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By Ashleylister @ashleylister

Travel is exciting. The processes we go through when planning, packing and setting off on a journey is all part of the ritual. How many outfits to take, what time to set off for a timeous arrival at check in. How many books to take - all part of the preparation for an adventure. My first couple of trips as a youngster were punctuated by travel sickness. Travelling through Wales on the backseat of a coach in the early sixties proved too much for my stomach. Similarly, my first flight on a BAC111 to Jersey from the then Speke airport also set me off. I am relieved to say that I improved with time.

My longest flight came in 2000 when I took my two children on a visit to my cousin in South Africa. Fourteen hours - far too long really but we all coped wee. Unfortunately we had a four hour stop-over at Paris Charles De Gaulle, with a courtesy meal that affected my son. On arrival he had food poisoning from some less than fresh crevettes and spent three day very sick until we purchased some suppositories that sorted him out. 

The South African adventure was fantastic. We spent three days at the Pilanesberg game reserve, having close encounters with hippos, giraffes and twin cheetah cubs. We barbequed, swam in the Indian Ocean at Umhlanga near Durban and met real Zulu tribesmen and women who performed a dance in full costume on the lawn in front of our accommodation there. 

It was the first of many adventures with the kids. Two years later we headed off to Egypt. The Valley of the Kings, Temple of Luxor, Temple of Karnak,  Temple of Philae and the Aswan Dam. I liked to educate them through travel. They longed for a simple beach holiday but I am not that kind of Mum. 

The next trip was to Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast with visits to Pompeii and Positano. I love Italy. My parents took me to Venice where I returned on honeymoon. We went to the Lido and a gondolier lifted me on his back and ran with me across St Mark's Square. My new husband was flabbergasted and asked. "Where do you know him from?" Silly man - but it was so exciting!

My more recent trips have been without the kids in the company of the man in my life. We have been to may of the Greek Islands in the last decade. We began in Kefalonia, then Crete, my favorite. As you can already tell, I am a big history buff. The Homer poem about the island of Crete caught my imagination in grammar school and was always a future destination. I was not disappointed - the museum at Heraklion was incredible.  The ancient city of Knossos, although rebuilt in simulation, didn't disappoint. 

I loved the beauty of the harbor in Kos and the ruins in Rhodes. Greece is so lovely. The weather is usually hot but not too humid, the food is lovely and there is so much to see. No doubt we will return - Covid put the blockers on most foreign travel but I still have long list of destinations to tick off. 


It’s a cliché I hear,
‘travel broadens the mind’
but I’m happy to know
that our travels abroad
enhanced our education.
The journey often long,
patience tested,
rewarded on arrival
at our far-flung destination.

What we have experienced.
the things we have learned,
the grandeur, the majesty
of ancient civilisation,
the diversity of people,
the wonders of creation.
Looking outwards
to understand
the global situation.
To those who do not travel
who stay insular at home
I recommend a journey
to Paris or to Rome.
just to breathe another’s air
walk in another’s shoes,
A single step begins
a journey to your own imagination.
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