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.