70 Years of Travel

I caught the travelling bug when I was lucky enough to go away on Youth Orchestra tours.  Once a year the orchestra would travel abroad – usually to Germany. I was lucky enough to travel to Monchengladbach, Essen, Cologne, Munster and Berlin with them. I took a real liking to Germany, though I wasn’t so keen on the food at the time.

As a teen, I was quite a fussy eater. Mainly because my parents were. My dad wouldn’t eat any vegetables, apart from frozen peas, and my mum would never eat onions, and we only ever ate English food! So, suddenly being faced with bratwurst and similar was a little too exotic for my taste buds.  However, I loved baked cheesecake, and when one family I was staying with realised I wasn’t so keen on some of the other foods, that’s what I had for breakfast each day! 

Also, neither of my parents had been abroad for holidays, and the only time my dad travelled outside the UK, was during the war.

I was determined to travel. When you travel you see different traditions, meet people of many different backgrounds and ethnicities, and it helps our own view of the world develop.

Over the past 70 years I have been to several places around the world. I know there are people who have travelled far more than me, but I’m glad that I’ve seen as many other cultures as I have.

I’ve visited four of the 7 continents of the world: North America; Asia; Europe and Africa.

I’ve visited 22 countries: America; Austria; Bulgaria; Canada; (China) Hong Kong & Macau; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Holland; Italy; Jamaica; Japan; Portugal; Sicily; Slovenia; South Africa; Spain and Switzerland.

Visiting those countries, I’ve visited around 92 different places. The country where I’ve travelled most, is Italy, followed closely by South Africa, Japan, America and Jamaica.

I visited Bulgaria to photograph a ‘destination wedding’ which was wonderful. The couple were people I already knew, and I was thrilled when they asked me to capture their wedding day for them. They got married on the beach in Sozopol; well, on a promontory that went out into the sea. The wedding was around midday, so I was shooting into the sun – in fact there wasn’t much choice of where I took photos, so I had to just get on with it! A wonderful experience.

Japan was our holiday of a lifetime, that we went on back in 2013, and it was the most incredible holiday. We’d both go again tomorrow, if we could afford to. We loved it.

South Africa was also a great holiday, although we have both said, that we’re not so sure we’d visit now. We visited back in 2004, and on the surface, things seemed to be pretty settled.

Canada was the first long-haul flight holiday that Conrad and I took together. Thanks to a hotel workers strike we ended up being upgraded in our hotels during the trip we were on, which was an unexpected plus.

Several of the places I’ve visited was before I met Conrad, so I’d love to visit some of them again, with him, if I get the chance.

I’ve visited Berlin twice. Once when the wall was up, in 1969, and again in 2013 after the wall was pulled down. We had a fascinating trip following where the wall had been, and visiting museums where you can see the incredible lengths people went to, to escape from the East.

I would love to visit Croatia again, take Conrad to Austria in the summer, particularly to the lakes, and also, I’d love to visit Stockholm, to visit the old town area and see some of the islands that make up the archipelago that is part of Stockholm.

Neither of us have ever been on a cruise, and although it doesn’t appeal to us, we might try a river cruise on the Danube… You may have also noticed, that few of our places are beach holiday destinations.

I know I’ve been very lucky to have been able to visit all of these places, but there are still so many other places in the world I’ll never see, or visit. However, I’m grateful to have seen as many as I have. 

Hopefully, our travelling days haven’t stopped, although over the last few years, due to the pandemic, cost of living etc we haven’t got very far… there’s plenty of time to come!

Do you enjoy travelling? Where is your favourite place in the world?