I usually like autumn and everything that goes with it, but lately I am seriously bored of the same old trees turning the same old colour and losing their same old leaves. Like, I love Birmingham for sure, but there is something really monotonous about walking the same grey streets day after day. When it rains, it can feel completely miserable, and having a head cold doesn’t help. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explore outside and kick leaves about and collect conkers.
The best thing to do, obviously, is to make a list of all the other places that I’d like to explore. When exams are over, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. First on the list is the U.S. of A. Sometimes I imagine Adult Me on the road in America, because from what I have learned from the golden age of Hollywood, John Steinbeck, and Bruce Springsteen, America is the place where dreamers search for truth. I’d just need a car and a chance at earning some money in a cheap, cheesy diner. It would be worth it for all the people I’d meet.
After the Olympics were over, and we passed the torch to Brazil, I wanted to go there, too. Then I read about “the swing at the end of the world” in Ecuador, a tree house on the edge of a cliff with a swing hanging over the precipice, which sounds like the perfect Naomi magical experience as swings are my thing. So I am on a South American road trip in my mind: dancing on sultry Brazil evenings, watching little boys play football in the street, and trying to learn Spanish and Portuguese.
Ever since I read Bill Bryson’s book Down Under, Australia has a fascinating hold over me: its history (people’s ancestors were criminals, ha!); its landscape (mountains, deserts, beaches); its tragedies (the treatment of indigenous Australians). And how BIG it is. How beautiful it is. I want to explore cities like Melbourne, and travel on the Ghan, and go to the top of the Blue Mountains, and see koala bears and kangaroos.
The destination closest to reality, though, is South London. I am somehow most attached to the idea of going to university there. Being in London seems exciting. While I love to dream about faraway places, this is actually for real. And that is strange. But I am more excited about it than any of my other wild ideas. ♦