“It’s been four days in the making, I bet Alex’s first blog post is going to be good!” Oh, intrepid reader, you have so much to learn.
So, looks like this travel is an actual thing then! I’ve spoken to a number of people over the past couple of days about how when you think about something and plan it for a while, it just doesn’t really sink in that your plans have come to fruition when the big day finally rolls around. But, there were no truer words for how I felt about travelling a little over five days ago. Or perhaps ‘denial’, that would work too. It would certainly encapsulate my approach to packing, documented below.
Sit rep: It’s 00:33 on day T-0. Our flight departs in a little over 6 hours and I’ve just finished packing (almost certainly too much) into what has been my festival bag for many years, which will now hold all my worldly possessions for the next 6 months. Of course, the only logical thing to do then is to sit down and write the first of what will hopefully be many posts on mine and Mel’s travel brain-dump blog.
As you can see, if you were hoping for a life changing novella, then I’m afraid you might be in for a disappointment. Nonetheless, onwards!
Before I wax lyrical about what we’re doing, where we’re going and all that jazz, let’s get what everyone is looking forward too out of the way first. Alex balls-ups to date:
- As anticipated above, packing way too much and staggering across Moscow with a heavy, heavy bag. Can you believe I’m yet to wear my all-purpose brogues? Shocking, I know. Must shed weight, but too much emotional attachment.
- Some Russian bloke in Alexander Gardens (good name) by Red Square tried to get 4,000 Rubles (£40) out of us for some pictures with his fancy pigeons. Joke’s on him, we got many pigeon pictures, and even a small amount of pigeon sh*t, for just 2 quid. Bargain.
- My shiny new (ish) pair of H&M’s finest knock-off Reeboks, purchased in Budapest for just 8,000 of their Monopoly monies (Forints, if I recall), fell apart after mere moments of trudging through the grand expanses of central Moscow. Just to compound the effect of the driving rain on day 1.
- Despite the aforementioned weather mishap, and in no way related to our team clothing shortage (read: Mel’s mysteriously absent belongings), I have resolutely been flying the ‘Brit Abroad’ flag in my comfy shorts. However, it would appear that Jesus frowns upon my comfortable genitalia, as a very friendly security dude rejected me from The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour for showing too much flesh. For some reason, he chose Spanish to communicate his displeasure. Luckily, “pantalones cortos” was a fragment of GCSE Spanish that seems to have stuck. Who’d have thought?
- Everything here is huge. Not least, the roads. So much so, road works forced a 30-minute detour during our hunt for The Burger Brothers, due to an un-crossable road that went from empty to car park the minute we set foot near it.
- In further dents to my map reading pride, we have also experienced our first cheap eats wild goose chase. Three laps round a block, for it to transpire the place we were aiming for was none other that the one Mel had asked “is that it?” at the start of our hunt, some 25 minutes earlier.
Hope that has covered more than your daily dose of Schadenfreude. Now for the good stuff.
What, why, where?
All very good questions, I’m glad you asked. For those who aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed and haven’t figured out from the name of the blog, Mel’s first post or my unfortunate mishaps above, we’ve sodded off travelling! Over the space of the next 6 to 8 months, I’m lucky enough to be wandering around South East Asia and Oceania with my wonderful partner in life and crime, visiting a laundry list of countries and seeing more sights than you can shake a selfie stick at (selfie sticks will be harmed in the making of this blog). Check out our Route page for the first draft of where we are headed and when, although this is very subject to change.
You’ll notice a rather large, ex-Soviet, elephant in the room on our little schedule. Yes, never ones to conform to convention (or common sense), we are making our way to Asia via Moscow. Sounds ridiculous? As Mel will repeatedly tell you, that’s because it was my idea. Joke’s on her though, because she actually rather likes it. More on that as I continue to play blog post catchup next time…
There we have it then, dear readers. If you made it this far, you almost certainly have too much time on your hands. Nonetheless, thank you for your patience. Stay tuned (you can follow the blog by email or RSS below) for continued random smatterings of my grey matter over the coming months. Don’t say I never treat you.