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I don't travel around much - nowhere near as far or often as I'd like. Then again, this is probably true for most people, unless they're in a profession that allows or demands such distances. Still, it's important for all of us to take stock of where we've been and what we've done, travel-wise, over the years - if only to allay the vague urges we often feel to escape our daily lives.
Travel broadens the mind, as they say. And it certainly gives people something to talk and write about - whether telling about newfound destinations of swapping stories with residents and fellow travellers to these places. With this in mind, here then is a list of the travels - minor and major - that I've made over the years.
HOLIDAYS AND DAYTRIPS
- 1960-1978: Up to the time I left school, there was mainly lots of travelling around Sydney - as fars as Gosford (north), Katoomba (west) and Wollongong (south). In 1971(?), the family also went down to Bateman's Bay for a week. With school excursions, I travelled down to Nowra and the South Coast, as well as to Thredbo and the snowfields of Perisher Valley.
- 1979 - from Albury, NSW: In 1979, I was transferred down to Albury - on the New South Wales/Victoria border. After buying a car down there, I used to take numerous - south into Victoria, west into the Riverina district and east towards the Australia Capital Territory.
- 1981?- Nelsons Bay & Port Stephens, NSW: I went on two extended car trips with my brother Johan. The first was to the Nelsons Bay/Port Stephens area, north of Newcastle.
- 1982 - Sydney to Perth and back: Johan and my mother were already staying with a friend of mum's in Perth, when I flew over there. I stayed around a week, then we came back to Sydney by coach - across the Desert and Nullabor Plain, then spending a days in Adelaide, going down to Malbourne, then back to Sydney.
- 1984 - Bali, Indonesia: I made the decision to travel to Bali in 1984 - then my parents decided to join me. We booked accommodation in the Hotel Tjampuhan - high in the hills of Ubud. Tjampuhan was a real oasis - formerly an artists' colony, it had no electricity but was surrounded by lush vegetation and had a river nearby. From there we took many daytrips around the island.
- 1985? - To Surfers Paradise, Qld: I drove with Johan to Surfers Paradise - stopping at Port Macquarie and Byron Bay along the way. We spend a night or two in a motel when we arrived, but overall I wasn't too impressed with the place.
- 1991 - Japan: Both my brothers were living in Japan when I went over in 1991. I spent my first night there in a ryokan (inn) and most of the rest of the time with the brothers. As my brothers were both working at the time, I ended up travelling a lot on my own - which wasn't easy! I also travelled alone (by bullet train) to Kyoto (the ancient capital of Japan) and Nara for 3/4 days - this was, by far, the most enjoyable time of the trip.
- 1994 - USA & Canada: I had decided to spend two weeks with my uncle in New York/Jersey City, when he suggested that my parents come along too. We flew in via Alaska (and a stopover in Japan) and got to see much of New York City (thanks to my uncle), when I wasn't going on my own - Times Square, the Rockefeller Centre, Trump Tower, World Trade Centre, Central Park, etc. We also travelled into New Your State (thanks to my aunt). I had booked a separate coach tour (by myself) - in which I went to Buffalo, then to Canada and the Niagara Falls, then on to Watkins Glen, Cornish, through Amish country, to Washington DC, Philadelphia and back to New York City. From there I travelled alternately with my parents and friends that I'd met on the tour.
- 2000 - USA & Mexico: I spent around 3 weeks in the USA in September/October 2000 - flying first to San Francisco, then catching another plane to Los Angeles. From there I went on a beach/city tour of Malibu, Santa Monica and Venice Beach. The next day I started a 9-day coach tour - which included San Diego, Tijuana Mexico, Phoenix Arizona, the Sonora Desert, Montezuma's Castle, Sedona, the Grand Canyon (which I also took a helicopter flight over), the Painted Desert, Monument Valley, Lake Powell/Page, Bryce Canyon Utah, Zion National Park, Las Vegas Nevada, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley, Yosemite National Park and finished up with a city tour (and ferry ride) around San Francisco. From there, I spent a week in New York, where I stayed with my Uncle (in Jersey City, NJ - while taking day trips into New York City, including a ferry ride around Manhattan) then with my Aunt (in upstate New York). After that, I flew back to San Francisco for two days before heading home.
- Europe & England: This is one of the "one day I'll go there" type of journeys. I had almost booked a tour there in 1998 or 1999, after reading up on the various holidays on offer - a 14 - 28 days coach tour from London, taking in the major capitals including some of the Eastern states. But that fell through - partly because it relied on me making the acquaintance of (and staying with) my Uncle Eric's sister outside London. It was too much to organise too quickly. With an expensive tour of the USA finished in October 2000, I don't see an equally expensive one to Europe being taken within the next 1-2 years. Maybe later - as I particularly want to see Holland and Amsterdam.
- (more of) Asia: My brothers have both been to Korea and Thailand, and I am somewhat keen to follow in their wake. But I also have family in Sri Lanka to see - and staying with relatives can do a lot to offset the cost of a trip. However, the health risks of travelling (not only to Sri Lanka, but in much of Asia generally) have to be added to the monetary cost.
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