Travel Memories from Amanda [Not A Ballerina]

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“What is your most memorable childhood travel memory?” That’s what I’ve asked over 50 travel bloggers and other travel addicts. These are their personal stories and photos.

Today, I interview Amanda from Not a Ballerina!


Hi Amanda, do you remember the first time you went travelling?

When I was nine years old, my parents took my sister and I out of school for six months and drove us around Europe in a campervan. This was my first time on a plane (and it’s a long trip, from Australia to Europe!) and so also my first time in a foreign country – and I loved every minute of it.


It certainly got me excited about long-term travel and it’s no wonder I’ve done a lot more of it since then. I loved staying in different caravan parks across Europe – we met interesting people, learnt lots of new words in different languages, and saw all kinds of stuff we’d never dreamt existed.


Did your parents travel much before you were born?

My parents definitely liked to travel, but were prohibited by the expense – remember, they lived in Perth, the most isolated city on the globe and that meant going anywhere was really pricey. One thing I never forgave them for, though, is going to New Zealand a couple of years before I was born – they loved it, but never took me back, and to this day, I still haven’t been! One day…


What was your favourite holiday destination as a child, a teenager and an adult?



I spent a lot of our holidays a couple of hours south of Perth in a town called Mandurah. These days, it’s really just an extension of the ever-growing city, but back then it was a little town with lots of bushland and we spent a lot of time in the water, either at the estuary or at the beach.



When I was a teenager, my parents took us on a driving trip around Australia during the long summer school holidays. Back then, in the eighties, it was still pretty expensive to fly from one side of Australia to the other – it was before budget airlines came along and made it a bit more affordable (it’s still not cheap!). I loved Queensland where the weather was warm and we could spend time in the swimming pools at caravan parks after an interesting day of exploration.



Now I’d have to say that picking a favourite holiday destination is pretty impossible. If I had lots of time and money, then this year I would probably choose to go back to Japan (I love it – food, people, sights, everything), spend some time in the snow somewhere (Scandinavia or Finland, I think) and also go somewhere totally new to me – perhaps somewhere in South America.


Can you tell me what your memory is with this image?

Travel Memories from Amanda [Not A Ballerina]


This picture shows my sister and I enjoying a ride in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen’s famous fun park. I was nine at the time and this was one of the first times ever that I’d visited any kind of theme park and I loved it.

Funnily enough, though, when I look at our pictures from Copenhagen of the time I most remember arguing with my parents about what souvenir I was allowed to buy! I wanted a red and white scarf (I think it had Copenhagen knitted into it) but they told me that back home in Western Australia I’d never need a scarf. They were right, of course, as parents often are.


Can you remember a specific travel item/gadget you used to take on a trip as a child?

I always took a diary on our trips as a child (I still do, although these days it’s often electronic). I’d collect brochure pictures, tickets, postcards and anything else I came across and stick it all in to my diary and write a few notes about what I’d seen. This was basically the only special item I travelled with, but I’m glad I did as I still have the diaries to browse through.


Did the way you travelled as a child changed much when you grew up?

The travelling style my parents used is basically the same way I still like to travel. Nothing luxurious, lots of budget accommodation, plenty of meeting the locals and interacting with fellow travellers.


To me it still seems the best way – if I don’t spend too much, I can travel further and for longer, and I get to know a destination better than if I stay at a five-star hotel or go on fancy tours. I don’t think this will ever really change!


Finally: What is your best tip for making a trip memorable?

I think what makes a trip the most memorable for me is the people I meet and the stories I tell them, so I always make a big effort to speak to all different kinds of people, even if there’s a language barrier to negotiate.

At heart I’m quite shy but I’ve realised over my years of travels how much there is to gain from getting to know people in other cultures and places.

Just recently I blogged about a Tunisian man I chatted to about going to grab a camel from the outback and it’s simple but fascinating incidents like these that are my best trip souvenirs.


If you want to read more of Amanda’s stories, be sure to visit her website: Not a Ballerina


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