Bloganuary: What is your preferred mode of travel?

At this stage of my life, and with the world in its current sorry state, to be perfectly honest, my ideal mode of transport would be armchair-based imagination. If that lacks a certain degree of ambition, then something along the lines of ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ would be good, but the technology isn’t there, unfortunately.

The last time I travelled by air was in March 2019, when I flew back home from the UK with my mother, who was relocating to France. I don’t miss flying at all – being herded like cattle onto an overcrowded aeroplane which more than likely is running very late, and all that after queuing for what seems like hours to get through security.

When I was working – at least before I moved to Abu Dhabi, where life was a little more sedentary, and at least if you did have to get on a plane you could turn right – it sometimes felt like I spent half my life either in the air or waiting to get on a ‘plane. One year, I clocked up a total of 168 flights. Never again.

I’ve never been able to drive a car, so that’s not an option, other than in the passenger seat, and long car journeys are too much to cope with nowadays.

However, when we do travel we do use trains a lot. The French railway system, while by no means perfect, and always assuming that they’re not en grève, is pretty reliable, generally comfortable and commendably cheap, especially for oldies like us. Back in October we went by train to Toulouse and Carcassonne. Two first class returns cost us about €100. You can’t argue with that. A couple of times, we’ve done an entire trip from here in the middle of France all around the UK by train.

All travel is stressful to some degree, but we’re now more than happy to let the train take the strain.

It’s the only way to travel


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