I’m on a train from Glasgow to Aberdeen, as part of my world tour of Scotland.
My excuse for wandering North is that I am invited to the AGM for BrewDog, but mostly it’s because I haven’t done the travel thing for a while.
As much as I love my girlfriend and my family, I love the feeling of traveling on my own. From wondering around the temples of Bangkok, to joining up the islands around underground stations that formed my initial mental map of London. Taking a train up to Glasgow and trying not to listen to the politics and personal problems of the people on the table around me. (“The hotel was very clean, wasn’t it? Very clean, and the showers were immaculate! So very clean” “I thought she wanted me to vote that way, but now there’s all this stuff when I thought we should just abstain, but just by trying to do what I thought she wanted, it’s suddenly become this huge thing!” “Do you think his wife knows about her?” “I’ve heard she does, and is fine so long as he doesn’t drag it home behind him, which is … short sighted”)
So you get days like today, when I got back from a wonderful evening of tea and geekery at somewhere around 3am to get up at 6 to catch a 7:30 train to Aberdeen, and I’m hurtling though the scottish countryside (Actually, right now we’ve pulled into Perth station, which is one of the single most stationy stations I’ve ever seen) towards a place I’ve never been before.
True, I won’t see much of it. I’ll see a convention centre and a hotel, maybe a couple of taxies and the view from them, but still, new places, new things, before an equally early train tomorrow morning takes me back. (Relatedly, I can understand why peak travel happens during the week, although the price hike is a little enthusiastic, but trying to get people to travel before 8am on a Saturday? Do these people have no souls? I mean, I can blame past-me for booking such stupid tickets, but I was driven to it by the madness of the railways. I booked because if I hadn’t booked, the cost of on-the-spot train tickets for this week would have booked me flights to New York).