“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Althsuler
This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of the start of my big overseas backpacking adventure.
On September 9th 1986, at a very tender age, I set off alone into the wild blue yonder.
I had lots of time, and not a great deal of money, to travel the world and experience what I could.
I said goodbye to Mum and Dad and did what many young Australians did in the 1980s – put on a backpack and travelled to the other side of the world with a vague plan to see Europe.
I had purchased a return ticket (which I eventually extended by a month),
I had one friend in England
and not a clue about what to expect on my travels.
I marvelled at seeing Mother England,
where the east coast beaches had no sand, just rocks!
Then popped across to the Emerald Isle, which was great craic…
Then I launched myself across the English Channel, alone, and was less than impressed with Paris, or more accurately, with the way I couldn’t communicate with the Parisians.
I stopped off in Nice and Monte Carlo (where I met fellow Australian travellers) and then continued on eastwards to Italy.
The journey only got better from there because…
…Italy was gorgeous,
Greece was marvellous,
and Turkey was sensational.
But the months passed, the northern winter approached and I was getting colder, more homesick and very low on money.
So I headed westward through the same countries and returned to the United Kingdom to travel a bit more (with my fiance who’d flown over to spend Christmas with me) before going home to Sydney, Australia.
Over the years I have been lucky enough to return to all of those countries, apart from Ireland, but I do plan on returning to them as many more times as I can, as well as all the other countries on my long list.
30 years later I might have a bit more money but also less time to travel as much as I’d like.
I do wish I could travel back in time to relive that wonderful journey with the knowledge I now have, but until that becomes a possibility, I have my photos and more importantly, my memories of my grand adventure.
“Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.” – Oscar Wilde