Travel on a Tuppence

I got to the bottom of my list and had to choose between “managing my budget” and “travel more” for New Year’s Resolutions. Frankly, these two don’t coexist.

In a perfectionist quandary, I thought fast.

Naturally, I’m trying to have it all so I chose…traveling on a budget!

I am a very happy homebody. I love to be home. Give me my comfy couch any day.

If I had to choose a place worthy of getting off the couch, I would choose either England, Ireland or Italy.

If I end up choosing Italy, I’m getting on a cruise ship so I can knock about the place during the day but still have a familiar couch to crash on each night. Italy made the list because, A, everyone else got to go, B, history rocks, and C, of the movie “Roman Holiday” with Audrey Hepburn.

She rocks, too.

If I go to Ireland, I want to stay in bed and breakfast castles. I hear that the doorways are built for short people, possibly leprechauns. In a land that rains incessantly (hence the green country) you’d think that doorways would be tall in case of flooding, and everyone would live on the second story. Guess I’ll have to go find out why not.

I want to Riverdance with the locals and walk dramatically on a real live moor. I will use the Guiness, however, for beer can chicken. Don’t shoot me.

England may have to be my first stop.

If you know a chap who knows a chap who lives somewhere in England, couch crashing is the way to travel on a budget.

You’ve got to love those silly English.

I give them IQ points for having an awesome accent. I think a British accent makes even the street urchins sound like Harvard graduates, and I would instantly take their advice on matters of finance if they offered it, tuppence and all.

Sadly, I also think that you are smarter if you wear glasses. I don’t care what they look like but I assume you use them to read novels like Moby Dick and I admire your literary taste automatically. Even if all you’ve read lately is Dave Barry.

But…present them with a typical American dinner and all bets are off. Turn your back for a moment and they are spreading lime jello onto their cornbread. They thought it was mint jelly.

Ask me how I know this.

Sleep on their couch. Do not offer to cook. Head for the nearest pub.

This is another money saver, as I can feast like a queen on nothing but scones and tea.

Unfortunately, this fact presents a reality check. My head is full of romantic notions borne of reading everything from Louisa May Alcott to Charles Dickens, James Herriot to Agatha Christie.

I’m afraid of getting there and being sadly disappointed because I studied my fiction and not my travel guides. I’ll look for Sherlock Holmes in every dirty alley and Mr. Darcy marching across the meadows and Harry Potter flying across the sky and running over Mary Poppins.

Mr. Bean will be riding the Tube.

To create some balance I read the headlines on the glossy magazines super fast while I wait to pay for my groceries. You want a few facts thrown in there, just in case.

I am so excited to maybe run into Duchess Kate. I could give her baby advice and she could give me some glam wardrobe tips. I’m sure we would be besties.

Need I say more?

I’ve watched just enough Downton Abbey to tease me into wanting to leap off my couch and dash into the wild unknown.

If I dig under all the cushions first, I should have just enough change to pay for it.