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Silver Travel Book Club - Book of the Month - July 2019

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DRSask wrote:

DRSask
13:44 30-Jul-19
11

I’ve come to realize that what people consider to be daring is relative to their own experience. I was 22 when I took my first solo holiday. Part of the time I was visiting friends but part of the time I was on my own in a rental suite in downtown Vancouver, Canada. One of the friends I was visiting was a few years older than me and had never been anywhere on her own. She found it daring that I would even think of going anywhere on my own, regardless of the destination. Earlier in the year I had flown solo to England to visit family and on to Germany to visit another friend. She couldn’t even imagine traveling solo to go and visit people she knew, never mind being on her own after arriving. I remember thinking at the time that she had lived a very sheltered life. She went from her parents’ home to living with her boyfriend and didn’t have the self-confidence to look after herself. I was glad that my parents raised me to be independent and encouraged me to travel. I have never looked back.
Another friend was always wary of visiting the UK (we live in Canada) because she was afraid of getting caught up in a terrorist attack after all the IRA bombings and threats in the 80s. As it turned out we ended up flying through London in 2000 on our way to and from Malta with another friend and she decided it was ridiculous that she had never visited London and all she was seeing was the airport. As a result, she and I arrived in London in early September 2001 for a two week visit. Yes, just before 9/11 happened. All the papers in London had headlines saying “We’re next” and armed police were everywhere. I pointed out that they were there before but hidden and they were keeping us safe. It didn’t help her level of nervousness even after we left London and headed north for the rest of our trip.
I’m not yet 60 but no matter my age, as long as I’m able, I’ll keep traveling whether people raise their eyebrows or not.

Definitely the right attitude, @DRSask

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain

I’ve come to realize that what people consider to be daring is relative to their own experience. I was 22 when I took my first solo holiday. Part of the time I was visiting friends but part of the time I was on my own in a rental suite in downtown Vancouver, Canada. One of the friends I was visiting was a few years older than me and had never been anywhere on her own. She found it daring that I would even think of going anywhere on my own, regardless of the destination. Earlier in the year I had flown solo to England to visit family and on to Germany to visit another friend. She couldn’t even imagine traveling solo to go and visit people she knew, never mind being on her own after arriving. I remember thinking at the time that she had lived a very sheltered life. She went from her parents’ home to living with her boyfriend and didn’t have the self-confidence to look after herself. I was glad that my parents raised me to be independent and encouraged me to travel. I have never looked back.
Another friend was always wary of visiting the UK (we live in Canada) because she was afraid of getting caught up in a terrorist attack after all the IRA bombings and threats in the 80s. As it turned out we ended up flying through London in 2000 on our way to and from Malta with another friend and she decided it was ridiculous that she had never visited London and all she was seeing was the airport. As a result, she and I arrived in London in early September 2001 for a two week visit. Yes, just before 9/11 happened. All the papers in London had headlines saying “We’re next” and armed police were everywhere. I pointed out that they were there before but hidden and they were keeping us safe. It didn’t help her level of nervousness even after we left London and headed north for the rest of our trip.
I’m not yet 60 but no matter my age, as long as I’m able, I’ll keep traveling whether people raise their eyebrows or not.

I always buy my books at the destination, from the local charity shops, to add to my collection of dictionaries and information books.

Not exactly daring, but definitely a bit risky; my husband and I set off on a cheap flight to Athens intending to do some island hopping. After a bus transfer from the airport to the city centre we booked one way tickets on a hydrofoil to Sifnos, then spent a few hours carrying our luggage round some of the tourist spots of Athens before taking the metro to Piraeus. Sitting in a cafe on the dockside a local man said to my husband `you are a doctor?`, on hearing that he wasn’t a doctor the man said `you look like a doctor`, which has been a joke between us ever since. Arriving on Sifnos we booked into a taverna, intending to explore the island for a few days before moving on to Serifos and possibly further. However, I liked Sifnos so much that we didn’t go anywhere else. I sometimes regret that decision as although we’ve since been to many places in Greece we’ve not returned to The Cyclades – yet!

Mine is a trip to French Guyana to stay with a schoolfriend. We took a weekend trip up the Amazon, shot the rapids, and then slept in a hammock in the forest – very creepy – howling monkeys making a terrible racket all night and lots of eyes and patter of feet all around – don’t think I slept a wink. We then ate whatever the 2 guys leading the little group managed to hunt – meat/fish/ fruit, etc. Quiet an experience.

London

Thanks everyone for the entertaining first posts on travelling boldly, to accompany the intrepid journeys made by the writers in this month’s Silver Travel Book Club choice ‘To Oldly Go’.

@Sararose – how brilliant that a £25 premium bond win allowed you to jump on a train to Austria. I’m guessing you’re not still in touch with the surly, mute boy? And I love how a duvet hanging from a window to air is a lasting memory.

Similarly, one of my own first travel experiences was aged 16, on a German exchange to Koblenz and immersed in German family life for a few weeks. After that, my other classmates went home and I had to find a train down to the south of France on my own, to meet up with my family. It sounds so tame now, but was quite an adventure at the time.

Respect @GBG to you and your husband for showing the younger generation your more mature mettle on the canyon walk in Jordan. Your pride is well deserved!

Keep those comments about bold – even reckless – travel experiences coming. And remember….one lucky winner will win a beautiful bath robe from Book Club sponsor Emerald Waterways this month, together with a copy of ‘To Oldly Go’.

you wrote:

ut…. age is just a number……

It may be in the mind, @you – but the body takes some convincing!

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain

But…. age is just a number……

At 66 and 67, my husband and I were definitely the oldest people on the On the Go trip to Jordan. The nearest in age were at least 10 years younger and many were in their 20’s and 30’s. We were determined to try everything and when it came to the canyon walk at Wadi Majib it was no exception. The five young Australians decided it was not for them and the rest of the group, along with us, donned their buoyancy aids and started the walk against the shallow water in the canyon. I researches the walk before I went and knew it was challenging but was determined to get as far as possible. With the help of ropes my husband and I scaled the first waterfall but a few others dropped out at this stage. The second waterfall was a lot more challenging and all the ladies bar myself and a 30 year old gave up at this stage. The water was deep and I attempted the climb but sadly did not quite manage it. My husband continued with the men and the one remaining lady and made it to the last waterfall before returning to meet up with me and the others on the trip back down the canyon. It was lovely to drift back down in the flow of the river. We were both very proud of our achievements.

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