packed and ready, right?

Wrong. Disaster strikes. And it hits me in one of the most painful places it can - my iPod. Its frozen. Just stopped working. One minute Bob Dylan's nasal tones are whining in my ear and then suddenly - BAM! Nothing. Mr Dylan and The Band aren't even whispering (some may argue that this is a blessing in disguise, but for me, it is not). I close my eyes and count to ten. Still nothing. So I do what every human being in this position would do - I hit every button as frantically as possible, in the hope that even for a brief second it would spark into life - still nothing. And then it dawns on me...a 12 hour flight to Hong Kong, with no iPod, and you can bet that I will be sat in close proximity to a screaming two-year old baby...Everything starts to go dark and I start feeling cold...

After waking with the realisation of a whole 5 months without my iPod I start to warm to the idea - it will mean hearing all kinds of new sounds, meeting new people and talking to them, (and most importantly remembering to chat to Edwards, who - let's face it - is the mastermind behind this whole operation!) So all in all, going minus my iPod really will be a blessing in disguise! My good friend Tom Kempton travelled without any music at all, and he had a fantastic time (apart from getting his bag stolen in Barcelona, then getting sent to the wrong airport, and having no money, and then missing his flight home, and then..oh, nevermind) He REASSURES me that it is a good idea, so I will follow his guidance. Thanks mate (!).

Anyway, I'm off to start my hand-luggage packing (although judging by the ever-expanding list on the BA website you are soon going to be unable to breath oxygen onto a plane) and pray to the iGod to make my iPod work again.


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photo by: andytite