Travel featured lots as I grew up. Dad was in the travel industry so doing deals with hotels and tourist boards in different parts of the world was normal. We got to explore. We had lots of adventures. Here I remember a few.
As usual, my most fond travel memories relate to food. Lefkas in Greece gave me amazing chocolate and vanilla Mr Whippy ice-creams, Montreal showered me with giant multi-coloured bubblegums, Boston introduced me to excessive amounts of donuts and pancakes (so did Egypt for that matter). I think I went to heaven right there when I discovered my first Dunkin Donut shop - we never had anything like that in the UK back then. I got delicious homemade lemon ice-lollies at the Acropolis (so needed in the sweltering 40 degree heat), and super posh orange juice and madeira cake in a swanky hotel on the island. Travel was great for a tummy like mine.
We went on a road-trip to Greece. It took us six weeks. I remember fast driving along hairpin roads through the Dolomites to catch a ferry (we missed it) and mum threatening to leave dad because he’d flirted with a French lady and taken a cigarette from her when she offered. He was supposed to have given up. I ate a lot of cans of tuna and fresh tomatoes on that trip. Mum had a whole crate of them in the boot. I remember my mum arguing (in English) with a watermelon salesman in Italy at the side of the road because she thought 1000 lire was too much (it wasn’t, it just sounds it, poor guy). I also remember reading a lot of Roald Dahl on that trip instead of looking out of the window at the beautiful scenery.
My parents put up with a lot from me really. Apparently I tripped over at the side of a famous cathedral in Milan and mum said we all had to go back to the car. I can’t believe dad agreed when all he wanted to do was go and see the front of it. Talk about being under the thumb. He would tease us about that in later years - the cathedral he nearly saw.
In a Danish hotel at breakfast I got overzealous with the muesli, enjoying the sensation of it cascading into my bowl spoon after spoon. Fast forward and I had a whole pile of it in there and then decided I didn’t actually like it. I can remember dad’s face now, scowling, shoveling muesli sawdust into his mouth so as not to appear rude or ungrateful for the host’s hospitality. I don’t think I’d ever seen him eat so dramatically before. I learnt my lesson. Don’t like muesli. Definitely don’t like upsetting dad.
I remember police turning up at our apartment in Cyprus because mum had taken photos of an army base and they’d tracked us down and confiscated the films. They thought we were spies ha! I also remember sleepwalking to the end of the bed, peeing, and then climbing back in and going back to sleep. The next day I asked, did that actually happen? Yes. It did.