Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bittersweet Symphony

One of my friends is on a two week trip to the UK.

It reminds me of the time when I was in college in the US. I had a very close friend studying in the UK and both of us planned a trip to Europe during the summer. We were both students, therefore money was scarce. I had a part-time job at the bookstore on campus, called the Bull’s Head Bookshop (what a nice little bookstore it was, with an attached little coffee shop that supplied the 15,000-20,000 odd students & faculty of UNC – Chapel Hill with their daily dose of java), and I’d been saving up for a whole semester for my trip to Europe!

We did such planning for the trip. We bought the Lonely Planet guide to Europe. We had a shoe-string budget, so we had to carefully select the countries and cities we could visit. We finally narrowed down on England (London), Italy (Rome, Venice), France (Paris) and maybe Spain (Madrid), if we had any money left after Paris.

We planned to fly from London to Rome and travel to the rest of the destinations by Euro Rail. Since we would’ve gone there as backpackers, we would’ve had to stay at youth hostels. We compared hostels in each city and picked the ones we wanted to stay in. We compiled their contact numbers, addresses, rates etc.

Then came the time to apply for a visa. I remember I had to send my passport along with all the papers to Philadelphia for the visa, and that’s when tragedy struck my friend’s family. He lost his dad and had to rush back to India for the funeral.

As they say, some things are just not meant to happen. I was disappointed for sure, but I’d had so much fun just planning for the trip, I got over the disappointment quickly. I was practically living Europe for the entire semester that I spent saving for the trip and planning. For those of us who love traveling, there is nothing that gives us more happiness than the thought of seeing places we haven’t seen before. All of us have our favorites. As for me, I’ve always wanted to travel through all of Europe (including Eastern Europe) & South America.

Hopefully, I’ll get to do it one day….

'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
You're a slave to money then you die
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet

- Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve)

N, I hope you’re having a great time on your “really long vacation”!! ;)


The knife said...

hey good to see you back in circulation...there is nothing like planning a great holiday...I am sure you will make it to Europe soon...maybe thanks to your neww job at India's only jetsetter's research agency

Serendipity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Serendipity said...

I am keeping in touch with strategically placed friends so i can live in these places for free. :)

Right now i have London and Barcelona. this frnd of mine in Spain was thinking of coming back hme - i very indignantly told him how selfish he was being since i hadnt had the chance to come visit yet.

Scarlett said...

@ the knife - the smartypants that i am, i INSISTED they assign me to the personal care team instead of the teams that handle the tobacco business. so a trip to europe for work seems improbable. welcome home btw! :)

@ Serendipity - smart thinking! who said friendships are all about giving? those morons had no clue what they were talkin' about! :)