Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If you could be anywhere in the world right now...

...where would you be?

Here: tree camping in Germany - from EyeHeartTravel
This is the ultimate question that my friend and former colleague (aka 'Little Legs') is famed for, and which she always times to perfection - like after she spots you getting one of those emails that makes you bang your forehead on the desk.

On sensing a moment of total mediocrity, she'll pipe up the immortal words, "If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?"

You would think it only served to highlight the depressing fact that we were in an air-conditioned office in King's Cross and, sadly, not on a multi-million dollar yacht in Cannes being served champagne cocktails. But somehow it always cheered me up; this simple question offered us a momentary escape and limitless possiblities - and then a grim chuckle at our comparatively mundane surroundings.

The only rule of this little game is that you have to really think about it and build a vivid picture of your scenario. No vague niceties like 'lying by a pool, somewhere hot', oh no. Little Legs demanded specifics - where exactly, what time of day, what are you eating and drinking, are you alone...? It takes serious thought; some days, you just want cosy. Other times, it's all about the sunshine, or the fresh air, or the food.

And as you'll see below, today has been one of those totally unremarkable days where this game really comes into its own...

7am, Shepherds Bush vs Greek island

I ignore my shuddersome iPhone alarm and wait until the last possible minute before forcing an eyelid open and braving the shower. I am on the ubiquitous 5:2 diet and today is a 'Fast Day', which means I can look forward to a meagre breakfast of instant coffee. On days like this, you've got to cheer yourself up anyway you know how; my housemate and I have taken to listening to Rebecca Black's Friday earlier and earlier in the week - Tuesday was a new low. :(

But if I could be anywhere in the world you say? Well, it's never too early for clichés, so I think I'd be waking up in a little blue-domed villa on a remote Greek island, with the golden sun streaming in and the turquoise sea lapping outside my window. When I can bear to leave my bed of soft white linen, what do you know, but a fully laden tray of breakfast (yoghurt, honey, fruit and freshly brewed coffee) has been delivered to my terrace by some charming Greek waiter. There's probably some ambient local music in the background (why is the only thing that springs to mind 'Zorba the Greek'?!). And maybe Ryan Gosling could be there too. Yes, he's there. In fact, it's him bringing me the breakfast.

9am, the Central line vs the Open Road

As all commuters know, it's a jungle out there. My usual razor-sharp rush hour tactics have failed to get me a seat on the way to work this morning, even after the mass exodus at Tottenham Court Road.  I've been well and truly played by some chancer who did the whole 'shuffle around with his bag' thing so it looks like he's about to vacate his seat, only to stubbornly stay put - meaning I miss out on a seat on the other side of the carriage. (Not cool, man).

It's no way to travel. Given the choice, right now I'd like to jack it all in and head out onto the open road in a vintage convertible, with a tank full of gas and a buddy who's come along for the ride - kind of like Thelma and Louise, without the crime spree. I can just picture the wind in our hair and the rocky horizon stretching out ahead of us, country music blaring out into the purple Santa Fe desert; the very definition of freedom, promise and optimism.

6pm, Liverpool Street office vs Moroccan courtyard

Everything starts to go wrong at work at about 5:15pm. I need somewhere peaceful and exotic - so where better than the oasis-like courtyard of an ornate riad in Marrakech? After a leisurely afternoon of shopping in the souk, I'd sip a fresh Moroccan peppermint tea to the faraway sound of the distant call to prayer and the trickling of the mosaic fountain.

10:30pm (now), my living room vs Goan beach bar

Actual snapshot of the view from our favourite beach bar in Goa!
Maybe I'm getting old, but I'm not sure I'm quite up for a Ibiza club or muddy festival tonight - it's been a big day what with the Greek island, the American road trip and the Moroccan courtyard. My inner old lady quite fancies curling up in front of the fire in my mum's cottage in Suffolk, and re-reading Harry Potter with the dog by my feet. But hey, I can do that for real in a couple of weeks. YOLO, as the kids say!

This is fantasy so I'm going to opt instead for a chilled out beach bar in Palolem, Goa, where I'd be sinking into the oversized cushions on the sand, getting happily drunk surrounded by lots of people without a care in the world. For this is a place where you plan your day spontaneously by the tides, the sun and your appetite, not the clock.

Can you tell I'm suffering from the 'first world problem' of holiday withdrawal symptoms? Apart from a few staycations, I have barely left London since my epic Indonesia trip a year ago. There are however worse places to have spent a year than this amazing city. In fact, somewhere on the other side of the globe right now, maybe someone is asking their friend the same question, 'If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be?'. And maybe, just maybe, their answer is London.

1 comment:

  1. you know the cool thing about our imaginations.... a little nudge and it will go farther than where the feet go
    Goa... the beach... lovely... gentle breeze... a colourful cocktail...