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I walk alone on the pebble beach. For a moment I can’t quite remember where I am. I’ve been traveling by rail across Europe. I think I’m in Scotland now, somewhere farther north. I sit down, my jeans not quite protecting me from the hard pebbles and the cold. I take my notebook out and on every page I write down the names of the cities I’ve stopped at: Milan, Naples, Nice, Montpellier, Barcelona, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Inverness. I’m heading to the Isle of Skye next, I believe. It’d be nice to escape to an island and not worry about the rest of the world. It’d be nice to escape.

I tear out every page with a city name scrawled on it and place each under a pebble. The cities a route, a journey, an attempt at escape. The wind comes (of course, it must, I knew this, didn’t I?) and carries each page away. The pebbles scatter. It starts to rain, a gentle hiss. The distance mists over. I know I best be moving soon but for now I can sit here. There’ll be time enough to chase those cities carried by the wind. The chase will be my escape; it’ll have to do.

// Getting there
Buy a rail pass. Get on the nearest train station. Get off at stops that have interesting names. Explore. The streets, the hills, the beaches, the food, the people. Repeat. Return, if desired.

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