The journey: enjoy the A to B

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker
The journey is as important as the destination! Although perhaps getting up at 6am 5 days a week isn’t the best example of such a journey! Why is it so tough? Despite all the practice. Yet set the alarm for 5am to go on holiday and we leap out of bed before it goes off!

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker

I write this sat in the car on the way to Cornwall! Unpredictably we woke with the 6am alarm. Something about being run ragged and ready for this trip west. So we hit the road a little later than planned and, well hello A303. Living where we do now makes for a speedier trip west! Maybe we could afford ourselves a 7am start next time?

Mr P is doing most of the driving, he prefers it that way. So I am blogging, staring out the window, making conversation, scrolling instragram (obvs). And watching the speedo!

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker

We stopped for McDonalds breakfast and now I am deciding where we will park for our first hike… Zennor or Godrevy or Porth Joke. Creatures of habit that we are we stopped for a comfort break at Exeter services. From our new house though, there’s so much more choice of coffee stops so I think that it our last visit to the over-priced faff that is Exeter services!

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker

As for the  journey, it is in our trusty A5 convertible. Smart and alluring. And open the roof and bask in the sun. Or fill it up like a skip! It is basically an all rounder. It isn’t marketed as a utility car but should be. We have been away with tent, boat and bikes all at the same time! And it is super comfy for distance driving.

Mr P used to have an estate car, and me a Honda S2000 (that was the famous Penelope) – you might say this is a good middle ground! For the sub-2000 miles it does a year!

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker

We adore our staycations. Our car actually makes the journey part of any trip enjoyable. The journey to the destination as well as the day tripping. But of course we love to jet set too.

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker

For this there is the left turn at the plane door… Business travel for me is a bit like an Audi. Work flights are in business class which is smart and sensible. Which means holiday travel earnt the right (with the airmiles) to be an Aston Martin. OK so I exaggerate how good BA First is, but you see my analogy! It’s a treat.

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker

And doesn’t it make the tedium of a long flight enjoyable? In fact the holiday starts as you sweep through fasttrack at the airport, into a quiet lounge, off for a spa treatment or a glass (or 4) of vintage champagne. Were I to stroll past a Wetherspoons at 8am and see someone with a pint in hand I would raise my eyebrows. But if I am going on holiday in first class, fizz in hand at 7am is totally acceptable!

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker

On the plane its quiet and comfortable. A good dose of me time and the rare occassion I watch a movie (my last long haul I actually watched Paddington twice, back to back! The actual travel is pretty dull, but at least we arrive at our destination just about as fresh as we were before the flight. Rather than folded up and tired!

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker

But it isn’t all soft tops in the sunshine and champagne at 36,000 feet.

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker

Life really is one constant journey and that isn’t just my chaotic schedule in October (7 flights in 5 days)… At work: I have only had 1 ‘job’ but i’ve actually had something like 100 different roles that have got me to where I am now. Home: first with my parents, then university, house shares, our first house and now our nest in the country.

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker

Then there’s life. Such a cliché, but we learn we aren’t bullet proof and the scars we collect along the way are all part of the adventure. Sailing is a good analogy for making life’s journey tougher… Covering twice the distance, at less than half the speed, in the rain, with no comfort!.. But I love it!

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker

Which is why if you ask me what journeys I remember best, it isn’t the fizz in first. Annoyingly it is the trips that didn’t go so smoothly that we remember best…

Towing a couple of boats along the motorway in Ireland I vividly remember being over taken by one of our trailer wheels about 100 feet above us… I grumpily recall the time we drove to Lake Garda, again with two boats, but this time with 3 insured drivers on the car. The other 2 took themselves to the bar on the ferry which meant I drove 600 miles to the Mont Blanc tunnel before anyone else was able to take the wheel.  And high-speed excitement, traveling with flashing lights in a coastguard truck with a motorbike outrider, not for fun but to go to hospital!

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker

The time the flight touched down halfway along the runway rapidly approaching the motorway. The engines suddenly roared and up we went! When the pilot comes up with classic lines before take off like ‘don’t worry we have enough fuel’ and ‘the engine has a fault but one I am happy to fly with’. And on the water, at the furthest point from land our sail fell down…

Soft tops in the sunshine and champagne at 36,000 feet are too smooth to remember. I’m happy with that though. It means nothing went wrong. And as much as the tough journeys we take make us stronger, the smooth ones make us want to travel more!

Keep enjoying the A to B as much as the A and the B

The journey: enjoy the A to B - Travel with Penelope & Parker


    • November 1, 2017 / 9:39 am

      I love the actual trip bit of the trip, especially when we are on the way somewhere in the car in the UK, as it is part of the adventure!

  1. November 1, 2017 / 10:31 am

    I haven’t sailed since school camp, but still remember the utter joy of being ‘at one’ with the wind.. which perhaps occurred for three seconds, before my boat capsized!

    • November 1, 2017 / 10:37 am

      It’s definitely far better with a fair wind and a following sea (as someone famous once quoted)!

    • November 2, 2017 / 6:06 pm

      Anna Karenina is a good one for a long flight… It goes on for a long time!!

  2. November 2, 2017 / 6:24 pm

    Oh Anna, I love these little glimpses into your thoughts on travel…and I’ve never yet read anything which describes travel in terms of other forms of travel…but you’re so right about the A and the B – hence my blog name Travel CONTINUUM – somthing that changes gradually over time but is part of the same thing! 🙂

    • November 2, 2017 / 6:58 pm

      Thanks Sara, had never really thought about it, but we spend so much time driving and day tripping that it has to matter!!

  3. November 3, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    Is it wrong that my favourite thing about this post is you admitting to stopping for Maccie D’s breakfast? I do that too, but I’ve never told anyone 🙂

    • November 3, 2017 / 4:34 pm

      😱 I hope you liked the rest too!! Love a Maccie D’s – those hash browns are so good!

  4. November 3, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    Ah it’s so important to remember the bits in between! I don’t like flying so prefer to not enjoy that bit, but loooove a good road trip – it’s so much fun! x

    • November 3, 2017 / 9:03 pm

      I enjoy the pre flight as I always get restless on the plane. Driving is great, we see somewhere nice and can stop and enjoy!!

    • November 4, 2017 / 11:30 am

      Easy to forget, but if it is a holiday then the holiday starts the moment the out of office goes on… If it is work – the journey is a great time to clear an inbox with no internet!

    • November 4, 2017 / 11:29 am

      I have never done that, but such a good idea – I often hub into the US and never see the place I land at!

  5. November 4, 2017 / 8:17 am

    Gotta love those early mornings right?! I’ve stopped them, cos I don’t sleep in fear of missing planes… well we’ll see how long I stop them for at least… sadly I remember the not-so-successful journeys sometimes more than the awesome ones too, but at least they make for good stories!

    • November 4, 2017 / 11:27 am

      All my work flights seem to be 6am car service pick ups these days… But that takes the risk out – as they knock on the door and would wake me if I missed the alarm, and they always allow so much time for bad traffic!

  6. November 4, 2017 / 10:14 am

    I love the trip aspect of going anywhere, and if in luxury and style, even better! I do agree though that it isn’t the fizz you remember but rather the things that didn’t go so well, but everything is a lesson and just prepares you for the next time! #travellinkup

    • November 4, 2017 / 11:27 am

      So true – we’ve only done those silly things like losing tyres from trailers once for sure!

  7. November 5, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    Ahh enjoy Cornwall!! I miss it so much… even though I was only just there at the end of September haha. I love that I recognize place names in that little part of the world (ugh Exeter services) and can imagine them myself when you write about them!

    • November 5, 2017 / 5:43 pm

      Somehow we hadn’t been down since last Christmas it was so good to go back and see more of my grandpas favourites, it’s lush away from the masses

  8. November 5, 2017 / 10:52 pm

    I do love a long-haul flight because it’s the only time I ever stop and watch a film and relax a little. Having no wifi is such a treat when you’re flying but my favourite type of journey is by train. You see so much more from the track than you ever do from a plane. It’s slower travel but some much more enjoyable.

    • November 5, 2017 / 10:57 pm

      I would love to do a real ‘trip’ by train, maybe the blue train in South Africa… Wouldn’t be able to take my nose away from the window!

  9. November 6, 2017 / 9:07 am

    I’m so restless on long haul flights that it always feels like wasted time to me – I blame the altitude for a total lack of concentration. Long train journeys on the other hand are so much more my thing – relaxing pace, scenery to look out – they always seem to spark up my imagination too.

    • November 6, 2017 / 2:29 pm

      I am normally so exhausted on those flights though, outbound anyway, that it is the perfect sleep and movie mix!

  10. November 23, 2017 / 11:35 am

    I think with a sporty car on a sunny day or a comfy business flight with a lovely holiday at the end I’d definitely agree although perhaps not so much getting stuck in a jam on the M4 in pouring rain!
    Heather Cowper recently posted…10 reasons to visit Vorarlberg in AustriaMy Profile

    • November 23, 2017 / 11:56 am

      Yes – the car wasn’t so much fun on the 8 hour trip we made one Christmas from Cornwall to Cheshire

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