The real feel


We are closing in on the end of 2017. This always springs to mind when I book my flight to go back to England for Christmas. It is when I start to take stock on the year going by. It is also the period when Facebook friends start posting things about how their year has gone, whether funny, thoughtful, mundane or philosophical, but mainly with a stab at some kind of humour. Either way there is a lot of washing being hung out to dry before our eyes, like a Facebook neighbourhood to the effect of iconic images of narrow, interlocking and suggestive streets of the district of 'Spaccanapoli' in Naples, Italy. (Hanging out the washing)

2017 has definitely been better than 2016, even though it has not been short of challenges. Upon boarding another plane I realise that this year has been ladened with plane journeys. Whether it be a two-and-a-half hour flight on Easyjet to London for work or a 12-hour flight across the world on long haul airways, it has been a good year. Despite seeing plenty of new places and learning new things out of my European zone, the simplest of things on the easiest of flights was something that has just recently stood out to me. 

Now we all know the general opinion of low-cost flights, their add-on fees and their leg room and no reclining seats - RyanAir has had a tough 2017... but every time I board an Easyjet flight it is not really the destination that gets me going, instead it is their flight magazine. As soon as I have taken my seat, I fish it out of the pocket infront of me and immerse myself in it, so much so that many times I forget to fasten my seatbelt of turn off my mobile phone. Leafing through the pages I honestly have to say it gives me inspiration I need, which in turn I would like to feel I can give back somewhere to someone. There are so many destinations and places to visit in the magazine, only it is then that I delve further, I realise that visiting them is not quite enough and they try to let you live these places.

That is what is important to me, I need to live the places I go to whenever I possibly can. That is why I go backpacking once a year. When I go afar, it is not so much about the hotel I stay in or the pool I can sip cocktails in, it is about the normal things of each place, the life the locals live every day is want I want to learn about. I am lucky enough to live in a hot country and have the poolside cocktails every summer weekend if I want to, but even if I lived back in England or any colder place I would still need to long haul away and live this way. I stay in hostels when I can afford a nice hotel, it is not about skimping and travelling on a shoestring for me now - instead I need that real feel. (Parkour in the clouds)

This is why often on a night at home, before I go to bed, I switch off all the lights and walk around in the dark, locking the door, closing windows and walking down the corridors, feeling my way, becoming one with my surroundings. Sometimes when I come in from a night out I sit there very still in the darkness for a short while, not turning a light on at all, feeling the silence around me, waiting for my eyes to adjust and get to know every space around me, absorbing it all before moving once again. That is why I respect the blind so much and how they manage to live. It scares me but they inspire me. Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations, even if it is just down the dark corridor of my appartment to the bedroom and the comfort of my bed. (Creeping up slowly)

I am looking back at what I have just wrote and realise how similar my posts are at the moment and come to the conclusion of how much influence travelling has on me. It's that time of year for me. It's not for everyone, but it floats my boat and this is my space. I do this for me really, I don't get many comments but I admit I get pleasure out of knowing I have my regular followers and readers. Just maybe I have done something more interesting to kill time and give something other to read than people's Facebook timelines.

The weather may be much colder, but going back home for Christmas is always warming. To see family and my good friends I have already lived a lifetime with, to shimmy back in to that old routine over a beer or ten, that is another real feel I need. But I also can't wait to take my seat on my flight and pick up the magazine and devour the destinations before me, I haven't read the December edition yet, and there is the January edition for the return flight.

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