I’ve been all over the place these last 3 weeks, flitting from city to city in no discernible pattern, and have had a lot of fun doing it.
But there are a few things I missed out on, which I’m not 100% happy about, clearly.
Most of these come from my hatred of planning when it comes to holidays. On my first trip to Europe, I had everything planned out down to the fine print, and knew where and when I was staying in each city for roughly the first 2 months. Whilst I had an amazing time, planning a trip so thoroughly became restrictive, and I missed out on a few things I would have liked to do, as I had somewhere to be the next day and simply couldn’t change my plans.
In the last 5 years I’ve swung dramatically to the other end of the spectrum – “let’s just rock up to a joint and see what’s going on, mate”. This is a LOT of fun, it’s flexible, and you get to travel with others that you meet along the way. BUT, there are downsides, and the following five things are generally a product of a lack of planning.
I didn’t know much about San Francisco before I arrived there, except that Magneto can use the Golden Gate Bridge to get from the coast to the Mutant Cure facility, and that Sean Connery’s been to a certain rock once or twice. So naturally, I wanted to visit Alcatraz.
The mate I was travelling with at the time and I decided to see Alcatraz on our last day, before flying out. We didn’t book on the first day, or the second. Instead, we waited until the day before to sort out some tickets. Sold out. 5 days prior. “You could always get there at 5am, when the lines start, and maybe get a ticket then?”
Next time, I guess.
2. Soul food in Harlem
My New York friend Simone decided that on the last day we should head to Harlem on a Sunday (my last day in New York), right after the churches finished up and the gospel choirs were out and about, and grab some soul food. This sounded brilliant, and I could not have been more down.
So come Sunday morning, after a night out at the Brooklyn Brewery, a few of us headed to the local diner to await the arrival of Simone and co., and decided to get a bit of food while we waited, which turned into a rather huge breakfast. By the time the others turned up, we had all completely forgotten about Harlem and its surroundings, and were enjoying free coffee refills and Challah French toast. Come 3pm, it hit me, and subsequent regret set in.
3. Visiting 5 Pointz
I’ve always been an ardent hip-hop fan, and despite never knowing much about graffiti, I knew of 5 Pointz, a warehouse in Queens which is essentially Mecca for graffiti admirers and artists the world over. Unfortunately, one week before I was due to visit, the owner of the warehouse decided a whitewash was in order, and the building went from almost the definition of vibrancy to another depressing building, bathed in a quagmire of boring.
But although my visit would really just be a post-mortem inspection, another New York friend and I were still dead keen on going and paying our respects. It wasn’t until a week later that I realised we’d completely forgotten to make time. My level of irritation can only be described as akin to when this damn computer keeps Americanizing all my words.
4. Volcanoes in Iceland
I even wrote in a previous blog that I wanted to do this. Ever since Eyaköfelafelfelafl exploded in 2010 and brought flights to and around Europe to a grinding halt (amongst other things, stranding my mother in Switzerland), I’ve wanted to see it.
Lack of planning and a seriously poor estimation of the size of Iceland meant that it just wasn’t practical to do in the time I had. Maybe, had I organised myself better and not spent so much time watching the sun rise and set every day, it would have been possible. Ahh well. I already know I’m going back.
5. Booking Tickets For American Psycho
Not heard about this? They have musicalised Brett Easton’s ’91 ‘classic’. Continuing the trend of slightly left-of-centre musicals that have come out recently (Book of Mormon, Yes Minister anyone?), the powers-that-be have decided that Christian Bale’s brilliant turn as Patrick Bateman wasn’t enough. But I don’t care, because Matt Smith is playing Bateman.
The first run sold out in 5 hours, so I’m not exactly angry at myself for missing that. But when the second run came out, I missed that too. I’m hoping this goes on for a while, because unlike the other items on this list, I’ll get a chance to rectify this one soon.
Whilst this is obviously a list of regrets, I’m not too badly bothered, as they all give me incentive to head back to a few countries and set some things straight.
If you have any similar regrets, leave a comment below! As always, thanks for reading.