Heading to Britain from Victoria Coach Station

Let’s the British adventure begin. During my last trip to UK, I tried not only to see a lot of destinations outside the capital city, but also to use various ways of transportation across the country. Mission accomplished: I’ve been not only with the National Express – that I used regularly before from and to Stansted airport, but also with a couple of regional train networks, including the out-of-time Heart of Wales railway line. I am a big fan of the train trips across the countryside as it allows me to observe at length the people and places.ImageVictoria Coach Station is situated a couple of minutes away from the Victoria tube station, on Buckingham Palace Road. Commuting from a station to another may take longer if you carry a big luggage, especially due the construction works around. The building is easily identified: an Art Deco Style construction, that since its 1932 inauguration,  suffered minor changes. A bit of refurbishing was done in 1993, but without changing fundamentally the initial plans of the architects from Wallis, Gilbert and Partners. The same architects designed several art deco buildings in London and elsewhere, among which the Wrigley’s Factory in Wembley and the Solex Factory on Marylebone Road.ImageSince the 1932 inauguration, the station operated continuously, including during the WWII. It remains the largest and the most important connection point in London, heading to around 1,200 destinations in UK and around 400 in Europe. All round the year, the buses are ready to go from the 21 departure gates. ImageThe bus stations are always a good occasion to know more about the local diversity. For the simple travellers only stopping in London for a couple of hours, there are good news: it is possible to leave your luggage here and take a tour of the city. Other stations I’ve been too – such as Bicester and Oxford, don’t and thus one needs to be brave enough to carry the big luggages overall. Inside the station there are various small shops for newspapers or take away coffee, but also bureaux de change.

The Britain adventure just started. The next stop: (finally) Oxford!


On holiday with the travel writer

The title of this post can be as well ‘the life with a travel writer’. If you one or assume being one of those curious beings always hunting new and interesting angles to discover the everyday reality, and you love what you are doing and you would love to spend the rest of your life passionately doing it, you maybe know better what I mean. As everything really valuable in life, it is not easy, but not impossible either.

Especially if your life partner does not have nothing to do with writing or like travel as long as it guarantees the shortest way to a simple and quiet location where to spend the rest of the stay without any rush. In other words, someone that does not necessarily understand or have the need to run for hours from a place to another for taking photos and notes intensively and spending the rest of the time talking with people about places and locations and histories. Aiming for your big slice of quietness is more normal than you think and most probably, the majority of people on holiday are looking exactly for this, unless they book a very adventurous stay. 

The travel writer in you may cope with serious dramatic moments right now, realizing how hard could it be to be accompanied during your travels by a lovely he or she during your travels. Or maybe, how impossible would it be to have a normal family life at all. What would you have to chose when faced with the choice between giving up your passion for writing or the love for your partner? 

The simplest – and sometimes stupidest – final decision can be an ‘either…or’ but there it is also plenty of space left for negotiation. This is what adult life is all about. And this means also considering all the possible opportunities that the other half can offer you, purposively or not. 

For instance, as long as from the early stages of the relationship, almost all couples are happy to hear good news about how they will be allowed to keep their own freedom, why not use your own space for one or two hours the day of solo exploration of the city. It might mean to wake up early in the morning, before breakfast time, to see how the city wakes up. (One of my favourite activities, solo or not). Does your partner want to rest in the afternoon, why not using the time for a museum that is interesting only for you? Is your scribbling every 5 minutes considered annoying and a sign of excessive focus on yourself? What about training the memory to keep in mind as many details as possible? Or explaining clearly why this is important for you and how your success and happy writing results is not only your ‘business’, but concern at a great extent both of you? 

Communication is always important and the travel writer should spend a lot of time explaining what he or she is doing, why, telling stories about places and events. It can be a good exercise before starting to write your article and it can help to better organize your information. Try to enjoy together a city tour or a spa, or a good smoothie at a new restaurant and both will have their share of happiness. Take together a walk in the woods and take together pictures of genuine locations. 

As someone who used to work for years as an apparently happy corporate, without proper holidays and breaks and peaceful weekends, I’ve learned how important is to keep some space for yourself and those dear to you outside the e-mails and emergency conference calls in the middle of the weekend. Living alone is not an option and successful life means also permanent adaptation to other people needs. Finding the golden measure for a good family life is not easy at the first, second and third sights, but as long as the both sides want to make things good and better, there it is always more hope that everything will be fine. Or at least both of you know that you are working to make things better. 

Happy writing week everyone!