Llangollen Canal, UK
There are all sorts of things to master when you get on a narrowboat - how to steer, for a start - and the waterways have their own etiquettes, such as passing on the right and queuing properly for tunnels… When it comes to maneuverability, a narrowboat is more miniature oil tanker than yacht. I swerved and weaved; I whacked bridges; on one occasion I drew applause from a whole coach party of Americans when making an incompetent 18-point turn. While all this is happening, one's everyday concerns simply vanish from the mind. And alongside the slapstick were periods of blissful serenity, of floating at lawnmower pace in the sunshine, of counting the landmarks to the next perfect pub.