Travel On My Mind

Hello everyone . Travel has been on my mind as John and I are taking those first planning steps and deciding on the when and where of our next trip.

We have several destinations in mind at present. Japan in Autumn is high on the list after visiting in Spring in 2017 but there is a little problem as at the moment Japan is not open to independent travellers;  only to guided tours. The best time to view Autumn colours is November , so if those borders open soon that is a possibility , if not next year.

We also plan a return trip to Europe next Spring , at this stage we are debating either April or May and spending around eight weeks travelling through France, Spain and Portugal.

I also hope to pop across to London , since my last visit way too long ago, my sister has been involved in researching our family history and I would love to see where it all began.

Travel has been an important part of my life since my first overseas trip to the UK back in 1975. I can still remember that first British Airways flight and not just because I had a seat that refused to recline, despite various attempts by airline staff . John and  I took turns sitting bolt upright for the flight that back then took 30 hours with four stops.

I was a very young 22 year old , had travelled a bit in Australia but always dreamed of visiting the places I had only read about or seen in movies or on TV , so you can imagine I was beyond excited.

I have recently re-visited some of the photos from that first trip. Many rolls of film were taken but as was the thing back then they were in slide form (that’s dating me isn’t it). This one of me at Anne Hathaways cottage in Stratford on Avon , apologies for the clarity.

We purchased a V.W. campervan in London and spent the next seven months exploring the U.K. and Europe. How I marveled at the scenery , the history and architecture as we travelled through Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France , Andorra, Leichtenstein, Spain, Greece, Italy , Denmark, Sweden and Norway. I am trying to remember where I found the white dress I am wearing here at the Acropolis , purchased somewhere along the way I think.

On our travels around the U.K. we visited the Morgan car factory , a highlight for John, so on our return to London we hired one for a weekend before starting our travels home.

We travelled home on an overland tour that started in Turkey , then travelled through Iran , Afghanistan , Pakistan and finishing in India. Our fellow travelers were from many countries and walks of life including a Japanese reporter and photographer who were documenting their trip. At times this trip was confronting but I am so grateful to have had this experience as so much has changed in this part of the world since then.

Our next trip overseas was in 1983 . We flew to San Francisco , hired a car and explored part of California before going our separate ways, me to South America for a camping tour travelling by the bus and John enjoyed skiing in Canada and the US and an Outward Bound course.

Here I am about to board that small plane to fly over the amazing Nazca Lines in southern Peru. Somehow I am always much braver when I am away from home .

So many highlights from the South America trip but high on the list was a visit to the Galapagos Islands and seeing the wildlife in their natural habitat.

Meanwhile , back in Colorado John had purchased this VW campervan that we used to travel the US, Mexico and Canada. After my trip we re-united in Mexico City.

I am not quite sure where this was taken , possibly in Utah or maybe Arizona, wherever it looks hot and dry. We sold the camper in Denver, then drove a relocation car to Florida , then hired a car to finish our travels . We finished our trip by train from Florida to New York then flew to London.

Back in the U.K. , this little Citroen 2CV took us from Lands End to John O’Groats . We returned to Australia via Thailand and Singapore arriving home just before Christmas.

After the busy family years our next overseas trip was in 2016 to celebrate John’s retirement. We spent a month staying in a tiny Paris apartment (it was wonderful) then train to Barcelona and travelled through Spain and Portugal.  No photos from this trip I forgot they were stored on an external hard drive when I started this post.

Japan in the Spring of 2017 was wonderful and highly recommended. We travelled on the Shinkansen (bullet train) which was so easy , ran on time and was so clean and comfortable .

We returned to Paris in 2018 and spent several weeks travelling through France , Spain and Portugal, visiting new areas as well as re-visiting some of our favourites.

The Palais Royale , one of my all time places in Paris , hopefully I will see you again soon.

Our last trip , which seems so long ago , was to Cuba in March 2020. So glad we did that trip as I often wonder how some of the lovely people we met that relied on tourists have fared over the last two years.

Writing this post has triggered so many memories and that to me is the joy of travel . Experiencing different cultures , learning( even on aa basic level ) a new language and meeting new people adds so much to your life and changes your perspective on the world.

Joining Gail for Wow on Wednesday and Nancy for Fancy Friday.



  1. August 4, 2022 / 11:11 am

    Gosh how impressive is that! What a adventurous years. Where have you been in the Netherlands? And isn’t the UK so gorgeous! However if you would see Land’s End now it would scare the hell out of you!

    • grownupglamour
      August 6, 2022 / 6:28 am

      Thank you Nancy . Maybe we were more adventurous back then . I will admit that we did the very touristy things in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, Alkmaar and Keukenhof gardens to name a few. Yes the UK has some beautiful scenery , maybe its a good thing we visited Lands End years ago.

  2. August 5, 2022 / 6:51 am

    What a wonderful post Jill, I loved reading about your travels. I’d love to go to Japan for the spring blossoms. I’m also hoping to go to South America next year. If you do manage to get to London it would be fabulous if we could meet up, although appreciate it’s often hard to find time in a busy travel schedule. Thanks for linking.

    • grownupglamour
      August 6, 2022 / 6:20 am

      Thank you Gail , so pleased you enjoyed reading about my travels. You would love the spring blooms in Japan . so spectacular. Even though my trip to South America was many years ago I vividly remember the wonder of it all. I would love to meet up Gail.

  3. August 5, 2022 / 5:05 pm

    I am totally in awe of how well travelled you are, Jill!
    Thank you so much for sharing your around-the-world trip down memory lane!
    I hope you’re able to travel to Japan this Autumn, and I definitely wouldn’t say no to a trip through France, Spain and Portugal! xxx

    • grownupglamour
      August 6, 2022 / 6:33 am

      Thank you Ann for joining me on my trip down memory lane. Not sure Japan will happen this year going on a newspaper article I read this morning. Planning is now under way for Europe for your Spring. xx

  4. August 6, 2022 / 12:16 pm

    What a fabulous post and how cool were your travels! Loved seeing the photos of your earlier trips – I took practically no photos when I lived in Switzerland and travelled back and forth on trains.

    And you went through Afghanistan! Which is impossible now. Did you do the Khyber Pass? My dad was stationed half way up that pass! So envy that trip of yours as I rejected everything my father said about India and the Indian Army. Instead of doing the Afghan route and looking at where my father was a soldier on the North-West Frontier I always went to France and places in Europe. Never mind. Those trips are memorable for me.

    What a great post!

    • grownupglamour
      August 9, 2022 / 6:24 am

      Thank you so much Penny, glad you enjoyed my travel memories.
      Afghanistan was quite an experience and I feel so lucky to have visited. We did do the Kyber Pass , how interesting that your father was stationed there. I guess when we are younger we are so often blinkered in our views of our parents experiences. Nevertheless, I am sure you have wonderful memories of your European travels.

  5. August 8, 2022 / 7:07 am

    What a wonderful post, Jill! I can’t wait to share it with Jon.
    Your travel plans sound fantastic, hopefully Japan will open up to independent travellers before too long. A tour wouldn’t appeal to me, either – far too restrictive.
    I love the choice of vehicles you travelled in and would have loved to have done the Overland Trail back in the day.
    The white dress you wore to visit Athens looks almost identical to the one I wore in Corfu this year! xxx

    • grownupglamour
      August 9, 2022 / 6:15 am

      Thanks so much Vix , glad you enjoyed my travel memories. I am so very glad we were able to have travelled the Overland Track back then , so much as changed since then and not for the better.
      There is still no real indication when Japan will re-open for independent travellers but we will wait. Agree on tours I like to plan and make my own decisions not be told what to see and do, far too contrary for that.
      Yes, I did smile when I saw your white dress in Corfu and realised that I had worn one very similar in Greece . xx

  6. August 9, 2022 / 5:28 am

    Hi Jill, Thanks for sharing your travel memories. I love your photos. How things have changed!
    Yes, I read that Japan is not welcoming independent travellers and yet Japan is
    wondering why tourists are not returning. Could it be they want to boost their own
    tourism economy with their own tours after so long with nothing? Anyway…it’s
    lovely to see you are making plans. My husband and I have plans for Europe in May
    which will be fabulous. Let us hope that the wonderful freedom we had to travel
    is returning. Bon voyage soon!
    Elizabeth. xx

    • grownupglamour
      August 9, 2022 / 6:02 am

      Thank you Elizabeth , my pleasure to share those travel memories. So much has changed since that first trip so many years ago making me so pleased we visited some of the countries back then. As for Japan is is just a waiting game . Isn’t it wonderful to finally start planning travel again . xx

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