Slice of Life Story- The Fortunate Traveler
|Lakes District, England|
I recently returned from a month of travel to
England, Scotland, Italy
I say this not to gloat, but rather to share the fact that I consider myself
most fortunate to be able to travel, to experience places and cultures. I am
aware of the opportunity these experiences have to allow me to gradually chip
away at my ignorance. Travel provides great insight if one is open to the
learning such adventures present. Thailand
Each time I travel beyond the shores of my country, I take on the role of an ambassador, whether I want that mantle or not. As travelers we become living, breathing advertisements and this imposes a responsibility to act with sensitivity in respect to those whose country we visit.
Each time I travel, I think of my parents. My Mum only ventured outside her home state, once in her entire life, as far as I’m aware. She travelled to
capital, with her mother- on a bus –to visit her aunt. Not exactly an exotic
adventure. My Dad, returned from the war and never left his home state for the
rest of his life. His initial travel experiences no doubt, colouring his
perceptions regarding returning to those far away places. Canberra, Australia
As a writer, I fully appreciate the value travel adds to my life experiences. Great fodder! Stories grow from meeting people, from visiting places and sharing adventures.
Literary influences came to the fore when travelling in
magnificent Lakes District. Little wonder the England Lake
poet’s found this area inspirational. Wordsworth and Southey lived in the area.
, the presence of famous writers
called yet again when we pulled over to check our actual location and
discovered we were parked directly in front of Robert Louis Stevenson’s former
house. His ‘ Edinburgh Treasure Island’ was my first ‘thick’
book as a child.
was Stevenson’s birthplace. Edinburgh
In the centre of
Edinburgh I came across the biggest
monument to a writer anywhere in the world, the . It is dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, considered one of ’s
greatest writers. It features a statue of Scott at its centre and is decorated
in smaller statues of characters from his novels. -So impressive to
think that a literary figure holds such pride of place. Scotland
At one point of our journey we drove to Seaham on the
coast in England in search
of the unique seaglass that is found along the shoreline of this North Sea town. We not only found the much sought after
glass treasures, we also came across the town’s link with the poet Lord Byron.
Byron was married in Seaham and although the marriage was short lived, the town
has maximized its brief link to the famous writer with walks and lane-ways named
in his honour as well as a shopping mall. I wonder what Byron would have made
of such commercial crassness?
So my travels have energized the writer within. I am stoked with inspiration and ideas, stories and a host of new experiences. Given time, these memories will hopefully find their way into my writing. Why I even had an amazing ‘first experience’ while away. -I actually slipped on a banana skin when walking along the Kensington High Street in
. All my life I
have received warnings regarding the dangers of banana skins. Now, I understand
why. What an ahha moment that turned out to be.
Without the opportunity to travel that revealing moment may never have
taken place. A brief, yet unforgettable moment. Dear reader, please be assured
this was not the highlight of my trip, merely an aside I wanted to share. London
|The Sir Walter Scott memorial ,Edinburgh|