"Be Bold" iaint's Profile
My first real travel experience was age 13, going all the way from Edinburgh to Metz (France) by rail. It was a school exchange trip. Looking back, we probably spent more time on the train than we did in Metz.
At 15, it was a school trip to Moscow & Leningrad via Riga. Cruise ship to Riga, Aeroflot to Moscow, train to Leningrad, then ship home. Can you imagine 1960s Aeroflot for your first flying experience? This was summer of 1968, and all we heard on Soviet radio (no TV back then) was non stop ranting about Czechoslavakia. Only when we got home did we learn what was really going on...
My 20s were in the 70s. A year playing rugby in Toulouse provided trips all round SW France (Castelsarrasin, Carcassonne, Foix, St Gaudens, Cahors, Mazamet etc), and I added a couple to Barcelona and Marrakesh.
That was followed by several summers working on Long Island (Westhampton Beach), but not much chance to travel beyond that. Upstate once (Rochester), Manhattan of course, a few trips to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania (Rolling Rock when no-one else had heard of it) and into Connecticut once to play rugby (Fairfield, I think - memory is a little hazy as a result of the post match activities).
I had a a few trips to Greek islands (Crete + Karpathos), and to La Gomera (no, its not a pub, its a little undeveloped island near grotesque Tenerife).
More adventurous were the jaunts to Singapore and Hong Kong to visit friends, with side trips to Macao, Vietnam and Thailand.
I had many trips to South East Asia to visit in laws in the 90s. Then the occasional side trip to visit friends in the region, curtailed when the next generation of world travellers appeared on the scene.
I was lucky (I think) to have lots of business travel - all round Europe on various projects. Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, Bratislava, Sofia, Warsaw, St Petersburg...endless list. I didn't miss out many western European countries either. A highlight was Berlin just as the wall came down, but still in 2 countries.
I even had a nostalgic trip to US, taking in NYC, the Lobster Inn at Shinnecock, & Washington DC.
Instead of the millennium bug I got a divorce, so no more jumping into the South China Sea in January. Not many business trips either, thanks to a career move.
Instead, something child friendly and nearer home. Eurodisney, then the Florida version. Crete a couple of times, plus Cascais & Lisbon.
Then we had Berlin, Geneva, Lausanne, Stockholm for weekend breaks and ice hockey games...
Oh, and the Czech Rep for ice hockey (no...Znojmo, not Prague) and Istanbul for culture.
I still have plenty places on that wish list - maybe Quebec, Peru, Iceland, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Mali....
Ironically, the Teenager went on a 4 week expedition to Peru in 2010, so he saw Peru before me! Up to 4,750m in the Andes, then down into the rainforest of the Amazon basin. Jealous...me?
I'm trying to go back to a few places I've been on business, but didn't see much of, such as Belfast and Dublin recently. Shetland & Lewis are also on that list. Recently I've had the urge to go back to Vilnius...
My son played ice hockey when he was at high school, which took us all round Scotland each winter, and also took us to the Czech Republic, Ireland and England.
If was a long trip we'd try to make it an overnight stay and see a bit of the destination as well as just the ice rink. The last big trip was to Newcastle in August 08, for a pre-season tournament.
I've adopted horse racing as my summer sport - probably because its fast like ice hockey, but it's the antithesis because you're mostly outside in the fresh air and sunshine!
There are only 5 courses in Scotland so travel is required. I've managed trips to Royal Ascot (near London), Haydock Park (near Manchester) and York in England.
Further afield I've been to Limerick & Laytown, but want to go back to Ireland for a big meeting at a big course like The Curragh.
In France - so far just Deauville (in Normandie) and Chantilly (in Picardie).
I have at last fixed up a week in Toulouse - March. I'll be in an apartment, and will take in a rugby game at Carcassonne - where I played my first league game in France.
Prague is likely to be a destination too. I have a trip to England booked for February - Birmingham & Sheffield to see my son play.
The summer seems like a long way off, but plans should be made now.
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- iain taylor
- Kirkcaldy, United Kingdom
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