Life’s is a journey, not a destination, they say. In fact, people don’t stop harping on about enjoying the ride because that’s more important than worrying about where you’re going to end up. Adverts and hippies are the worst offenders.
Because this just isn’t true, I’ve knocked together a haphazard little list of a few things that are about the destination.
Journeys are never about the journey. They are always categorically about the destination. Here are some examples:
The National Express coach to Cheltenham that I’m getting at 6.30pm tonight. This will still be languidly edging its way through traffic along Chelsea Embankment at 7.30pm. I’ll probably be sat next to a fat bloke wearing a tracksuit, socks and sandals who’s consuming an endless supply of meat in pastry that smells like cooked dogs. Cheltenham has pubs and beer. This journey will be about the destination.
The cheap flight to Cyprus I’m booked on for seven o’clock on Thursday morning. Budget flights are conducted on planes that are held together with Blu-tack and passengers, livestock and rapists are forced to travel together in the same holding pen. Possibly. Cyprus has sun, swimming pools and beer. This journey is all about the destination.
The 10-hour Greyhound bus I once caught from Manhattan to Toronto. I spent an hour and a half, at night, in a dimly lit Port Authority Bus Station in New York City avoiding being stabbed in the leg with hypodermic needles before being forcibly installed on a battered bus from the 1950s driven by an alcoholic geriatric performing jazz scats. Toronto didn’t have any Americans. This journey was pretty much about the destination.
The 12-hour night flight to Mauritius I took a few years ago. Mauritius had stunning azure blue seas, postcard-style white sandy beaches and lashings of lovely sunshine. The plane on the way there had insufficient leg room, wailing brats and warm wine. Mauritius might just be the most beautiful place in the world. Mauritius Air’s planes are definitely not the most beautiful places in the world. This journey was about the destination.
Reading a book could be considered an enjoyable journey. But let me ask you this: if you got to the end of ‘War and Peace’ and found someone had ripped out the last three pages, would that eight hundred and seventy-four thousand-page journey really have been worth it? No? Destination, then.
Work isn’t about the journey. It’s about the destination. Getting paid, basically.
Dating isn’t about the journey, whatever anyone says. It’s about the destination. Weeks of pretending that you don’t mind shelling out for pricey bottles of rose and paying for two meals when you’re only eating one really isn’t much fun if you don’t get a girlfriend, or at the very least some sex, out of it. And who would honestly argue, and I mean if you’re really, really being honest, that sex is more about the journey than the destination? Apart from women, of course. And Sting.
There are many more examples, but I don’t have time to go in to them – I’ve got three and a half work days before going on holiday and about two weeks’ worth of jobs to cram in. It’s driving me around the bend, actually – and that’s a drive that definitely isn’t about the journey.