Published: August 3rd 2012December 15th 1977
No travel plans at the moment, so let's start from the beginning.
How did my passion for travelling start? My first memories of travel stories? Spending evenings with my god parents showing us slides of their travels and then showing us all the treasures they bought along the way. How I drooled and wished that one day I would be fortunate to do the same. Slides of exotic places that they had been to, being projected on walls. This was in the days when it was more common practice and probably more economical to show slides rather than photographs. With almost life size images, at least to my young eyes, looking so enticing and interesting, I started dreaming of going on my own travels. I still had a long way to go though, as I had most of my school career ahead of me! Then I took baby steps in travelling. We were living in Cape Town and I was fortunate to visit my sister who was living in Port Elizabeth for some of my school holidays. It was just over 700km between the two cities, and i travelled by train. The excitement of boarding the train and walking to your compartment, choosing a bunk to sleep on. There were pictures on the walls of scenery and wild animals in South Africa, which looked so exotic, because living at the coast, you didn't see much of wild animals - they were further inland. Then for dinner you went to the dining saloon, where you were served by uniformed waiters with heavy silver cutlery. While you were having dinner, your bunk bend was made with crisp clean linen. I was always fascinated by the little basin where you could wash as you unfolded it from the wall. After your ablutions you folded it back into place. Almost instantly I fell asleep to the rhythmic sounds of the wheels turning on the rails. It was a start to my travelling and it was a great time to catch up with my sister and be spoilt by her. Then, in the last year of being at school, my parents surprised me - they were going on a trip to the UK and Europe! Here's the catch: I couldn't go with, because I was writing exams for my final year. How disappointed I was. But I didn't begrudge them their travels and spent hours looking at their photos and sat listening to all their stories when they came back, and dreamed even more of being able to travel further into the unknown. But would my dreams ever come true?