I always find long journeys an exciting prospect. I await them eagerly, making plans for all the productive and romantic things I will do on them: write in my diary, sink into a new book, listen to a new album. Sometimes I really do achieve such levels of obnoxious activity on transport such as trains, but the reality of bus or car journeys, somehow, are never quite as active.
Usually, I end up staring out of the window watching the landscape rush by as my eyelids grow heavy, letting myself slip in an out of consciousness in awkward but pleasant slumber. I find the hum of an engine, its white noise, makes me feel like a baby who’s driven around to stop it from crying. I find myself unable to fight against the helpless sleepiness of the long hours spent watching the world literally go by.
I often berate myself for this, for spending 6 hours on a coach in an unthinking stupor. For staring out of a window for the best part of a day. I’m never sure what else I was supposed to get out of the journey, but rest and the cocooning safety of the vehicle is apparently not one of them. It’s something I find deeply pleasurable, and yet I battle with myself to actually enjoy it. Why do I do that? Why do I spend 80% of my life annoyed at myself for not doing something else? Why can’t I just sit here, on this bloody bus, and take it all in?
I just find it interesting how the enjoyment of life, of any part of it, but mostly the mundane parts, is a force of effort. How I anticipate much greater emotion, a much greater memory than one of snoozing on the sunlit motorway. And when that great romantic bus journey doesn’t come about the way I wanted it to, when something equally as lovely does, I kick myself for not getting more out of it. What a ridiculous thing, what a funny little mind I have. Because I’m sitting here, in the blanket evening warmth of my Gran’s back garden, after a long 6 hours on a coach, thinking how lovely today was, how rested I feel, how many small things I noticed as hours slipped by which I wouldn’t have otherwise thought about.
It’s just interesting, isn’t it.