The World is your Oyster

By: Graham Baylis

Brian has always been a dreamer. Even as a small boy, playing Cowboys and Indians with the other children, his imagination would run riot. The village green became the Wild West as he galloped around, astride a fantasy Silver, and he was the Lone Ranger, with his best pal George as the loyal Tonto.

Whilst never really a scholar, some years later Brian discovered a fascination for Geography. He couldn't wait to learn about all those far flung places of the earth; places he thought he would probably never see. He would close his eyes, hungry to taste all those experiences for himself... the pyramids of Egypt, the skyscrapers of New York, the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal, Niagara Falls... he was totally bitten by a wanderlust that would never leave him.

Now, as an adult, Brian's desire to travel the world is even stronger than ever. The only thing is that he's a man who likes his creature comforts. Not for him sleeping rough under the stars, cold and wet. That might have suited him some years ago but not now, with his rheumatism. Even caravanning doesn't really appeal - could be a bit cramped for someone intent on touring the globe - and there's always the worry of whether or not the caravan has been securely coupled to the car. The last thing he'd want would be to see it overtaking him on the freeway.

A luxury motor home (or recreational vehicle, as they're often called) would be just the answer - the ultimate freedom machine for the open road. Introduced into the UK some thirty years ago, today's RV is truly a home from home with stylish d?r and just about every 'mod con' imaginable... fully equipped kitchen and dining areas, ducted air conditioning, double glazing, built-in quiet diesel generators, stylish lounge areas with sumptuous leather upholstery, beautiful wood cabinetry, huge and luxurious bedrooms with copious wardrobe capacity, washer/dryers, plush showers and toilets. Some even have walls that slide out ingeniously, making yet more of the available space, and exterior locker storage. Despite their size, they're easy to manoeuvre with automatic transmission and will access any camp site without difficulty.

Brian's heart starts to pound as he steps onboard and slips behind the wheel of his motor home to experience the adventure of a lifetime. The miles melting away effortlessly beneath his wheels, his journey begins in la belle France, in the heart of the Loire Valley - an area of beautiful countryside, studded with historic, royal fairytale chateaux, mansions, palaces and fortresses. Taking in the charm of the picturesque villages and later sampling the light refreshing wine and the superb local cuisine before retiring to the cosy bed in his RV, Brian plans the next leg of his journey. It's on to Germany. As he travels in total comfort through the unspoilt, enchanting countryside, he discovers a host of natural wonders, vineyards, castle ruins and medieval villages. Feeling almost as if he's in a time warp, crossing into Switzerland, he cannot fail to be spellbound by the sheer majesty of the snow-sprinkled mountains, lush pastures, awe-inspiring lakes and quaint towns. Brian's tour takes him to so many of the places he yearned to see, as a boy. He strolls along the golden, sandy beaches in Spain, plays golf in the Algarve and takes in the incredible, panoramic views of the Italian Lakes. He takes brisk walks through the well-marked network of trails in Austria, breathing in the fresh Alpine air and relishing the beauty and splendour of its regions. In Slovenia, right in the very heart of Europe, he uncovers a country full of amazing contrasts; lively, historic cities, primeval forests and gently undulating, winegrowing hills.

Waking from a deep and happy sleep, our intrepid explorer contemplates his travels. So that's Europe done and dusted, more or less. And as for all the other continents as yet uncharted, well, that's maybe for another time. After all, there's a limit to how many countries you can visit in one dream. But hold on to your dreams, Brian - they can come true...

Travel and Leisure
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