This is about the journey of the rest of my life.
But first, a little bit about my former life.
I was born in 1956 to a fighter jet flying father, and a fashion model mother.
We traveled and lived all over the UK, spent three years in Germany and two in Singapore. We had summer holidays to the South of France, and also spent time on Pangkor Island and Pulau Tioman; the first on the West coast of Malaya, and the other on the East.
Having left school at eighteen, I spent the next four years at university in London. What a great time I had. After two years of study, I was elected onto the Students Union as the Sabbatical Social Secretary. This was a paid position for one year. I was in charge of booking bands, discos, the President’s Ball, film club and folk club. I was taken out by various record company executives, given complimentary tickets to see up and coming groups, sent albums and other merchandise; all so I would book this band, or that group. It was also during this time that I was to meet my future husband.
When I finished university I joined my father in the States. We spent a month in Florida having a terrific time. Driving to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break in his black Pontiac Firebird, with the big gold eagle on the hood. Spending days at Disney World, Busch Gardens and Seaworld. We then drove for three days, via New Orleans with the vibrant Bourbon Street, onto Wichita Falls, and then to the other side of the Rockies, staying in Durango for another month. We partied, skiied, flew and partied some more. Skiing mostly at Purgatory, but also Telluride. We journeyed to Silverton on the amazing locomotive, we drove to Mesa Verde. We flew over the Hoover Dam, and landed at the Grand Canyon. We flew to Palm Springs for another party. Our next destination was the West coast of California; Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Los Angeles, Monterrey, Nepenthe, Carmel, San Diego and San Francisco. What an awesome three months I had.
On returning to the UK, I went back to university to complete a Post Graduate teaching certificate. I thought if I wanted to keep traveling, I better find a job with decent holidays! I became a teacher of mathematics.
After a year of teaching I got married; my husband in Naval uniform, myself in a white lace gown I had made, exiting the church beneath an arch of swords held aloft. The crowds were huge, and we also managed to stop the traffic!
Following the birth of our two sons, we were lucky enough to be posted to Australia, where my husband would spend two years with their Navy. On the flight out we stopped off in Hong Kong for a week. The colours, smells, and sounds were all so intense; a cacophony of cultures, interacting together on a small, lively island that never appeared to sleep.
Our new home was located just South East of Melbourne. What a marvellous opportunity, and a wonderful adventure we were about to embark upon. We traveled during every school holiday; to Canberra, Sydney, Magnetic Island, the Great Barrier Reef. We panned for gold at Bendigo, fed kangaroos on the beach, walked through the rainforest, drove along the Great Ocean Road, watched surfers at Bells Beach, saw AUSCAR/NASCAR races at the Thunderdome, skiied the Australian Alps at Mount Baw Baw and gazed in awe at the Fairey Penguins on Phillip Island.
Coming home to England, we had a stopover in Singapore for a little over a week. And so another round of sightseeing began. The zoo, Botanical Gardens, Raffles, Sentosa Island, Tiger Balm Gardens, Jumbo floating restaurant, Bougis Street and the ladyboys, and a Singapore Harbour boat trip. We certainly do pack in as much as we can!
And so back home to Cornwall, where I returned to teaching, but still kept the travel bug alive! We started to spend our summer vacations with my father, onboard his yacht; for three, four or five weeks, we became boat gypsies.
Our first trip was to the beautiful island of Bermuda, where we sailed, swam, snorkelled and went sightseeing.
The following year we had the first of two visits to Tobago. The most beautiful bays and coves, with abundant sealife, including turtles, manta rays, dolphins, angel and parrot fish, were breathtaking beyond belief.
Another island trip was to the BVI’s; and here we had the most fantastic sailing. To secluded beach bars; perfect white, sandy bays; catching tuna; marvelling at the sunsets; rum punches and painkillers (rum, coconut cream, nutmeg, plus maraschino cherry, and yes, maybe a little umbrella!)
Having sailed in the islands, the rest of our trips to the US took us to South Carolina, a state full of Southern charm, beautiful beaches, fantastic shopping, and wonderful friends. From here we would drive all the way down to Florida and back, taking in the theme parks of Orlando, the beaches on the Space Coast, to the magical Keys.
We now travel there every summer, without fail.
Four Christmas vacations have been spent in Orlando, including one where we saw in the new millennium sitting on Cocoa Beach at five in the morning; a truly amazing experience. We were also lucky enough to have two more vacations at this time of the year, but staying on my father’s yacht in Marathon, in the Keys. Party time in Key West is such fun!