“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 Jamie from Great Big Scary World!
- Hi Jamie, do you remember the first time you went travelling?
- Did your parents travel much before you were born?
- What was your favourite holiday destination as a child, a teenager and an adult?
- Can you tell me what your memory is with this image?
- Can you remember a specific travel item/gadget you used to take on a trip as a child?
- Did the way you travelled as a child changed much when you grew up?
- Finally: What is your best tip for making a trip memorable?
Hi Jamie, do you remember the first time you went travelling?
The first time I really went anywhere without my parents was when I finished my sixth form, aged 18. I got in my car and drove 8 hours to Cornwall, where I decided to live and explore.
A few months later, I came back to visit my family and bought a round the world ticket to go and experience a little bit of the world.
I had never really been anywhere other than France or visiting my family in Canada and I was so excited about the possibilities that it took me nearly two months to decide where to go.
Did your parents travel much before you were born?
It was a very different world at this time. As kids, they didn’t go far. My mother visited a lot of countries before she had me and my step dad spent his childhood growing up in Africa.
My dad has always been happy at home in Norfolk which is in stark contrast to my step-mum who spent years travelling and working in Australia and Saudi Arabia amongst other places. Funnily enough, it’s now my dad who moves around most due to business requiring him to go abroad a couple of times a year.
What was your favourite holiday destination as a child, a teenager and an adult?
As a kid, I only visited France and Canada, but I loved them both. The delicious food and the opportunity to swim in lakes and the seas really got me like nothing else. For such a small person, everything was new and exciting. Months before I went away, I would sing songs about summer holidays with my Mum and I’d be sad when it was over.
As a teenager, I wanted to branch out more. Similar to many adolescents, the world became very confusing and it was hard to know quite what I wanted. I didn’t really have a favourite anything and decided that the best response to everything was to knock it down and not to like it.
As an adult, I desire anything that takes my breath away and let’s me know that I’m alive. I’m not into comfy hotels and pre-packaged tours; I love walking through rural Africa to pump brown drinking water or standing on the side of the road waiting for a stranger to give me a lift.
Can you tell me what your memory is with this image?
” This was taken in France while visiting friends. I remember the excitement of indulging in delicious and excessive amounts of food that always accompanied every holiday and this was no exception.”
“I have known my step-dad since I was only 3 years old and this picture shows me and him by a fountain in France. As a kid, I used to enjoy going out for pizza and ice cream, then wondering the cobbled streets of whatever town we were in.”
“When we used to go away, I remember the world being so huge and confusing. This picture is a perfect example of that as I am so small and I don’t even know where I am, other than in France.”
“I was an inquisitive (and overweight) child and this picture shows me accessing the suitability of whatever it was that my mother was trying to make me wear. I was looking for any excuse to justify why I shouldn’t have to put on sun cream.”
Can you remember a specific travel item/gadget you used to take on a trip as a child?
I had a game boy and a CD-player with anti-skip technology. They used to make the time fly on long rides and were my most prized possessions. The anti-skip technology was a really big deal at the time because it meant that you could listen to a CD without the jumping that normally accompanied portable disc music.
Right now, I try to avoid taking too much technology and computer games have become rather too advanced for me. I miss the days with two button side scrollers, end of level bosses, and no save capability.
Did the way you travelled as a child changed much when you grew up?
Absolutely. I used to be happy with typical travel agent holidays and if it was luxury, even better. Now I love to get really involved with the places that I visit and know what it feels like to be living in the same conditions as the people that live there.
Of course, you can never truly know what it feels like to be another person, but you can take pleasure in the simple things and I always try to travel without spending much money.
Finally: What is your best tip for making a trip memorable?
Say yes. If it makes you uncomfortable, just do it. The experiences that take you out of your comfort zones are the ones that you will remember the most.
Stay away from from pre-packaged tours, luxury hotels, and idle down the untrodden path. You don’t need to know exactly where you’re going because it’s not where you go, it’s how you get there that matters.
If you want to read more of Jamie’s stories, be sure to visit his website: Great Big Scary World