The most important purchase I’ll be making before I leave the UK is a backpack. It is said that this bag will be my best friend (or worst enemy) when travelling. I was pretty set on getting a standard top-loading bag and did a little bit of research on the matter.
The next day I met Truman in town for some backpack shopping after getting a free hand wash from a Bulgarian girl trying to sell me her hand revitalizing salt cream. I do not want your salts lady!! It was last Sept/Oct when I was having a conversation with Truman, who I only knew vaguely through other friends. He was telling me how he planned on travelling the globe with little structure to his itinerary. That same day I spontaneously agreed to be his travelling partner and haven’t looked back since. Unfortunately, we would be setting off at different dates due to personal choice but have kept in constant contact, deliberating our trips and what we wanted to see. There is no doubt our paths will cross somewhere in the world.
As I pulled my car into the main street, the steady drizzle turned into a more typical downpour as I navigated past stationary buses, roundabouts and the locals walking around with little or no protection against the elements. I hit the windscreen wipers to the maximum setting and cranked up the radio to drown out the dreary January scenery. Identical terrace houses run past the window as if it was a reusable side scrolling background in a Tom & Jerry cartoon with the occasional corner store and pub. This is Wales.
Having lived here for the past 13 years it is worth mentioning before I leave. Wales is a small country that makes up 1/4th of the United Kingdom with a modest population of 3 million inhabitants. Famous for it’s mountain ranges of the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia, it is a scenic country with inspiring landscape. It has a temperate climate with its fair share of rainfall. It also boasts historic castles and a kick-ass dragon on its flag too!
There are quaint little Welsh villages dotted along the A48 corridor and I check my speed dial as I had recently been caught speeding around this very place. The road opens on to a double carriage-way and I am surrounded by serenity of the green hills. Sheep graze peacefully despite the conditions and it is standard that I have to overtake a tractor. This does not last for long as the cement plains of Bridgend pours over the horizon.