Sunday, October 30, 2011


One of my new blog friends, Rocking Chair Reflections, has been doing a memory month during October. It has been fun to read some of her happenings from times before long ago.
I decided that maybe I would try to cover some memories, as they come to mind, during November. I am not aiming for one a day, just more like as they happen.

The other day Ben enquired as to how people use to travel to places long ago?
Now to start with we had to establish exactly what he meant by 'long ago'? As his justification could mean anything!
We weren't sure if he was referring to 30 years ago, 50 years ago or 100 years ago and seeing as the motor car is just entering into 100 years ago, who knows?
It was soon sorted that he meant between 50 and 100 years ago.
First he asked how people got from A to B at sea? Which we informed him was still by boat, just probably a little slower than nowadays.
Then he asked how people got to other towns when visiting someone?
This is where it got tricky, probably because I made it that way, but we told him people use to travel by horse and carriage, although, and this is where I should have just shut up and kept quiet, I told him that people didn't tend to live far apart from family like they do now, or more over, some people did but it was not the norm to have family members all over the country.

This threw him a little, as to him the norm is that people can live anywhere and it is not a problem, so to be told that people never use to leave the town they were born in and tended to stay there all their life was an odd concept, especialy as he now lives in Hamilton but was born 2 hours away in Auckland, and the fact he is still trying to understand that Mummy is from England and has not lived in New Zealand for ever.

This then got me thinking, I have had 39 address's in 41 years, the norm for me is to travel.
The norm for me is to have family all over the world and you see them occassionally (like every 5-10 yrs), you write letters, you send Christmas cards & letters, you remember their birthdays with a card. You move with the times and now catch up on Facebook or emails, you even host a blog so they can catch up with your life on their terms not when you feel like sending them an email.
You definitely don't catch up every Sunday for lunch at Grandma's house and run round the garden with the cousins.

There has been the odd time when this has bothered me, I think more on the level of 'did I miss out on something?', occassionally I do think about what life would have been like if we were a family to stay in one place but then I also remember all the stuff I have done in my life and realise that part of what makes me 'ME' is all the travel I have done.

Do I regret that my parents travelled us around the world? 95% No and about 5% Yes.

I mean come on, how many 15 year olds could get themselves from London, UK to Detroit, Ohio, USA on their own via 2 planes, delays in 3 airports and many other means of transport? And not be registered under "unaccompanied minors"!
To me that was like taking a bus downtown, in fact I probably would have struggled with getting downtown more that getting across countries.
I have lived in Kuwait, Jordan, France, America and England,
I have had visits to Cyprus, Crete, Rome, Canada, USA and many others.

I am an independant, stubborn person who isn't afraid to try things, if I want to do something then I will make it happen, it isn't my fault that other people sometimes don't get to do things for me because they just run at a slower speed than I do.
I often wonder how Steve puts up with my independant, controlling and leading ways, maybe he likes a dominating woman.
I do remember travelling with him over to Europe, I am not one to dawdle in airports, I get off the plane ready and there is no stopping me, can't do with waiting in lines for people to find passports etc when they knew dam well they needed them once leaving the plane. Poor Steve had no chance, he either got off the plane ready to go or he got left behind. Eventually it got to the point where he just gave me his passport and said "here you keep it, I will just keep up with you" we travelled really well with each other.

So out of all of this it will be really important to ensure my kids realise that everyone lives how they want to live and that years ago things were very different to how it is now.


Linds said...

You know, this is really fascinating. It got me thinking too, because my daughter was flying off all over the place before she was 16 alone, and in those days, there was no problem. Health and Safety here has gone crackers, and there is no way she would have been allowed to do this (NOT as an unaccompanied minor) now.
But we too are a nomadic family. Travel has always been something we have done, and then being married to a career nomad, that just reinforced the whole thing for my kids.
Diana, as you know, is in NZ. I suspect David may well be flying off too one of these days. Andrew, on the other hand, looks for stability, certainty, predictability - for now at least. None of them want long distance relationships.
And then I start thinking how the travel has shaped their decisions...
You see where memories take us??? Interesting stuff!

Alison said...

Great post....we are probably fairly nomadic too(though haven't made it as far as you-yet!)...and our daughter was just 'blaming' us a few weeks ago, because she has just gone into her 3rd year at Uni in Barcelona- and is bored living there!! She is ready for pastures new and to try something new...hopefully she'll finish this final year first!
Alison xx