Sadly I don’t have that British Airways napkin any more. Somewhere in the chaos of our busy lives it has been lost or thrown out, which is a shame as I feel a bit sentimental about it now. I can’t remember all of the places that I first listed, thinking naively that a whole year would be enough to see pretty much everywhere we’d ever talked about visiting. It turns out that the world is a bit bigger than my imagination first envisaged and a year, well, that’s a whole lot shorter. The website bootsnall.com helps would-be travellers make realistic round the world travel plans, whatever their timescale and (theoretically, at least) whatever the budget. Having thought through your “why” (something that I’ll have to save for a later post), bootsnall suggest that you try to identify your “must sees” – those places that are key to your travel experience. I suspect my original list contained must sees on 5 continents and involved a lot of back tracking so that we were always in each place at the most beautiful time. It didn’t take long to realise that such a relentless pace of travel was never going to bring us the relaxed and enjoyable family bonding experience that I’d been romanticizing.
Anyway, the must sees, as of today, include:
1) Boston in the fall. This one is an absolute priority for me. Nick has been to New England before with work but it will be a first for me and the boys. They are all excited about seeing the home of the New England Patriots and I can’t wait to see the colours; I’m imagining something close to the glider scenes from the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair!
2) The Canadian. Whimsical notions of an Orient Express style trip across the continent enjoying leisurely dinners, whilst the children behave impeccably as they delight at the sight of the Canadian wildlife….Or, more realistically, a four day train trip, squeezed into the cheapest available seats where the calls of “are we nearly there yet?” are only punctuated with “I don’t care if there is another moose”…
3) New Zealand in the Summer. The idea is a camper van taking about 6 weeks to drive across both islands.
4) Japan for cherry blossom. Nick and I lived in Osaka for almost two and a half years, a decade ago. John was born there and we have since been back with both John and Teddy but neither remember the trip. We are really excited to see the country we enjoyed so much all over again through the eyes of our children. Living abroad undoubtedly changed the way we think about things and what we want to do with our lives; including introducing our children to the benefits of travel and we hope that the boys will experience the same joy we did when they discover more about Japanese life and culture.
5) Borneo for the Orangutans. This one is a bucket list item; something I’ve wanted to do since the first time Nick and I visited Gerald Durrell’s zoo on Jersey over twenty years ago. Sadly there may not be many more generations who have the opportunity to see these majestic men of the forest and educating our boys in the importance of conservation is justification enough for us to go.
So there we have it – our big 5, as it were. Within each stage of the trip there are more lists and before we can set off there is a to-do list which is so long I’m actually frightened to write it down. Over the next few months the big priorities include sorting and reducing all the junk in our house, further investigating accommodation options for the first leg of the trip and trying to decide if we’ll opt for a “round the world” flight ticket or whether it will make more sense to buy individual flights…
Lots to do!