Petrol stations are very strange places to be. I always wonder about the people who work there, especially the ones in the middle of buttfucknowehre. I wonder if they must live nearby, past all of the nothing. Petrol stations are weird places because nobody really wants to be there. They stop because they need petrol, or because they need to go to the toilet, or because they think they should need to go to the toilet. People stop at petrol stations to grab a bite to eat, on a journey, or to get a coffee, or a bottle of water, which will result in them needing to stop again soon at another convenient petrol station. Maybe that’s why they are such underwhelming places: because there are so so, many of them, and they’re all almost the same in every way. The same layout, same smell, same foods, drinks, stagnant looking hotfood, the same array of sunglasses and magazines, the same discreet tobacco cabinet… or worst of all, the same sandwiches. I have always had an extremely strong aversion to petrol station sandwiches, particularly 7/11 sandwiches. It sounds privileged and ignorant and ungrateful I know, but I do not see the appeal no matter how I look at it. They are always so cushioned with plastic and industrially presented. SO suspicious, something is not right about them. I would rather eat just about anything else the place has to offer than to eat a sandwich which was likely made with anything but love. And somehow it seems they always have those discount stickers on them, repulsing me even further than I knew possible. I would have better luck going to a primary school during lunchtime or recess hour and seeing what the children discard. Kids always seemed to discard their own sandwiches, which is sad. I wish I could somehow tell them how beautiful their sandwiches are and warn them of what they had coming when they’d become adults who needed to stop for petrol.
This article is written as a bit of comedic fun and shouldn’t accurately represent all the people who visit Japan on the regular! These are inspired from all the weird and wonderful personalities I came across when travelling Japan with One Life Adventures.
Homeless in California -by Sharon Nelson
I was a freshman in high school. Not when I got the tattoo, but we’ll get there. The story starts with entering high school and being tracked for all advanced classes. My best friends and I swore a pact to have at least one class together every semester so that we wouldn’t be pulled apart by all the high school drama.
I would decorate my entire body in tattoos if I had the money, time and trusted someone so much that I knew that they knew exactly how I would want to be decorated. My thighs would be full of phoenix rising from ashes and my back immersed in dream catchers. Butterflies would trail down my arms and turn into daisy chains around my wrists, with mandalas and henna style patterns scattered all around and inbetween.
You might think that the title is a bit of exaggeration but let's be honest... It's been half a year since we were forced to "stay home" and I don't see the end of it. Again, you might think I'm exaggerating but we all thought it would be gone by summer. Then the summer came along and somehow nothing changed. Now we are going into the fall and all the restrictions seem to come back, stay the same or simply not go away any time soon. It makes me wonder if the travel industry will survive all of that? Are we ever going to travel the way we used to?
There is a place I keep dreaming of. Come with me, I'll take you there.
The Camino de Santiago. Many journeys to the same place, and for me a total of 900 kilometers from the French Pyranees, through Santiago de Compostella, and on to Finisterre - the western coast of Spain or the end of the world as it was known to the pilgrims who undertook this journey over 1000 years ago. Why did I do this thing? I'm by no means a crazy hiker. I didn't train for this and really, I had no idea what I was in for. All I knew was that after ending an 18 year relationship, I was broken and lost. I desperately needed some time out - a life break, if you like. Some space away from everything familiar to process what had happened and work out what was next. And time to heal. For whatever reason, I had the sense that the Camino would do that. I think I thought that walking a really long way would somehow magically heal me and that I would suddenly know what needed to come next. Maybe by pushing my physical boundaries, I would unravel something inside and things would just fall into place? Well, that sounds crazy. What on earth was I thinking??!
As I make my way across the harsh basin floor near the Red Rock Valley in the wide open state of Nevada, breathe in the fresh mountain air and watch mindfully as my daughter treads along beside me, I can only appreciate the very fact that we can, in fact, traverse this countryside with a sense of peace. Peace not only in the sense of the revitalization one receives upon setting foot in such an arid land, but in the fact that one can, indeed, step out of their vehicle and know that something so beautiful, so intriguing and yet, so dangerous can exist to this day in a way where we can enjoy it freely without borders.
Salty lived for adventure, from hiking through Copper canyon in Chihuahua Mexico to swimming with leather-back turtles in the Galapagos islands. Always Salty would take along a friend or two. Allen, who walked with a limp, having lost a few toes to snapping turtles, not all at once, of course. Then there was Riley who took pride in being the only person to survive having been swallowed whole by a giant squid. There were no witnesses but no one would dare doubt a story of a trusted friend. On this particular trip Salty had decided to take along One eyed Jeff. All we know is that Jeff lost his eye in a seagull related accident, the details have always been vague. Now Salty and One eyed Jeff had decided to take on the task of trying to catch the elusive muskie in the lakes of Elk Heart Wisconsin. It was a cold and foggy morning as the two cast off the dock in the rented row boat. Salty knew something was just not going that well as they rowed back, some three hundred yards, to the dock where they both had assumed the other had loaded the fishing gear. As they came closer to the dock, One eyed Jeff reached out to grab the gear. Off course with limited depth perception, Jeff grab nothing but fog and fell head first into the shallow water. His sudden departure caused the craft to rock sending Salty of the other end. The two grabbed the sides of the boat and swam the mighty vessel back to the dock, where they could reach their poles and tackle. After placing the equipment into the boat they attempted to climb back into the vessel. Both had passed geometry with high D's so they both tried to climb in from the same side. After several dives they recovered the tackle from the bottom of the lake. And after two more attempts with similar results, the pair agreed to declare a victory because now they had five poles, three tackle boxes an two anchors. Fully soaked and very cold they returned they boat to the dock. Hoping to warm themselves they made their way into the local 24/7 dinner. Dripping with moss and mud they sloshed into a corner booth. As Stella, the overnight waitress approached the two, which at this point could have easily been mistaken for a pair of swamp monsters. She spoke. Welcome back Salty. Productive morning on the lake? Salty snapped back quickly. Stella we are glad to report the boats are sea worthy and the underwater fish count seems high this season. Now could we get our usual and could you help me get this bass out of my slicker?