New Norfolk, Australia
Earlier this year an opportunity presented itself to allow me to take a trip to the UK. The main reason for the trip would be to visit my only aunt, my late father’s sister. I’ve only met her once, about 20 years ago when she and my youngest cousin came to Australia. I’ve corresponded with her on and off via snail mail over the years, but have always wanted to visit her and to see where my father grew up.
I debated with myself endlessly over this.
If I was going to do this trip it would be a 2 week trip and would have to be without Slabs and Juniordwarf. Timing, logistics, Juniordwarf’s attitude to travel and money would have made it difficult.
I’d feel terrible for leaving them for longer than any of us have been apart before. I’d feel terrible about not taking them with me. And then if we were all going to go overseas, why would we only go for 2 weeks, why not make it a proper trip around all the places we wanted to see, and that wasn’t an option.
But I wanted to visit my aunt and meet my other cousins, and this was the best chance I’d ever had to do it.
I’d thought about a basic 2 week plan that would have given me some time in London, some time with my family and some time in a couple of other places I thought that, if I was going that far, I really should see.
Then I put it away.
Finally I decided I had to do this, and Lil Sis (who from hereon in will be known as LMW) said she’d like to come too. So after some more thought, much juggling with calendars and various negotiations with family members and work supervisors, it was decided. We were going to go.
Immediately the planning freak side of me kicked in and we started to firm up the arrangements.
There were dates to be set in stone, flights and hotels to be booked, sightseeing options to be investigated, day trips, trains, theatre tickets, museum opening hours, how on earth do you pronounce Gillingham, can we get to destination X and back in a day and see all the things we want to see, how much cash will we need, and oh my goodness how much is this going to cost.
London will be our base for the first week and then we head south for the second week. We made most of the big arrangements through a travel agent, the logic being if something goes horribly wrong, they’ll have to fix it. The rest we’ve been organising ourselves.
I’ve also been working out what to do about cameras, handbags, phones and travel journals. I could write a post on each of those things by themselves. Needless to say if I’d spend as much time in the garden as I have investigating these things, I’d be self sufficient by now.
For the travel journal, I completely indulged myself and bought a Midori Travelers Noteboook. It has fast become my favourite notebook, and I’ve spent a little bit of time* working out how I’m going to use it as (a) a planner before we go and, more importantly, (b) a travel journal on the trip.
Then there’s the small matter of figuring out how to combine the photos with the journal, and whether I stick everything in the journal as I go, or keep it all for a photo journal at the end, or or or or . . . .
Anyway, I probably should relax, see what happens and enjoy the trip. Only 3 weeks to go, but it still doesn’t seem quite real.
*Maybe a bit more than a little bit.