By the time most of you read this, I will be less than 12 hours away from hopping a plane and taking my first trip across the Atlantic that didn’t require me to wear a camouflaged uniform, on my way to Scotland and Ireland for a couple of weeks of exploring and sightseeing. How? My wife’s keen eye when it comes to details of bargain hunting and accounting, as well as foresight: this was in the plans before I was hired on here at BangShift. Now, normal protocol dictates that vacation equals a disappearing act, but not this time. I will have the camera and the computer with me the entire trip, so whatever I find that’s of interest, I will share.
Here’s why I’m not just vanishing for a couple of weeks: some of my earliest writing for the site documented road trips that I took, where I drove thousands of miles over great portions of the country visiting people and having fun, and they were some of the best things I’ve ever done with my life. While I’d prefer to drive, renting a car and spending three weeks worth on a fuel bill between the two countries would exhaust my paycheck. (Seriously, thirty gallons of gas would set me back about $180. Yikes.) Traveling is always great, whether it’s for a social reason, a quest for something, or for the simple excuse of a change of scenery, and most people don’t do nearly enough of it. And while it’s good to make a break for a day’s drive, there is something to be said for getting far away from what you are normally comfortable with. It’s why I actually enjoyed my trips to Iraq both times I went, because you learn a lot about yourself while learning to appreciate both where you visit and where you came from. When I stopped in Germany and Shannon, Ireland, all I got to see was what was near the airport, which isn’t anything compared to getting away from the airport and exploring.
While seeing the sights is cool, you can bet that anything automotive will be shared as well. Whether I end up on a Mercedes bus, a train through the northern end of the British Isles, a puddle-jumper for a flight, or even if I see a Reliant Robin tipped on it’s lid with a mouthy Brit screaming his head off inside, photos will be taken. If you have suggestions for what I should check out while I’m around, let me know and if it’s possible, I’ll try to get out and take a look. I’m hoping to find some neat old things as well, such as a garage that’s been in operation since forever.