I will suffer the immigration delays.
Plenty of us woke up Friday morning shocked and saddened by the referendum result. Our hearts heavy and our heads filled with uncertainty, I saw an influx of impromptu marriage proposals to my Spanish friends, declarations of love to Parisian sweethearts and a hell of a lot of my backpacking buddies asking if anyone would have them because they weren't sticking around. Everyone I have ever met across the globe from Argentina to Australia outstretched their hand and told us to stay strong.
Why the proposals? Why the declarations of love? Because Britain will go from having visa free travel to 27 different countries, to, well, not. Say goodbye to budget travel across Europe and put a stop to ski and summer seasons with a handful of your friend's post-degrees. Coupled with the fact that the pound plummeted, all of us wanderlusters were left wondering just what will happen to our rambling selves?
I, for one, am not giving up.
We have at least a two-year grace period and I plan to take full advantage. I will break baguettes, dine in Dubrovnik and feast in Florence. I will work longer hours and I'll save even harder, I will stand single file in immigration queues, hell, I might even marry that Berlin bartender (joking, please don't come for me EU border patrol!). My love and longing for travelling will not be diminished.
And even after this 'grace' period, how could I even consider not waking up in awe of my surroundings? Submerging myself in other cultures, marveling at the wonders of the world and embracing everything a country has to offer- that isn't going to change. Yes, the logistics will: my flight expenses will increase whilst my lengthy stays will decrease. But they cannot take our blue skies and burnt shoulders away from us. Travelling produces a magic you can get lost in, it opens your eyes, inspires, educates and challenges you. You leave the U.K a listener and come back a storyteller.
The friendships you forge on foreign soil are stronger than some of those back home. Being bought that beer in Barcelona when you've missed the last train and your purse has been stolen means more to you at that moment than anything else in the entire world. You hug, you embrace, you cheers and you wake up the next morning, hungover and heading to Madrid (your train was heading in the opposite direction). I was left penniless in Brazil with no way to pay my hostel bill when my guardian angel from Australia sent me some funds and told me 'don't worry about it brah!'. Your hundreds of miles from home and your hostel housemates become family. Heck, I've even made buddies in THAT airport Burger King on the way home from Ibiza.
I know I am not alone when I say this; the community spirit and cultural education that goes hand in hand with travelling means that Brexit won't break us. I know the bond of backpackers can't be weakened and we will do whatever we can to roam across the world, sharing smiles and secrets with the global children of today.
Escapism is in our nature. We've said adios to the EU, but we have not said adios to each other.Suggest a correction