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Vee and KJ’s Travel Diary

Friday, 27 Oct 2006

Location: Rangiora, New Zealand

MapKJ The Trip for Me

Highlights, not so highlights, learning (practical and metaphysical) most likely to return to, the whole thing. These are the things I’ve considered. I may mix them up a bit.

Probably the learning from the whole thing was how truly resting and recharging it can be to have a lengthy time away from work and the pressures that go with it. This is the longest holiday I’ve had since leaving school. A week or two here and there just doesn’t leave the same sense of being refreshed and ready for the fray again.

Highlights: Emotional - Connecting with family and special friends. I’ve got to say that for my first major trip the most important thing wasn’t the places we went but the people we spent time with. Connecting with my Aunt Jean and her family alongside of reconnecting with my brother and his wife, allied to spending more time with friends Tony and Sarah and their beautiful daughter Evelyne, add meeting Tony’s wonderful family too and you’ve got a complete ‘whanau’ experience. Jean’s knowledge of our family and local history of the North East was amazing. Spending time with her and seeing her glow with the pride of having my Dad as a brother, touched me in more ways than I can probably recognise fully at present. It was like instant acceptance by all of that family along with an assured sense of belonging.

Sitting on the wall of our old home in Headington (Oxford) and walking into the garden where Mal and I played as kids. Remembering when my sister Karen was born in the front bedroom, smelling next door’s apples without the actual scent actually being in my nostrils. Meeting people like Jefferson on a beach and talking of real things almost immediately. Meeting everyone (but the one assistant manager in the clothes shop at Aberafan ) in Wales.

Having to leave all of these people and things.

Highlights: Places and events

White Hart Lane, being there, despite the jerks and the constant foul language (and the crap football ).

Wales. The opera at Wales. Actually ‘taking a trip up to Abergaveny’.

Headington. Heading back to Headington. Remembering where things are or were.

Actually standing on Cheltenham Racecourse looking down the straight – thanks Dick Francis.

Durham, Chester Le Street, Workington, Keswick and all the treasures and memories that went with it. (Did I mention Wales?)

Portugal, The Algarve, the beach, the pool, the shops, the town, the disappearing car and the challenge of finding it. The Portugese people.

Singapore, especially on the return. The river trip, Sentosa Island, shopping.

Spending it all together with Vanetta and having an extra special night out for our 10th anniversary (including the challenge of the pushy chef) truth is I really enjoy dealing with people who try to shag me about. But reiterating, spending it with Vee and recognising how important it is to share experiences in this way.

Not so highlights:
Travelling for 10 hours plus in a plane.

The obvious acceptance of F and C as a regular part of lamguage in many parts of England.

Recognising that despite my heritage how little of me is actually English.

The crappy room next to the lift in The Peninsula-Excelsior at Singapore.

Warming to special connections and then having to leave.

$3 to the pound.

Coming back to so much chaos.

Places I must go back to:

Wales, Oxford, the North East, and of course Portugal and the Algarve.

It would also be nice to do a trip just to Singapore for a fortnight some time, there’s just so much to see and experience.

Home, the horses, the peace, and the appreciation of what home really is.