You know the wonderful American movie genre based on the the road trip? That classic coming of age ritual where you and a friend jump in your car and drive crazy distances, have adventures and meet people that can take you a little bit above and beyond your comfort zone. Remember Easy Rider, Thelma & Louise, The Sure Thing, Little Miss Sunshine?
In Europe, we have a similar ritual, we call it Inter-railing. When I was 18, my best friend, (we’ll call her Bowdie) and I set off across Europe, by ferry & rail. It was less than a week, but it was the greatest adventure of our lives up to that point, and in some ways, still is. In fact I’m shocked nobody has made a movie out of this yet.
Millions of people made similar journeys, but nobody did it quite like us. To this day, one of us just has to say a certain phrase and we both crease up laughing. I remember parts of it like it was yesterday, other parts, thankfully, not at all.
There was the crazy Scouse who left his passport, wallet and broken fiddle on the floor unguarded while he danced manically to Fiesta throughout the ferry crossing from England to France.
Then there was the confused discovery that the French drink their morning coffee out of soup bowls (I still don’t get that one). The Detained by Immigration Authorities incident I think is best glossed over. Our brave attempts to speak French (only to be answered in English)… figuring out the signs in Switzerland (where everything is written in three languages)… Our embarrassment at being constantly whistled at by continental men… and disappointment when no one fell in love with us.
My favourite memory is of Bowdie & I deciding to visit the Eiffel Tower and instead of taking the Metro, like normal tourists, we decided to walk there. We didn’t have such a thing as a map and were constantly shot down in our efforts to speak French. We just looked up in the sky and headed in that general direction. We basically followed our instincts. It was a loooong way. We would get so far, look up and have to re-adjust. “Lets head more left this time”. An hour later… “Its much bigger now, straight ahead.” We had so much fun that day. Tired and with sore necks and feet, we eventually got to La Tour (as she ees known in Paree). It’s pretty imposing, you should go some day, if you haven’t already. And Paris is like one big film set.
As far as I can remember, we didn’t get sick of each other, fall out or fight over anything during that trip, which is pretty impressive, and we are still friends, over 20 years later, which is even more remarkable. Are you bored yet? They all lived happily ever after. My point here is: you don’t have to be really and truly gripped by our particular adventure. I wont be offended. If you looked at the photos, you would just see fresh faced laughing girls with bad perms. But to us it was… golden.
Are you mildly amused, diverted? Comparing it to your own first road trip where you got pulled for speeding by that cop that looked like Colin Farrell & had a beer with him afterwards? Nothing truly exciting happened to us,thank goodness, nothing earth-shattering. We didn’t fall off the Eiffel Tower – its all pretty run-of the mill, but I treasure the memory. I TREASURE IT. I have a falling apart notebook in my attic that I’ll look at when I’m 88, not 18. And so will my daughters.
So your precious pregnancy can be a bit like our trip. So many people have been on this gestational journey before you… its nothing new… yet it’s all new to you. For the first time you are feeling all these new feelings, thinking all these fresh thoughts and wondering if they are normal /PC/ typical. Yet no-one else can see things quite like you. You are creating your own storehouse of memories & you need them to mean so much more than just your current status on Facebook.
You need them to be you.
So go, scoot, make some memories, burst out of your favourite jeans, throw up on your boss, freak out your husband. Its your frigging adventure. Treasure it, my girl, TREASURE ALL OF IT!
So now, ma petite, let me know in the comments, what quirky thing about your pregnancy will you treasure, like no-one else? Au revoir!