A Bold Decision 1980
Fact of the matter is that l am pretty well travelled … due to not only my Father and his chosen career paths, although admittedly his decisions to globe trot around the entire world at various times of my young life contributes very heavily to an awful amount of my experiences.
Before l left home in my late teens, l had lived in Australia and Malaysia, as well as good ol’ Blighty, but l had ‘technically’ been around the world three and a half times, stopping at some very beautiful locations, cities and countries. When l lived at home with my family in England and before l ventured out into the big world myself at 19, we had toured quite extensively around most of the UK, but also a lot of Europe. In Australia, when l was a youngster, we had lived in many different States and also done a lot of internal travelling to the ‘big country’. In Malaysia, once more as a youngster l had not only lived in Penang, but we had holidayed in other parts of Malaysia, and l was no stranger to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur or indeed Thailand.
I was used to travelling from a young age.
These days l don’t travel a great deal, in fact apart from just moving location as in moving house over the last 15 years, l have only been to a few different places. I lived in Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire, Isle of Wight for many years, as indeed Kent where l am now for my second tour if you wish, having lived and worked here when l was in my late twenties.
When l was married we only went on holiday twice, once to Disneyland Paris and the second time to Pompeii and Naples in Italy, twice in 14 years, outrageous in many respects.
However l started travelling by myself when l was 17, l made a bold decision whilst living at home, that no longer could l put up with the constant unpleasantness of travelling and holidaying with my parents and sister anymore, it was all too much. When l left school at 17 l had wanted to go and work on a kibbutz and had been invited to do so by a good friend, but my parents forbade me to that, because they said l would get into too much trouble and probably end up in some dark and dank prision cell. [This decision was based on my inappropriate behaviour as seen through the eyes of others as well as my accidental and clumsy behaviour.]
My Father had promised me when l was 14 that if l passed my exams at school, he would pay for me to go to Egypt for a trip down the Nile. However because l didn’t succeed at hitting the right result in mathematics [a poor subject for me anyway], he decided that excellent results in English Literature and Language wasn’t good enough as a pass. [Always has been a bone of contention as my Sister flunked everything and was still sent on a two week all expenses paid skiing holiday.]
When l was 17 l was a venture scout, and l decided that one summer that myself and a fellow venture scout would do a grand old hiking tour of the UK, and we did actually do this. Once more l was actually forbidden to do this, but l sort of woke up one day and said ‘fuck it!’, l am going to do it.
I told my parents that l was going to do this, for me, for my own discovery of life … l needed time out from my parents and if they didn’t like it, well then come the summer term they were going to have to lock me up in my bedroom or stop nancying about and just let me be the person l was.
Perhaps it was the determination in my eyes or the steely voice l delivered this information with, but neither of them chose to cross swords with me. I was remarkably pleased with myself on that day, l had made a bold decision to start discovering and sampling for myself.
So from 17 – 30 l travelled, and then very little after that. One of the other reasons for a lack of travel, was that my now ex wife didn’t like being seen with me after a few years of marriage and also because we had dogs, and like most responsible dog owners doing so can prevent you from going away to exotic locations.
This small series will look at some of the adventures l had and yes, you guessed it, the capers and scrapes l DID manage to land myself in, but hey, that’s life isn’t it?
One big learning curve!