The destination, not the journey

Know what I hate the most about travelling?


I am even more acutely aware of this after spending last Friday night sitting on the airport floor in Amsterdam after a work trip, locked into a gate without water because they confiscated it off me in order that I would die of dehydration, while an engineer is called out to fix the plane.

I’m still undecided as to whether delays while travelling for work are more or less awful than ones when travelling for pleasure. On one hand, you’re not eating into your holiday. On the other, you’re eating into your own non-work time.

Unfortunately, in the particular case of last week, I was eating into both – because anyone who is going on their honeymoon would have left work at 4pm on Friday and be two bottles of champagne down by 11pm – instead I was wondering what I was going to do if they actually cancelled the flight.

I’ve never been a fan of “the journey”. You know that old adage “it’s all about the journey, not the destination”? That’s a pile of crap. What’s there to love about sitting in transit for 6 hours, or travelling on a cramped airplane for 24 hours, or eating rubbish, expensive food because there are no other options? Don’t let PetiteFolle fool you. Long haul travel categorically blows.

Sweating it out on local buses in Belize, clutching your valuables to your chest on an overnight bus around South America as you try and sleep, praying that you don’t fall asleep with your mouth open so a cockroach can run in on the overnight ferry down the coast of Thailand…there is no form of transport, no matter how plush, that can compensate for the boredom of the journey, and for missing crucial hours in whatever part of the world you’re trying to get to, or would have liked to stay in for a little longer.

You know what kind of people say it’s all about the journey? The kind of people who say it’s lucky when it rains on your wedding day. Or when a pigeon poops on you. It’s not lucky. It’s rubbish. Just like the price of a train trip in the UK and the fact that you can’t take water through the security check of an airport, so you have to pay airport prices so you don’t DIE (of dehydration, obviously. Like I nearly did, last Friday).

So the next time someone tells you it’s all about the journey…punch them in the face for me, will you?



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