Nasty asked me on my birthday, “What is the best thing in the world?”
Apparently, saying “travelling” is too cliché.
He said skiing is the best thing in the world.
Two ot three years ago, I would’ve said hockey. But not anymore. I don’t know.
It’s a bit sad isn’t it? If you don’t know what the best thing in the world is?
I’ve given it some more thought, and although I can’t pin point one single thing or activity, I’ve come up with a series of moments – moments that stand out. Moments where you lose yourself and everything else that goes on in life. Moments that, when passed, you’d say you wish it’d last forever. Moments where you were so in the present that nothing else mattered.
To Nasty, it’s skiing.
Kayaking/canoeing on the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Paddling a kayak on my own. Near-vertical cliffs rising from the calm water on both sides, lush and green with trees. The river is still, you’re in total control, and the only noise are those of the birds and other animals coming from the sides. Nothing is as peaceful and as the river meanders in and out of the cliffs and sandy shores, you feel this could go on forever.
Sitting outside a café in Dijon, France, in the middle of the night, eating the best raspberry ice-cream I’ve ever had, looking out into an empty public square with a beautifully lit town hall in the background, chatting to friends under a dark, clear, starry sky.
Eating raspberry ice-cream in a town square in Dijon, France
It was late summer’s night. The square was deserted, the sky was dark but bright with innumerable stars. I sat there with my friends, eating the best ice-cream I’ve ever eaten, chatting about things people in their early twenties think are important.
Riding around Ho Chi Minh City on the back of a motorcycle
For two long hours, I was driven around town by a Vietnamese girl. We drove by monuments, stopped at the fringe of parks, visited little cafes, and took in the sights of night-time HCM from the back of a motorbike. You don’t see as much of a city as intimately in as short a time than this.
Sitting under a tree near the waterfront in Bristol,
with Nasty’s arms around me. I can feel his face pressed against mine as I leaned into his warmth. Bright blue skies, fluffy white clouds, the warm sun shining down on us. For once in many months, I was without a coat, feeling warm sitting outdoors, not giving a shit about what might or might not come next.
Those are some of the best “things” I can think of. All of them were from, unsurprisingly, my travels.
If I have to be slightly less cliché, maybe I’ll say the best thing in the world is train journeys. If only they aren’t so bloody expensive here!
It is still my dream to travel from South East Asia, up through Hong Kong and Beijing, onto the Siberian railway, and into St. Petersburg and Moscow.
If I fancy it, I just might make it all the way to London.
You know what, maybe I could do a London to Hong Kong overland trip.
What is your best thing in the world?