GET ON THE ROAD
An organised tour is always good on the friend front. We’re not talking about Club 18-30 here. You want to come home with new friends, not an itchy crotch. These are changing times in the organised tour game. It’s no longer enough to travel around a country by coach, trying to avoid eye contact with poor people. Now you have to travel around a country by coach trying to avoid eye contact with poor people while on your way to a profoundly holy site.
You should consider Bhutan. This landlocked kingdom between India and China is so hot right now. William and Kate (call us the Cambridges!) are just back from a royal tour, where they paid a visit to the Taktsang Palphug Monastery. This astonishing complex includes caves where Buddhist monks live and meditate for three years.
It’s an ideal place for you to reflect on your life, and give thanks that you are not a Buddhist monk. (Don’t say this out loud.) If you are looking for an Irish person here, listen out for someone whispering “Jesus, lads, it doesn’t half make Knock look like Benidorm.”
You might want something other than Bhutan. (For starters, there will be loads of English people there after the royal visit — let’s just say they like to complain.) In which case, the whole Camino craze in Europe is worth a look.
What started out as an ancient traditional route across Spain has become a verb. You now camino from A to B. There is no shortage of makey-uppey routes for you to camino across Europe. It’s a nice, cheap way to make fresh friends and learn something new.
For example, there is nothing less attractive than an Irish person who has just spent four hours walking in the sun. (“Christ, lads, look at the size of my feet.”)