I’ve spent a great deal of my long life, travelling between all the Continents and to most Countries of the World. Sometimes staying a mere couple of days after a fourteen hour flight, before getting back on the plane for the return trip. My record transit; 54 days at sea, non-stop between the Queensland coast and the Red Sea. The exotic world of the travel writer.
I remember a TV sketch from the late seventies, it might have been Not the Nine O’clock News or perhaps Monty Pythons Flying Circus, a coach trip with the passengers saying “It could be Rome or perhaps Athens” one looked at his watch and said “No its Thursday, it must be Naples”. I could have been that man!
Is it any wonder that in my dotage I no longer can get too excited by holiday planning? These days my wife and I look forward to an annual Mediterranean sunshine break, followed by separate breaks when she goes to somewhere like the Alps with her sister, while I go sea fishing. I then go off Ocean Racing whenever I get invited.
If I can fit in a trip to the mountains I am happy. I can no longer complete the difficult rock climbs of my youth but enjoy being with mountain men and indeed women, who were very much a rarity back in the day. I can still talk the talk and indeed walk the walk.
With more time on my hands I have also fallen into another ritual from my youth. I have always loved the great outdoors and in particular the English countryside. A couple of years ago, having camped since I was a teenager, I decided to buy a new tent and the necessary equipment. A visit to the NEC for the Camping Exhibition convinced me that I was too old to fit into a one man tent and I finished up buying a large six man job more suitable for a chap of my build and age.
A comfortable airbed with a duck down sleeping bag teamed with other luxury kit and I was set for a great holiday. Freedom; such a nice change from “its Thursday so it must be Naples”.
I now try to fit in a camping break in May providing the sun is shining and another in September as soon as the ‘ankle biters’ are back to school. So you can guess my plans for early next month. I’m off to get myself a dose of the simple life. I must be getting old!