“I haven’t travelled everywhere, but it is on my list.” Susan Sontag.
I confess – I have a secret passion for travel. I’m sure that the seed for my passion was deeply embedded in me at the age of 3 ½ years when I became a monthly boarder at the Star of the Sea Convent, Southport, Queensland.
On exeat weekends, the nuns handed me into the pilot’s care as we boarded the Catalina flying boat at Southport for the flight to Brisbane, where I was met by a family member and taken to the train to journey north to stay at Nan Wallace’s farm. As I was travelling alone, I had a luggage label pinned to my back with my name and all my travel details written down as I passed through the various stages of the long trip.
I had been bitten by the travel bug, and it has been an incurable passion ever since!
As a student nurse, I spent my holidays in either Brisbane or Sydney with relatives, travelling along Australia’s east coast from Adelaide by coach, by myself. I started to keep holiday notebooks during these interstate holidays where I jotted down the places I saw or visited, the family or friends I met along the way, gathered postcards or entry tickets to such places at the Manly Aquarium or Taronga Park zoo and the Sydney ferries.
A major milestone trip was our 6 week 1980 trip to the UK and Europe, when I filled several notebooks plus put together a scrap book for each of my children (Ken, aged 6 and Susie, aged 3)who stayed at home in Adelaide.
My husband and I drove around the Uk and travelled by coach around Holland, Germany, Austrai, Italy, Switzerland and France. Since that trip I have always kept a travel journal for each trip taken, which have often provided the base for stories I have written. This was the first of our overseas travels to both Europe and the USA and Canada.
What should you put into your travel journal? Here are some ideas to help you:
· Select a journal with a sturdy cover that fits into a jacket pocket or your handbag;
· I prefer a lined journal because I have untidy writing which wanders downhill on the page;
· If you are artistic, select a blank notebook to add little sketches of people or places (I have several friends who do this and later expand on the original sketch for a bigger project);
· I carry some acid free adhesive tape with which to stick in tickets, postcards, brochures, menus etc as tangible memory triggers for when I write the story of this particular journey;
· I record the names and contact details of people I meet along the way to send them a note once I have returned home;
· I also like to add the receipts of any meals, accommodations, events or venues to refer back to later.
As the old saying goes, travelling does broaden the mind, but only if you allow yourself to experience the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of each place on your itinerary. I encourage you to keep and maintain a travel diary and ensure that you also write down how you felt about the people and places you enjoyed along the way. Bon Voyage!
Annie I loved this story and the photo is just precious!!!!! I can see why it got into your blood, that was a world wind of moving around for a small person, most would probably cry to be back home or cry out are we there yet!!!
Great tips on collecting the parts of the journey.
Thanks Christine for your kind comments. When I look back at my childhood, I can't believe that my mother sent me to boarding school aged 3 1/2! I became quite used to travelling by myself and always sat on the co-pilot's lap for the flights to and from Brisbane. The guards on the train soon got to know me and kept an eye on who was in the carriage with me for the 2 hour train trip. These days I am still a very independent person, a skill I learned as a wee child when I had to fend for myself at a Catholic boarding school (I was Presbyterian!!).
Annie, what a good idea to share not only a story, but tips to help people on their travels as well! Thank you. I love your ideas. I have to agree with Christine's comment about your photo, too - it's killer cute.
Susan, I teach so many workshops to people who have never written down their thoughts and feelings in a journal and I think this is essential to capture the rich impressions gained from travel. I have always been a scribbler and love to accumulate the tangible memories of any trip I take. Glad you like the photo!