Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tales of past travel

I'm in a quandary at the moment. I'm not really sure whether I'll have enough money to pull the plug totally next year, so have been thinking about probably staying in the workforce a little longer. No doubt the uncertainty in the financial situation worldwide makes me somewhat jumpy about the viability of living on investment income for the next fifty years, but hopefully within the next six months we'll all know whether we are totally up shit creek without a paddle, or not. I'm thinking the smelly option myself...

Realistically though, when I travel overseas in developing countries (I do like a good euphemism) I have an uncanny ability to live off the smell of an oily rag (don't mind a cliche or two either!). I'm continuously surprised when I read other people's travel blogs to realise that my comfort requirements whilst travelling are extremely low. People post pictures of "the worst ever room" they stayed in, and I look at it and am reminded of that wonderful Python sketch involving the Yorkshiremen: "Luxury!!" And I also appear to be in the less than 0.1% of the western population that can not only eat it, but adore Durian! Ok I'm weird, get over it..

But I wasn't always so easy going in the travel department, and I'm also totally able to lush it up when the situation arises, though I'm not sure I could ever totally stomach first class air travel unless someone else was footing the bill. I prefer to travel on the cheap because it gets you much closer to the people and culture in which you are visiting. But there's the crux, I don't do it 'cause I have to, but 'cause I want to, and I don't mind the discomfort. Then again, I love camping and sleeping out in the great outdoors. If you have never slept out under the stars in the Aussie outback in a swag, then put it on your bucket list.

Since all this technology hasn't actually been around all that long, I've got a lot of back stories of travel that I wrote in journals, and took pictures of using a film camera, with only 36 pictures per roll. Yes that's right, back last century!!!

I thought I might start to revisit them, pull out the old diaries and write about my travels from back then. On this blog. Sort of a blast from the past while I'm waiting for the future. Plus I've got to do something to keep myself amused whilst I'm camped up the beach if the wind doesn't blow. You bet I've got a 12 volt charger for the computer!! And there's mobile coverage on top of the sand dune, so internet's possible as well!!

In 1989 I left Australia and went travelling for almost 2 years. The first place I went to was China, then through Thailand and Nepal and overland to Europe, including the Middle East. I went to Petra before Indiana Jones! I remember this because when I saw him hooning up the siq on that horse at the end of the movie I was so jealous. We'd tried so hard to get the locals to let us loose galloping their horses through that narrow passage and they'd flatly refused. The rich American actor got to do it, not fair!!

When I got to the UK I bought a bicycle, and aside from the time I spent doing a little work around the NHS hospitals of England and Scotland, I spent the remainder of my travels on that bike, touring Ireland, Scotland, England and finally the European continent. The latter was in the summer of 1990, not long after the Berlin Wall came down, and I got to visit the east before the crowds and the cynicism set in. It was a truly remarkable time.

So I'm going to delve through my personal archives, scan some old pictures, and start blogging again about past travel tales. I hope you enjoy them.

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