The Grand Tour

1valchloesmall  Anne here, inspired to talk about about the Grand Tour. I've been reading Pat Rice's blog about her recent trip to Greece and Rome, also Nicola's blog about her recent canal trip (scroll down,) some reminiscences by a few wenches about places they've been, and finally, Wench Andrea/Cara headed off to Morocco and is sending back delicious morsels of travel snippets. And all the time my feet have been growing itchier — and no, this isn't about athlete's foot. It's travel my feet itch for, new paths, new places, new sights and smells and sounds. But alas, I'm not going anywhere except virtually. Hence my own little blog about the Grand Tour…

The Grand Tour – what it was supposed to be
Grand-tourArt  

From the seventeenth century onwards, the Grand Tour was the traditional coming-of-age experience for young men of the British upper class — a rite of passage. It is said that the original practice arose when the sons of Royalists were sent out of England, away from Oliver Cromwell and his henchmen, to the safety of the continent. Apart from saving their lives, it also benefited the young men, to see and experience the life, politics and culture of other countries, so it grew to become a kind of finishing" process for aristocratic young men. 

After completing their education at Oxford or Cambridge, young men of means would be dispatched, usually in the care of a respectable scholar or tutor or a minister, to tour the continent, absorb the culture, view the remnants of classical antiquity (a large part of their education had been based on Latin and Ancient Greek) and "finish" their education by seeing the actual places and art works instead of simply reading about them and seeing black and white drawings or copies, to hear the concerts and operas by the greatest musicians of their day and so on. We're so spoilt for that today, having the finest music and the world's best art at our fingertips.

The young men would also practice and improve their language and social skills. The intention was that they would leave England, a callow youth and return, a mature man of some sophistication and polish.

What it often was:

In practice, many of the young men were as interested in fine art and ancient civilizations as young men today — in other words, not. For them the Grand tour was a chance to have adventures, particularly of the sexual kind — and some of the journals of these men chronicle their sexual adventures in much the same way as they related their experiences of the local cuisines, wines, social events and hunting expeditions. A slang term for the young men was "bear cups" and the tutor in charge of these young blades was known as a "bear leader" — you can imagine why. Pity the poor scholarly fellows, no doubt living a long-cherished dream of touring the sites they'd studied all their lives, but at the price of supervising a clutch of rich high-spirited young bloods, all out for a good time.
Venice  

Art aside, the Grand Tour was the young men's chance to learn how to go about in society, to practice their social skills and acquire polish among the aristocracy of Europe, to test themselves out in a variety of different situations, and if they disgraced themselves, they left the disgrace behind when they moved on. They experienced dangers, difficulties and hardships — they might be moneyed and travel with servants, but foreign travel was still arduous and dangerous — there were bandits in the mountains and pirates in the Mediterranean. The roads were often rudimentary, the hotels often a crude inn with a group dormitory — all the journals refer to being devoured by fleas, bedbugs and lice, and sickness from bad or spoiled food was common.

Not all the tourists were young men. Honeymooners, all kinds of people who could afford it and had a taste for adventure went. I have a book of letters from a young woman who traveled in a party with an Irish lord and his wife and various others. His wife gave birth several months into the trip, and the baby was simply delivered, then sent home with a nurse, while the parents continued on their journey. 

GordonTartanToga  They brought back souvenirs of all sorts — often chunks of genuine antiquity — a kind of genteel vandalism, and thought nothing of carving their names in Roman columns and Greek temples — Lord Byron carved his initials in the Temple of Poseidon in Greece (see below). Grand Tourists also delighted in commissioning portraits of themselves by the most fashionable painters of the day, posed in front of some grand site of antiquity, or among famous works of art. So in demand were the top artists that it went to their head somewhat.  In 1758 Grand Tourist George Lucy wrote:
 'I have shown my face and person to the celebrated Pompeo Battoni, to take the lines thereof, I have sat twice & am to attend him Again in a day or Two; They are great men and must be flatter'd, for 'tis the Custom here not to think themselves obliged to you for employing them, but that they oblige you by being employed.'
 I love this Batoni portrait of Colonel the Hon. William Gordon posing amidst chunks of statutory in front of the Colosseum in a tartan garment that is part kilt, part toga. 

(If you'd like to read more about the history of the Grand Tour, I recommend a book by Christopher Hibbert, called The Grand Tour.)
Initials  

The Grand Tour Today

It's much the same today, isn't it? The bear leaders have disappeared, but the rite of passage is still very much in evidence. I'm not sure about other countries, but in Australia and New Zealand it's very much a rite of passage for young people to load up the backpack and head off to see the world, visiting Europe in particular, where many of our ancestors come from, but often traveling overland, through Asia, heading north, to Europe. Sometimes it's the "gap year" between school and university or between study and work, sometimes it's for an indefinite period. 

I've done it myself, several times, taking my first Grand Tour when I was twenty. A school friend and I headed off, landing in the UK, where we spent the first few nights sleeping on the floor of a tiny cramped flat in London where my friend's sister was living with three other girls. They'd all been there at least a year, and were working to amass enough money to fund the next stage of their travel. Some of them had been away from home five years or more, traveling alone, but meeting up with people along the way. They might have been homesick occasionally, but they were never lonely. This particular group worked as domestic staff, sourced through an employment run by two elderly, slightly eccentric and madly well connected and titled European ladies, who'd lost their fortunes in WW2 and now staffed half the stately homes of England and Abroad. And word of mouth kept their books full of Australian and NZ girls on working holidays.

And what a window it was into how the other half lived. The girls told tales of fantastic trips to the Caribbean or skiing in the Alps, where the nanny—of course— went too and was taught to ski or snorkel along with the kids. A friend of mine worked in a Scottish castle as a scullery maid and regularly had saucepans and more dangerous implements thrown at her by an irate and eccentric cook. Another had a job in Italy where all she had to do was drive the children to school each day and talk to them in English — the rest of the day was hers. When each girl moved on, they passed their contacts on — the  employment agency was very happy to employ girls who were educated, independent and resourceful. 

From the UK we went across country to Paris, through Italy and Germany, and though Yugoslavia to Greece. Greece them wasn't the slick tourist destination it is now. When I first went to places like Mykonos it was beautiful but simple — not at all touristified, let alone expensive and sophisticated as it is now. It was more like the Greece that Mary Stewart and Gerald Durrel wrote about. Most of the ancient sites were unfenced and unguarded. One morning we climbed up to the Acropolis and had breakfast of bread, cheese and olives and coffee in a thermos, alone on top of the world as the sun came up — not a soul in sight. Magic.

We had our share of adventures — ghastly accommodation, theft, being stranded, dodgy locals, bad food, illness, some scary and downright nasty moments, but I wouldn't trade them for anything. Traveling like that, more or less alone, dependent on our own wits and resources, dealing with whatever came up, tested us and gave us the kind of self confidence no amount of study can give. 
Backpackers  

The next generation is doing the same kind of thing. My nephew was on his Grand Tour and stopped off in Scotland, where he's been for some years now, living, working, falling in love and getting married there. My niece stopped off in Bali on the way home and also fell in love and stayed. My original backpacking friend has a son in Vienna right now, and a daughter who recently came back from her own grand tour year away and another friend's son is in China.  Mind you, they skype and text and phone home, instead of sending the occasional post card as we did, but that's all to the good for anxious parents. 

Grey Nomads

Greynomads   
However travel isn't just for the young. Another rite of passage we have in Australia comes when people retire. It's very common here for people to head off on their own Grand Tour around Australia, sticking to the coast, more or less, and traveling in a loop around the whole country, often taking a year or more to do it, sometimes never returning home again. We even have a name for them — grey nomads. Do a google search for the term and you'll see what I mean. 

And just as it is with young people traveling, people meet up and connect and make friends and pass along advice and information. I like the sound of that. I'm not in grey nomad territory yet — I've still got a few overseas adventures in me yet, I think, but it's nice to know that when I finally grow up, I can become a grey nomad.

Tallie_us  So how about you— have you got itchy feet? Where would your dream trip take you? Is it a rite of passage for young people in your area to go traveling? Are any kids you know off somewhere exotic now? And do you have grey nomads? 

 I'll give away a copy of my own "Grand Tour" story— my second book, Tallie's Knight, to someone who leaves a comment.

125 thoughts on “The Grand Tour”

  1. Oh, Anne, what a wonderful blog! As I just arrived home last night from Morocco, the wonders of foreign travel really resonate. Seeing new sights, experiencing new cultures, tasting exotic cuisines is such a fabulous way to remember that our own little universes are just a tiny part of a great, glorious world. Crossing physical boundaries expands the mind and broadens perspective. IMO, it helps make one more tolerant and appreciative of life in genereal.
    My boyfreind at the time and I toured around Europe on a motorcycle when I was in college (much to my parents’ dismay) and we had all sorts of funny and crazy experiences (nowadays, I would not find going over the Gotthardt Pass in a July snowstorm nearly so “cool” as I did back then!)
    As a kid, I loved travel books (Gerald Durrell’s books on Greece in the ’30s are absolutely wonderful) so travel always appealed to me. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many interesting places, but there is still so much I want to see! Greece is on my To See list, along with Australia and South Africa.

    Reply
  2. Oh, Anne, what a wonderful blog! As I just arrived home last night from Morocco, the wonders of foreign travel really resonate. Seeing new sights, experiencing new cultures, tasting exotic cuisines is such a fabulous way to remember that our own little universes are just a tiny part of a great, glorious world. Crossing physical boundaries expands the mind and broadens perspective. IMO, it helps make one more tolerant and appreciative of life in genereal.
    My boyfreind at the time and I toured around Europe on a motorcycle when I was in college (much to my parents’ dismay) and we had all sorts of funny and crazy experiences (nowadays, I would not find going over the Gotthardt Pass in a July snowstorm nearly so “cool” as I did back then!)
    As a kid, I loved travel books (Gerald Durrell’s books on Greece in the ’30s are absolutely wonderful) so travel always appealed to me. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many interesting places, but there is still so much I want to see! Greece is on my To See list, along with Australia and South Africa.

    Reply
  3. Oh, Anne, what a wonderful blog! As I just arrived home last night from Morocco, the wonders of foreign travel really resonate. Seeing new sights, experiencing new cultures, tasting exotic cuisines is such a fabulous way to remember that our own little universes are just a tiny part of a great, glorious world. Crossing physical boundaries expands the mind and broadens perspective. IMO, it helps make one more tolerant and appreciative of life in genereal.
    My boyfreind at the time and I toured around Europe on a motorcycle when I was in college (much to my parents’ dismay) and we had all sorts of funny and crazy experiences (nowadays, I would not find going over the Gotthardt Pass in a July snowstorm nearly so “cool” as I did back then!)
    As a kid, I loved travel books (Gerald Durrell’s books on Greece in the ’30s are absolutely wonderful) so travel always appealed to me. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many interesting places, but there is still so much I want to see! Greece is on my To See list, along with Australia and South Africa.

    Reply
  4. Oh, Anne, what a wonderful blog! As I just arrived home last night from Morocco, the wonders of foreign travel really resonate. Seeing new sights, experiencing new cultures, tasting exotic cuisines is such a fabulous way to remember that our own little universes are just a tiny part of a great, glorious world. Crossing physical boundaries expands the mind and broadens perspective. IMO, it helps make one more tolerant and appreciative of life in genereal.
    My boyfreind at the time and I toured around Europe on a motorcycle when I was in college (much to my parents’ dismay) and we had all sorts of funny and crazy experiences (nowadays, I would not find going over the Gotthardt Pass in a July snowstorm nearly so “cool” as I did back then!)
    As a kid, I loved travel books (Gerald Durrell’s books on Greece in the ’30s are absolutely wonderful) so travel always appealed to me. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many interesting places, but there is still so much I want to see! Greece is on my To See list, along with Australia and South Africa.

    Reply
  5. Oh, Anne, what a wonderful blog! As I just arrived home last night from Morocco, the wonders of foreign travel really resonate. Seeing new sights, experiencing new cultures, tasting exotic cuisines is such a fabulous way to remember that our own little universes are just a tiny part of a great, glorious world. Crossing physical boundaries expands the mind and broadens perspective. IMO, it helps make one more tolerant and appreciative of life in genereal.
    My boyfreind at the time and I toured around Europe on a motorcycle when I was in college (much to my parents’ dismay) and we had all sorts of funny and crazy experiences (nowadays, I would not find going over the Gotthardt Pass in a July snowstorm nearly so “cool” as I did back then!)
    As a kid, I loved travel books (Gerald Durrell’s books on Greece in the ’30s are absolutely wonderful) so travel always appealed to me. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many interesting places, but there is still so much I want to see! Greece is on my To See list, along with Australia and South Africa.

    Reply
  6. I very much have itchy feet, and one of the most frustrating aspects of my current stage of life (late 30’s, young kid, just bought a house) is that it’s been over six years since we’ve had a proper vacation. All we’ve done is go back to Alabama and Oklahoma to see our families. This year will be our first real vacation with our daughter, and we’re just going to the Oregon Coast, but it’s better than nothing.
    But I’m already saving up for and planning my dream trip: I’m going to spend a month or more in Europe in the summer of 2015 and be at Waterloo for the bicentennial of the battle. I’ll probably start out by myself, since my daughter’s school year runs into late June (she’ll be 11 then) and I’m only going to pull her out if she actually wants to miss the end of 5th grade and her elementary school “graduation.” That’ll be when I geek out and visit battlefields. Then at the end my husband and daughter will join me, and we’ll take her around France and the UK.

    Reply
  7. I very much have itchy feet, and one of the most frustrating aspects of my current stage of life (late 30’s, young kid, just bought a house) is that it’s been over six years since we’ve had a proper vacation. All we’ve done is go back to Alabama and Oklahoma to see our families. This year will be our first real vacation with our daughter, and we’re just going to the Oregon Coast, but it’s better than nothing.
    But I’m already saving up for and planning my dream trip: I’m going to spend a month or more in Europe in the summer of 2015 and be at Waterloo for the bicentennial of the battle. I’ll probably start out by myself, since my daughter’s school year runs into late June (she’ll be 11 then) and I’m only going to pull her out if she actually wants to miss the end of 5th grade and her elementary school “graduation.” That’ll be when I geek out and visit battlefields. Then at the end my husband and daughter will join me, and we’ll take her around France and the UK.

    Reply
  8. I very much have itchy feet, and one of the most frustrating aspects of my current stage of life (late 30’s, young kid, just bought a house) is that it’s been over six years since we’ve had a proper vacation. All we’ve done is go back to Alabama and Oklahoma to see our families. This year will be our first real vacation with our daughter, and we’re just going to the Oregon Coast, but it’s better than nothing.
    But I’m already saving up for and planning my dream trip: I’m going to spend a month or more in Europe in the summer of 2015 and be at Waterloo for the bicentennial of the battle. I’ll probably start out by myself, since my daughter’s school year runs into late June (she’ll be 11 then) and I’m only going to pull her out if she actually wants to miss the end of 5th grade and her elementary school “graduation.” That’ll be when I geek out and visit battlefields. Then at the end my husband and daughter will join me, and we’ll take her around France and the UK.

    Reply
  9. I very much have itchy feet, and one of the most frustrating aspects of my current stage of life (late 30’s, young kid, just bought a house) is that it’s been over six years since we’ve had a proper vacation. All we’ve done is go back to Alabama and Oklahoma to see our families. This year will be our first real vacation with our daughter, and we’re just going to the Oregon Coast, but it’s better than nothing.
    But I’m already saving up for and planning my dream trip: I’m going to spend a month or more in Europe in the summer of 2015 and be at Waterloo for the bicentennial of the battle. I’ll probably start out by myself, since my daughter’s school year runs into late June (she’ll be 11 then) and I’m only going to pull her out if she actually wants to miss the end of 5th grade and her elementary school “graduation.” That’ll be when I geek out and visit battlefields. Then at the end my husband and daughter will join me, and we’ll take her around France and the UK.

    Reply
  10. I very much have itchy feet, and one of the most frustrating aspects of my current stage of life (late 30’s, young kid, just bought a house) is that it’s been over six years since we’ve had a proper vacation. All we’ve done is go back to Alabama and Oklahoma to see our families. This year will be our first real vacation with our daughter, and we’re just going to the Oregon Coast, but it’s better than nothing.
    But I’m already saving up for and planning my dream trip: I’m going to spend a month or more in Europe in the summer of 2015 and be at Waterloo for the bicentennial of the battle. I’ll probably start out by myself, since my daughter’s school year runs into late June (she’ll be 11 then) and I’m only going to pull her out if she actually wants to miss the end of 5th grade and her elementary school “graduation.” That’ll be when I geek out and visit battlefields. Then at the end my husband and daughter will join me, and we’ll take her around France and the UK.

    Reply
  11. Wonderful blog, Anne! I definitely have “itchy feet,” and have for as long as I can remember. I finally got to take, not exactly a Grand Tour, but very much a dream vacation. Three weeks in England, Ireland and Wales. I’d wanted to see Ireland since I was in my teens, and I felt as if I were coming home when the ferry docked in Dublin. Of course, I didn’t see nearly as much as I wanted to in the 10 days we were in Ireland, so I’m planning a return trip. Decided to give myself a fantastic 50th birthday gift in 2013. Two weeks exploring Galway and Wales. And I can’t wait!

    Reply
  12. Wonderful blog, Anne! I definitely have “itchy feet,” and have for as long as I can remember. I finally got to take, not exactly a Grand Tour, but very much a dream vacation. Three weeks in England, Ireland and Wales. I’d wanted to see Ireland since I was in my teens, and I felt as if I were coming home when the ferry docked in Dublin. Of course, I didn’t see nearly as much as I wanted to in the 10 days we were in Ireland, so I’m planning a return trip. Decided to give myself a fantastic 50th birthday gift in 2013. Two weeks exploring Galway and Wales. And I can’t wait!

    Reply
  13. Wonderful blog, Anne! I definitely have “itchy feet,” and have for as long as I can remember. I finally got to take, not exactly a Grand Tour, but very much a dream vacation. Three weeks in England, Ireland and Wales. I’d wanted to see Ireland since I was in my teens, and I felt as if I were coming home when the ferry docked in Dublin. Of course, I didn’t see nearly as much as I wanted to in the 10 days we were in Ireland, so I’m planning a return trip. Decided to give myself a fantastic 50th birthday gift in 2013. Two weeks exploring Galway and Wales. And I can’t wait!

    Reply
  14. Wonderful blog, Anne! I definitely have “itchy feet,” and have for as long as I can remember. I finally got to take, not exactly a Grand Tour, but very much a dream vacation. Three weeks in England, Ireland and Wales. I’d wanted to see Ireland since I was in my teens, and I felt as if I were coming home when the ferry docked in Dublin. Of course, I didn’t see nearly as much as I wanted to in the 10 days we were in Ireland, so I’m planning a return trip. Decided to give myself a fantastic 50th birthday gift in 2013. Two weeks exploring Galway and Wales. And I can’t wait!

    Reply
  15. Wonderful blog, Anne! I definitely have “itchy feet,” and have for as long as I can remember. I finally got to take, not exactly a Grand Tour, but very much a dream vacation. Three weeks in England, Ireland and Wales. I’d wanted to see Ireland since I was in my teens, and I felt as if I were coming home when the ferry docked in Dublin. Of course, I didn’t see nearly as much as I wanted to in the 10 days we were in Ireland, so I’m planning a return trip. Decided to give myself a fantastic 50th birthday gift in 2013. Two weeks exploring Galway and Wales. And I can’t wait!

    Reply
  16. What a fabulous survey of Grand Tours old and new, Anne! Colonel the Hon. Gordon was quite the handsome fellow! Plus, those tours tie in with the watercolor blog Cara/Andrea did a last week, since in the age before cameras, a young gentleman often took an artist along to record the sites seen.
    When I was doing my summer of hitchhiking around Europe in my college years, I met any number of intrepids Ozzies and Kiwis staying in the hostels. They were great–fearless and resourceful, as you say. But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!
    I’ve made it Down Under (twice!) and to South Africa, and a variety of spots in Europe, not to mention two years in England, but it’s NOT ENOUGH! In particular, there are so many countries of Europe with such rich history that I have yet to sample. Onward and upward!!!

    Reply
  17. What a fabulous survey of Grand Tours old and new, Anne! Colonel the Hon. Gordon was quite the handsome fellow! Plus, those tours tie in with the watercolor blog Cara/Andrea did a last week, since in the age before cameras, a young gentleman often took an artist along to record the sites seen.
    When I was doing my summer of hitchhiking around Europe in my college years, I met any number of intrepids Ozzies and Kiwis staying in the hostels. They were great–fearless and resourceful, as you say. But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!
    I’ve made it Down Under (twice!) and to South Africa, and a variety of spots in Europe, not to mention two years in England, but it’s NOT ENOUGH! In particular, there are so many countries of Europe with such rich history that I have yet to sample. Onward and upward!!!

    Reply
  18. What a fabulous survey of Grand Tours old and new, Anne! Colonel the Hon. Gordon was quite the handsome fellow! Plus, those tours tie in with the watercolor blog Cara/Andrea did a last week, since in the age before cameras, a young gentleman often took an artist along to record the sites seen.
    When I was doing my summer of hitchhiking around Europe in my college years, I met any number of intrepids Ozzies and Kiwis staying in the hostels. They were great–fearless and resourceful, as you say. But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!
    I’ve made it Down Under (twice!) and to South Africa, and a variety of spots in Europe, not to mention two years in England, but it’s NOT ENOUGH! In particular, there are so many countries of Europe with such rich history that I have yet to sample. Onward and upward!!!

    Reply
  19. What a fabulous survey of Grand Tours old and new, Anne! Colonel the Hon. Gordon was quite the handsome fellow! Plus, those tours tie in with the watercolor blog Cara/Andrea did a last week, since in the age before cameras, a young gentleman often took an artist along to record the sites seen.
    When I was doing my summer of hitchhiking around Europe in my college years, I met any number of intrepids Ozzies and Kiwis staying in the hostels. They were great–fearless and resourceful, as you say. But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!
    I’ve made it Down Under (twice!) and to South Africa, and a variety of spots in Europe, not to mention two years in England, but it’s NOT ENOUGH! In particular, there are so many countries of Europe with such rich history that I have yet to sample. Onward and upward!!!

    Reply
  20. What a fabulous survey of Grand Tours old and new, Anne! Colonel the Hon. Gordon was quite the handsome fellow! Plus, those tours tie in with the watercolor blog Cara/Andrea did a last week, since in the age before cameras, a young gentleman often took an artist along to record the sites seen.
    When I was doing my summer of hitchhiking around Europe in my college years, I met any number of intrepids Ozzies and Kiwis staying in the hostels. They were great–fearless and resourceful, as you say. But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!
    I’ve made it Down Under (twice!) and to South Africa, and a variety of spots in Europe, not to mention two years in England, but it’s NOT ENOUGH! In particular, there are so many countries of Europe with such rich history that I have yet to sample. Onward and upward!!!

    Reply
  21. I live in Missouri. Anywhere outside of the state is considered exotic.
    However, if I got to do my own grand tour, you can bet your sweet bottom I’d go to England. I’d trot my happy butt all over that island…and Ireland too. (And when I say England I mean United Kingdom…and therefore Scotland and Wales…)
    I haven’t got to go there yet. But you bet I’d do some author tours: Austen, Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling/Harry Potter…

    Reply
  22. I live in Missouri. Anywhere outside of the state is considered exotic.
    However, if I got to do my own grand tour, you can bet your sweet bottom I’d go to England. I’d trot my happy butt all over that island…and Ireland too. (And when I say England I mean United Kingdom…and therefore Scotland and Wales…)
    I haven’t got to go there yet. But you bet I’d do some author tours: Austen, Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling/Harry Potter…

    Reply
  23. I live in Missouri. Anywhere outside of the state is considered exotic.
    However, if I got to do my own grand tour, you can bet your sweet bottom I’d go to England. I’d trot my happy butt all over that island…and Ireland too. (And when I say England I mean United Kingdom…and therefore Scotland and Wales…)
    I haven’t got to go there yet. But you bet I’d do some author tours: Austen, Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling/Harry Potter…

    Reply
  24. I live in Missouri. Anywhere outside of the state is considered exotic.
    However, if I got to do my own grand tour, you can bet your sweet bottom I’d go to England. I’d trot my happy butt all over that island…and Ireland too. (And when I say England I mean United Kingdom…and therefore Scotland and Wales…)
    I haven’t got to go there yet. But you bet I’d do some author tours: Austen, Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling/Harry Potter…

    Reply
  25. I live in Missouri. Anywhere outside of the state is considered exotic.
    However, if I got to do my own grand tour, you can bet your sweet bottom I’d go to England. I’d trot my happy butt all over that island…and Ireland too. (And when I say England I mean United Kingdom…and therefore Scotland and Wales…)
    I haven’t got to go there yet. But you bet I’d do some author tours: Austen, Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling/Harry Potter…

    Reply
  26. My daughter is in college now and it is so common for students to complete a year abroad. I remember thinking a about it ages ago when I was in school, but it wasn’t terribly common, I was at a public university with not a lot of interaction with my advisor, and I just didn’t go. Boy I wish I had, and like Hellion, I’d love to do author tours in the UK.
    However, I got to participate a little in my daughter’s semester-abroad experience – I spent 10 days in Australia with her in January before her term began. It was a terrific experience, and I hope I get to visit Oz again. And New Zealand! I can so see myself being a “grey nomad”. I’ll have to work on that!

    Reply
  27. My daughter is in college now and it is so common for students to complete a year abroad. I remember thinking a about it ages ago when I was in school, but it wasn’t terribly common, I was at a public university with not a lot of interaction with my advisor, and I just didn’t go. Boy I wish I had, and like Hellion, I’d love to do author tours in the UK.
    However, I got to participate a little in my daughter’s semester-abroad experience – I spent 10 days in Australia with her in January before her term began. It was a terrific experience, and I hope I get to visit Oz again. And New Zealand! I can so see myself being a “grey nomad”. I’ll have to work on that!

    Reply
  28. My daughter is in college now and it is so common for students to complete a year abroad. I remember thinking a about it ages ago when I was in school, but it wasn’t terribly common, I was at a public university with not a lot of interaction with my advisor, and I just didn’t go. Boy I wish I had, and like Hellion, I’d love to do author tours in the UK.
    However, I got to participate a little in my daughter’s semester-abroad experience – I spent 10 days in Australia with her in January before her term began. It was a terrific experience, and I hope I get to visit Oz again. And New Zealand! I can so see myself being a “grey nomad”. I’ll have to work on that!

    Reply
  29. My daughter is in college now and it is so common for students to complete a year abroad. I remember thinking a about it ages ago when I was in school, but it wasn’t terribly common, I was at a public university with not a lot of interaction with my advisor, and I just didn’t go. Boy I wish I had, and like Hellion, I’d love to do author tours in the UK.
    However, I got to participate a little in my daughter’s semester-abroad experience – I spent 10 days in Australia with her in January before her term began. It was a terrific experience, and I hope I get to visit Oz again. And New Zealand! I can so see myself being a “grey nomad”. I’ll have to work on that!

    Reply
  30. My daughter is in college now and it is so common for students to complete a year abroad. I remember thinking a about it ages ago when I was in school, but it wasn’t terribly common, I was at a public university with not a lot of interaction with my advisor, and I just didn’t go. Boy I wish I had, and like Hellion, I’d love to do author tours in the UK.
    However, I got to participate a little in my daughter’s semester-abroad experience – I spent 10 days in Australia with her in January before her term began. It was a terrific experience, and I hope I get to visit Oz again. And New Zealand! I can so see myself being a “grey nomad”. I’ll have to work on that!

    Reply
  31. Another great blog! I went to Denmark about 25 years ago and would love to go back to see my grandfather’s homeland. But, I would stop on the way in England and visit some of the place I read about in Regency stories. Young people around here do not take Grand Tours. Then, again, every four years, our little High School (9th-12th grades, about 100 kids and 15-20 chaperones) travel to Washington, D.C. in late April. The school has done this now for a very long time.

    Reply
  32. Another great blog! I went to Denmark about 25 years ago and would love to go back to see my grandfather’s homeland. But, I would stop on the way in England and visit some of the place I read about in Regency stories. Young people around here do not take Grand Tours. Then, again, every four years, our little High School (9th-12th grades, about 100 kids and 15-20 chaperones) travel to Washington, D.C. in late April. The school has done this now for a very long time.

    Reply
  33. Another great blog! I went to Denmark about 25 years ago and would love to go back to see my grandfather’s homeland. But, I would stop on the way in England and visit some of the place I read about in Regency stories. Young people around here do not take Grand Tours. Then, again, every four years, our little High School (9th-12th grades, about 100 kids and 15-20 chaperones) travel to Washington, D.C. in late April. The school has done this now for a very long time.

    Reply
  34. Another great blog! I went to Denmark about 25 years ago and would love to go back to see my grandfather’s homeland. But, I would stop on the way in England and visit some of the place I read about in Regency stories. Young people around here do not take Grand Tours. Then, again, every four years, our little High School (9th-12th grades, about 100 kids and 15-20 chaperones) travel to Washington, D.C. in late April. The school has done this now for a very long time.

    Reply
  35. Another great blog! I went to Denmark about 25 years ago and would love to go back to see my grandfather’s homeland. But, I would stop on the way in England and visit some of the place I read about in Regency stories. Young people around here do not take Grand Tours. Then, again, every four years, our little High School (9th-12th grades, about 100 kids and 15-20 chaperones) travel to Washington, D.C. in late April. The school has done this now for a very long time.

    Reply
  36. Welcome home Cara/Andrea — the Morocco trip sounds just fabulous and I’m looking forward to more tales and pics. I can’t believe you’re home so soon.
    I suppose therein lies part of the explanation as to why Aussies and New Zealanders tend to make longer trips— when just the plane trip lasts more than 24 hours, and you’re knocked for at least a day by jet lag it’s not worth it to travel for a just week or two.
    Susanna, save madly and take the kids, too. My parents had itchy feet and not much money, but they took us so many places. When I was eight, my Dad had a job swap to Scotland and we went. Every chance they got they hitched up the caravan and took us away. By the time I was 9 I’d swum most of the main rivers of Europe. We camped in quarries, beside fields— all kinds of places, and did it on a shoestring. People say children of that age are too young to appreciate travel, but I loved it and remember sooooo much.

    Reply
  37. Welcome home Cara/Andrea — the Morocco trip sounds just fabulous and I’m looking forward to more tales and pics. I can’t believe you’re home so soon.
    I suppose therein lies part of the explanation as to why Aussies and New Zealanders tend to make longer trips— when just the plane trip lasts more than 24 hours, and you’re knocked for at least a day by jet lag it’s not worth it to travel for a just week or two.
    Susanna, save madly and take the kids, too. My parents had itchy feet and not much money, but they took us so many places. When I was eight, my Dad had a job swap to Scotland and we went. Every chance they got they hitched up the caravan and took us away. By the time I was 9 I’d swum most of the main rivers of Europe. We camped in quarries, beside fields— all kinds of places, and did it on a shoestring. People say children of that age are too young to appreciate travel, but I loved it and remember sooooo much.

    Reply
  38. Welcome home Cara/Andrea — the Morocco trip sounds just fabulous and I’m looking forward to more tales and pics. I can’t believe you’re home so soon.
    I suppose therein lies part of the explanation as to why Aussies and New Zealanders tend to make longer trips— when just the plane trip lasts more than 24 hours, and you’re knocked for at least a day by jet lag it’s not worth it to travel for a just week or two.
    Susanna, save madly and take the kids, too. My parents had itchy feet and not much money, but they took us so many places. When I was eight, my Dad had a job swap to Scotland and we went. Every chance they got they hitched up the caravan and took us away. By the time I was 9 I’d swum most of the main rivers of Europe. We camped in quarries, beside fields— all kinds of places, and did it on a shoestring. People say children of that age are too young to appreciate travel, but I loved it and remember sooooo much.

    Reply
  39. Welcome home Cara/Andrea — the Morocco trip sounds just fabulous and I’m looking forward to more tales and pics. I can’t believe you’re home so soon.
    I suppose therein lies part of the explanation as to why Aussies and New Zealanders tend to make longer trips— when just the plane trip lasts more than 24 hours, and you’re knocked for at least a day by jet lag it’s not worth it to travel for a just week or two.
    Susanna, save madly and take the kids, too. My parents had itchy feet and not much money, but they took us so many places. When I was eight, my Dad had a job swap to Scotland and we went. Every chance they got they hitched up the caravan and took us away. By the time I was 9 I’d swum most of the main rivers of Europe. We camped in quarries, beside fields— all kinds of places, and did it on a shoestring. People say children of that age are too young to appreciate travel, but I loved it and remember sooooo much.

    Reply
  40. Welcome home Cara/Andrea — the Morocco trip sounds just fabulous and I’m looking forward to more tales and pics. I can’t believe you’re home so soon.
    I suppose therein lies part of the explanation as to why Aussies and New Zealanders tend to make longer trips— when just the plane trip lasts more than 24 hours, and you’re knocked for at least a day by jet lag it’s not worth it to travel for a just week or two.
    Susanna, save madly and take the kids, too. My parents had itchy feet and not much money, but they took us so many places. When I was eight, my Dad had a job swap to Scotland and we went. Every chance they got they hitched up the caravan and took us away. By the time I was 9 I’d swum most of the main rivers of Europe. We camped in quarries, beside fields— all kinds of places, and did it on a shoestring. People say children of that age are too young to appreciate travel, but I loved it and remember sooooo much.

    Reply
  41. Cynthia, two weeks in Wales and Ireland sounds wonderful — the perfect 50th birthday present. Galway is so beautiful. The first time I went there as an adult (in my 30’s)
    I took so many photos. I was in a “David Hockney” phase at the time, and all the photos joined up in a wonderful collage, conveying changes of light and mood and I still love them.
    I’d been inspired by an exhibition of Hockney’s photo collages at the Tate Gallery in London.
    Here are some examples: http://tinyurl.com/6o4nya

    Reply
  42. Cynthia, two weeks in Wales and Ireland sounds wonderful — the perfect 50th birthday present. Galway is so beautiful. The first time I went there as an adult (in my 30’s)
    I took so many photos. I was in a “David Hockney” phase at the time, and all the photos joined up in a wonderful collage, conveying changes of light and mood and I still love them.
    I’d been inspired by an exhibition of Hockney’s photo collages at the Tate Gallery in London.
    Here are some examples: http://tinyurl.com/6o4nya

    Reply
  43. Cynthia, two weeks in Wales and Ireland sounds wonderful — the perfect 50th birthday present. Galway is so beautiful. The first time I went there as an adult (in my 30’s)
    I took so many photos. I was in a “David Hockney” phase at the time, and all the photos joined up in a wonderful collage, conveying changes of light and mood and I still love them.
    I’d been inspired by an exhibition of Hockney’s photo collages at the Tate Gallery in London.
    Here are some examples: http://tinyurl.com/6o4nya

    Reply
  44. Cynthia, two weeks in Wales and Ireland sounds wonderful — the perfect 50th birthday present. Galway is so beautiful. The first time I went there as an adult (in my 30’s)
    I took so many photos. I was in a “David Hockney” phase at the time, and all the photos joined up in a wonderful collage, conveying changes of light and mood and I still love them.
    I’d been inspired by an exhibition of Hockney’s photo collages at the Tate Gallery in London.
    Here are some examples: http://tinyurl.com/6o4nya

    Reply
  45. Cynthia, two weeks in Wales and Ireland sounds wonderful — the perfect 50th birthday present. Galway is so beautiful. The first time I went there as an adult (in my 30’s)
    I took so many photos. I was in a “David Hockney” phase at the time, and all the photos joined up in a wonderful collage, conveying changes of light and mood and I still love them.
    I’d been inspired by an exhibition of Hockney’s photo collages at the Tate Gallery in London.
    Here are some examples: http://tinyurl.com/6o4nya

    Reply
  46. I think I would like to visit New Zealand, too, and fondly remember all the Essie Summers books I read a long time ago. 🙂

    Reply
  47. I think I would like to visit New Zealand, too, and fondly remember all the Essie Summers books I read a long time ago. 🙂

    Reply
  48. I think I would like to visit New Zealand, too, and fondly remember all the Essie Summers books I read a long time ago. 🙂

    Reply
  49. I think I would like to visit New Zealand, too, and fondly remember all the Essie Summers books I read a long time ago. 🙂

    Reply
  50. I think I would like to visit New Zealand, too, and fondly remember all the Essie Summers books I read a long time ago. 🙂

    Reply
  51. Mary Jo, I agree — it’s not enough – there are so many wonderful places to go and see and experience.
    Re your comment: “But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!”
    It was a small, discreet agency with fabulous connections, and people passed the address on by word of mouth. I think I have it somewhere in an old address book or diary, myself. They also took on clients through recommendation – from employers and employees. No advertising needed.
    In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. I never met them, alas, but I had the impression the old ladies were frightfully aristocratic and related to half the blue-bloods of Europe. According to my friends, they had a liking for Australian and NZ girls because they knew how to work, and didn’t need looking after.

    Reply
  52. Mary Jo, I agree — it’s not enough – there are so many wonderful places to go and see and experience.
    Re your comment: “But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!”
    It was a small, discreet agency with fabulous connections, and people passed the address on by word of mouth. I think I have it somewhere in an old address book or diary, myself. They also took on clients through recommendation – from employers and employees. No advertising needed.
    In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. I never met them, alas, but I had the impression the old ladies were frightfully aristocratic and related to half the blue-bloods of Europe. According to my friends, they had a liking for Australian and NZ girls because they knew how to work, and didn’t need looking after.

    Reply
  53. Mary Jo, I agree — it’s not enough – there are so many wonderful places to go and see and experience.
    Re your comment: “But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!”
    It was a small, discreet agency with fabulous connections, and people passed the address on by word of mouth. I think I have it somewhere in an old address book or diary, myself. They also took on clients through recommendation – from employers and employees. No advertising needed.
    In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. I never met them, alas, but I had the impression the old ladies were frightfully aristocratic and related to half the blue-bloods of Europe. According to my friends, they had a liking for Australian and NZ girls because they knew how to work, and didn’t need looking after.

    Reply
  54. Mary Jo, I agree — it’s not enough – there are so many wonderful places to go and see and experience.
    Re your comment: “But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!”
    It was a small, discreet agency with fabulous connections, and people passed the address on by word of mouth. I think I have it somewhere in an old address book or diary, myself. They also took on clients through recommendation – from employers and employees. No advertising needed.
    In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. I never met them, alas, but I had the impression the old ladies were frightfully aristocratic and related to half the blue-bloods of Europe. According to my friends, they had a liking for Australian and NZ girls because they knew how to work, and didn’t need looking after.

    Reply
  55. Mary Jo, I agree — it’s not enough – there are so many wonderful places to go and see and experience.
    Re your comment: “But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!”
    It was a small, discreet agency with fabulous connections, and people passed the address on by word of mouth. I think I have it somewhere in an old address book or diary, myself. They also took on clients through recommendation – from employers and employees. No advertising needed.
    In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. I never met them, alas, but I had the impression the old ladies were frightfully aristocratic and related to half the blue-bloods of Europe. According to my friends, they had a liking for Australian and NZ girls because they knew how to work, and didn’t need looking after.

    Reply
  56. Mary Jo, I agree — it’s not enough – there are so many wonderful places to go and see and experience.
    Re your comment: “But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!”
    It was a small, discreet agency with fabulous connections, and people passed the address on by word of mouth. I think I have it somewhere in an old address book or diary, myself. They also took on clients through recommendation – from employers and employees. No advertising needed.
    In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. I never met them, alas, but I had the impression the old ladies were frightfully aristocratic and related to half the blue-bloods of Europe. According to my friends, they had a liking for Australian and NZ girls because they knew how to work, and didn’t need looking after.

    Reply
  57. Mary Jo, I agree — it’s not enough – there are so many wonderful places to go and see and experience.
    Re your comment: “But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!”
    It was a small, discreet agency with fabulous connections, and people passed the address on by word of mouth. I think I have it somewhere in an old address book or diary, myself. They also took on clients through recommendation – from employers and employees. No advertising needed.
    In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. I never met them, alas, but I had the impression the old ladies were frightfully aristocratic and related to half the blue-bloods of Europe. According to my friends, they had a liking for Australian and NZ girls because they knew how to work, and didn’t need looking after.

    Reply
  58. Mary Jo, I agree — it’s not enough – there are so many wonderful places to go and see and experience.
    Re your comment: “But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!”
    It was a small, discreet agency with fabulous connections, and people passed the address on by word of mouth. I think I have it somewhere in an old address book or diary, myself. They also took on clients through recommendation – from employers and employees. No advertising needed.
    In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. I never met them, alas, but I had the impression the old ladies were frightfully aristocratic and related to half the blue-bloods of Europe. According to my friends, they had a liking for Australian and NZ girls because they knew how to work, and didn’t need looking after.

    Reply
  59. Mary Jo, I agree — it’s not enough – there are so many wonderful places to go and see and experience.
    Re your comment: “But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!”
    It was a small, discreet agency with fabulous connections, and people passed the address on by word of mouth. I think I have it somewhere in an old address book or diary, myself. They also took on clients through recommendation – from employers and employees. No advertising needed.
    In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. I never met them, alas, but I had the impression the old ladies were frightfully aristocratic and related to half the blue-bloods of Europe. According to my friends, they had a liking for Australian and NZ girls because they knew how to work, and didn’t need looking after.

    Reply
  60. Mary Jo, I agree — it’s not enough – there are so many wonderful places to go and see and experience.
    Re your comment: “But I hadn’t heard of the Antipodean employment agency that they staffed in London!”
    It was a small, discreet agency with fabulous connections, and people passed the address on by word of mouth. I think I have it somewhere in an old address book or diary, myself. They also took on clients through recommendation – from employers and employees. No advertising needed.
    In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. I never met them, alas, but I had the impression the old ladies were frightfully aristocratic and related to half the blue-bloods of Europe. According to my friends, they had a liking for Australian and NZ girls because they knew how to work, and didn’t need looking after.

    Reply
  61. Hellion, I hope you get to go to Europe and visit all your favorite author locations. My elderly aunt (in her 70’s) and her daughter had never been overseas — they both married young and never found the time or money to do it. But when she turned 75 she realized it was now or never, and she upped and dragged my cousin and they booked plane tickets and a hotel room for the first night and from then on they winged it — went where the fancy took them. My cousin, who is a timid driver, got to drive the hire cars and they stayed in bed and breakfasts, and in cheap hotels and even youth hostels, and dredged up every relative or relative of friends they could find. They had a ball.
    Hmm, that reminds me, I must reread travels With My Aunt. Wonderful book

    Reply
  62. Hellion, I hope you get to go to Europe and visit all your favorite author locations. My elderly aunt (in her 70’s) and her daughter had never been overseas — they both married young and never found the time or money to do it. But when she turned 75 she realized it was now or never, and she upped and dragged my cousin and they booked plane tickets and a hotel room for the first night and from then on they winged it — went where the fancy took them. My cousin, who is a timid driver, got to drive the hire cars and they stayed in bed and breakfasts, and in cheap hotels and even youth hostels, and dredged up every relative or relative of friends they could find. They had a ball.
    Hmm, that reminds me, I must reread travels With My Aunt. Wonderful book

    Reply
  63. Hellion, I hope you get to go to Europe and visit all your favorite author locations. My elderly aunt (in her 70’s) and her daughter had never been overseas — they both married young and never found the time or money to do it. But when she turned 75 she realized it was now or never, and she upped and dragged my cousin and they booked plane tickets and a hotel room for the first night and from then on they winged it — went where the fancy took them. My cousin, who is a timid driver, got to drive the hire cars and they stayed in bed and breakfasts, and in cheap hotels and even youth hostels, and dredged up every relative or relative of friends they could find. They had a ball.
    Hmm, that reminds me, I must reread travels With My Aunt. Wonderful book

    Reply
  64. Hellion, I hope you get to go to Europe and visit all your favorite author locations. My elderly aunt (in her 70’s) and her daughter had never been overseas — they both married young and never found the time or money to do it. But when she turned 75 she realized it was now or never, and she upped and dragged my cousin and they booked plane tickets and a hotel room for the first night and from then on they winged it — went where the fancy took them. My cousin, who is a timid driver, got to drive the hire cars and they stayed in bed and breakfasts, and in cheap hotels and even youth hostels, and dredged up every relative or relative of friends they could find. They had a ball.
    Hmm, that reminds me, I must reread travels With My Aunt. Wonderful book

    Reply
  65. Hellion, I hope you get to go to Europe and visit all your favorite author locations. My elderly aunt (in her 70’s) and her daughter had never been overseas — they both married young and never found the time or money to do it. But when she turned 75 she realized it was now or never, and she upped and dragged my cousin and they booked plane tickets and a hotel room for the first night and from then on they winged it — went where the fancy took them. My cousin, who is a timid driver, got to drive the hire cars and they stayed in bed and breakfasts, and in cheap hotels and even youth hostels, and dredged up every relative or relative of friends they could find. They had a ball.
    Hmm, that reminds me, I must reread travels With My Aunt. Wonderful book

    Reply
  66. Deb, I’ve never been to Denmark, never been to Norway or Sweden either, but I really, really want to go. My niece and nephew went to Denmark (separately) on a month’s exchange with CISV and it changed them, particularly my nephew. He left home a small computerholic who barely looked up from the screen when visitors came. He returned, a sociable lad who always put people before computers. This was not some miracle of Danish culture, by the way — the boy he was paired with was just like him, and he realized how boring it was to be around someone who only interacted with a screen. LOL. But both kids came home from their exchanges so much more poised and confident.
    When I first wrote for Mills and Boon, so many people mentioned Essie Summers to me I went looking for her books, which are well out of print. Beautiful descriptions of New Zealand.
    If you go to New Zealand you won’t be disappointed. It’s a very beautiful country, with a lot of interest packed into a small area.

    Reply
  67. Deb, I’ve never been to Denmark, never been to Norway or Sweden either, but I really, really want to go. My niece and nephew went to Denmark (separately) on a month’s exchange with CISV and it changed them, particularly my nephew. He left home a small computerholic who barely looked up from the screen when visitors came. He returned, a sociable lad who always put people before computers. This was not some miracle of Danish culture, by the way — the boy he was paired with was just like him, and he realized how boring it was to be around someone who only interacted with a screen. LOL. But both kids came home from their exchanges so much more poised and confident.
    When I first wrote for Mills and Boon, so many people mentioned Essie Summers to me I went looking for her books, which are well out of print. Beautiful descriptions of New Zealand.
    If you go to New Zealand you won’t be disappointed. It’s a very beautiful country, with a lot of interest packed into a small area.

    Reply
  68. Deb, I’ve never been to Denmark, never been to Norway or Sweden either, but I really, really want to go. My niece and nephew went to Denmark (separately) on a month’s exchange with CISV and it changed them, particularly my nephew. He left home a small computerholic who barely looked up from the screen when visitors came. He returned, a sociable lad who always put people before computers. This was not some miracle of Danish culture, by the way — the boy he was paired with was just like him, and he realized how boring it was to be around someone who only interacted with a screen. LOL. But both kids came home from their exchanges so much more poised and confident.
    When I first wrote for Mills and Boon, so many people mentioned Essie Summers to me I went looking for her books, which are well out of print. Beautiful descriptions of New Zealand.
    If you go to New Zealand you won’t be disappointed. It’s a very beautiful country, with a lot of interest packed into a small area.

    Reply
  69. Deb, I’ve never been to Denmark, never been to Norway or Sweden either, but I really, really want to go. My niece and nephew went to Denmark (separately) on a month’s exchange with CISV and it changed them, particularly my nephew. He left home a small computerholic who barely looked up from the screen when visitors came. He returned, a sociable lad who always put people before computers. This was not some miracle of Danish culture, by the way — the boy he was paired with was just like him, and he realized how boring it was to be around someone who only interacted with a screen. LOL. But both kids came home from their exchanges so much more poised and confident.
    When I first wrote for Mills and Boon, so many people mentioned Essie Summers to me I went looking for her books, which are well out of print. Beautiful descriptions of New Zealand.
    If you go to New Zealand you won’t be disappointed. It’s a very beautiful country, with a lot of interest packed into a small area.

    Reply
  70. Deb, I’ve never been to Denmark, never been to Norway or Sweden either, but I really, really want to go. My niece and nephew went to Denmark (separately) on a month’s exchange with CISV and it changed them, particularly my nephew. He left home a small computerholic who barely looked up from the screen when visitors came. He returned, a sociable lad who always put people before computers. This was not some miracle of Danish culture, by the way — the boy he was paired with was just like him, and he realized how boring it was to be around someone who only interacted with a screen. LOL. But both kids came home from their exchanges so much more poised and confident.
    When I first wrote for Mills and Boon, so many people mentioned Essie Summers to me I went looking for her books, which are well out of print. Beautiful descriptions of New Zealand.
    If you go to New Zealand you won’t be disappointed. It’s a very beautiful country, with a lot of interest packed into a small area.

    Reply
  71. >>In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. << I had the same thought when I read your blog--that very discreet and well connected agency sounded very, very Eva Ibbotson. And I don't think anyone could be disappointed by visiting New Zealand! (Nor Australia, either.)

    Reply
  72. >>In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. << I had the same thought when I read your blog--that very discreet and well connected agency sounded very, very Eva Ibbotson. And I don't think anyone could be disappointed by visiting New Zealand! (Nor Australia, either.)

    Reply
  73. >>In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. << I had the same thought when I read your blog--that very discreet and well connected agency sounded very, very Eva Ibbotson. And I don't think anyone could be disappointed by visiting New Zealand! (Nor Australia, either.)

    Reply
  74. >>In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. << I had the same thought when I read your blog--that very discreet and well connected agency sounded very, very Eva Ibbotson. And I don't think anyone could be disappointed by visiting New Zealand! (Nor Australia, either.)

    Reply
  75. >>In retrospect it sounds like something straight out of an Eva Ibbotson book, and I wish I’d grilled those girls more about them. << I had the same thought when I read your blog--that very discreet and well connected agency sounded very, very Eva Ibbotson. And I don't think anyone could be disappointed by visiting New Zealand! (Nor Australia, either.)

    Reply
  76. In 1984 (when I was 24) I went to Papua New Guinea to do some research… along the way I got to stop in Australia and stow away on a freighter, slept on a sofa or two and met folks who invited me back… so I went to New Zealand later in the 1980’s.
    Some of the most adventurous people I met were the Australians and the Kiwi’s – and the ships crew were all Brits – Yorkshire, Welsh, Londoners! It certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities.
    It wasn’t a gap year (envy!!!!) but it was a few months adventure. This has certainly brought all of that back to mind! Thank you!
    Travels in my 30’s and 40’s business to Europe & such has been far more ordinary with hotels and schedules.
    Don’t know that we really have a ‘grey nomad’ thing going in the U.S., but am very intrigued by the idea!
    cheers, Julie P

    Reply
  77. In 1984 (when I was 24) I went to Papua New Guinea to do some research… along the way I got to stop in Australia and stow away on a freighter, slept on a sofa or two and met folks who invited me back… so I went to New Zealand later in the 1980’s.
    Some of the most adventurous people I met were the Australians and the Kiwi’s – and the ships crew were all Brits – Yorkshire, Welsh, Londoners! It certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities.
    It wasn’t a gap year (envy!!!!) but it was a few months adventure. This has certainly brought all of that back to mind! Thank you!
    Travels in my 30’s and 40’s business to Europe & such has been far more ordinary with hotels and schedules.
    Don’t know that we really have a ‘grey nomad’ thing going in the U.S., but am very intrigued by the idea!
    cheers, Julie P

    Reply
  78. In 1984 (when I was 24) I went to Papua New Guinea to do some research… along the way I got to stop in Australia and stow away on a freighter, slept on a sofa or two and met folks who invited me back… so I went to New Zealand later in the 1980’s.
    Some of the most adventurous people I met were the Australians and the Kiwi’s – and the ships crew were all Brits – Yorkshire, Welsh, Londoners! It certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities.
    It wasn’t a gap year (envy!!!!) but it was a few months adventure. This has certainly brought all of that back to mind! Thank you!
    Travels in my 30’s and 40’s business to Europe & such has been far more ordinary with hotels and schedules.
    Don’t know that we really have a ‘grey nomad’ thing going in the U.S., but am very intrigued by the idea!
    cheers, Julie P

    Reply
  79. In 1984 (when I was 24) I went to Papua New Guinea to do some research… along the way I got to stop in Australia and stow away on a freighter, slept on a sofa or two and met folks who invited me back… so I went to New Zealand later in the 1980’s.
    Some of the most adventurous people I met were the Australians and the Kiwi’s – and the ships crew were all Brits – Yorkshire, Welsh, Londoners! It certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities.
    It wasn’t a gap year (envy!!!!) but it was a few months adventure. This has certainly brought all of that back to mind! Thank you!
    Travels in my 30’s and 40’s business to Europe & such has been far more ordinary with hotels and schedules.
    Don’t know that we really have a ‘grey nomad’ thing going in the U.S., but am very intrigued by the idea!
    cheers, Julie P

    Reply
  80. In 1984 (when I was 24) I went to Papua New Guinea to do some research… along the way I got to stop in Australia and stow away on a freighter, slept on a sofa or two and met folks who invited me back… so I went to New Zealand later in the 1980’s.
    Some of the most adventurous people I met were the Australians and the Kiwi’s – and the ships crew were all Brits – Yorkshire, Welsh, Londoners! It certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities.
    It wasn’t a gap year (envy!!!!) but it was a few months adventure. This has certainly brought all of that back to mind! Thank you!
    Travels in my 30’s and 40’s business to Europe & such has been far more ordinary with hotels and schedules.
    Don’t know that we really have a ‘grey nomad’ thing going in the U.S., but am very intrigued by the idea!
    cheers, Julie P

    Reply
  81. Actually, anyone reading this post who really wants to go… go ahead and just do it! Get that passport, reserve a room and buy a ticket!
    The first time I went to England I bought a BritRail pass to get from place to place and found a decent Bed and Breakfast near the British museum… I shopped (or looked really) at Harrods, checked out the “Elgin Marbles”… went to the Assembly Rooms in Bath… went to the Smithfield (market) [having been influenced by Roberta Gellis as well as by several hundred Regency novels].
    Don’t wait until everything is just right in your life – go for a week if that is all you can afford… once you’ve traveled abroad once – it gets easier and easier to go again and again!
    Have fun!
    Jpoorman

    Reply
  82. Actually, anyone reading this post who really wants to go… go ahead and just do it! Get that passport, reserve a room and buy a ticket!
    The first time I went to England I bought a BritRail pass to get from place to place and found a decent Bed and Breakfast near the British museum… I shopped (or looked really) at Harrods, checked out the “Elgin Marbles”… went to the Assembly Rooms in Bath… went to the Smithfield (market) [having been influenced by Roberta Gellis as well as by several hundred Regency novels].
    Don’t wait until everything is just right in your life – go for a week if that is all you can afford… once you’ve traveled abroad once – it gets easier and easier to go again and again!
    Have fun!
    Jpoorman

    Reply
  83. Actually, anyone reading this post who really wants to go… go ahead and just do it! Get that passport, reserve a room and buy a ticket!
    The first time I went to England I bought a BritRail pass to get from place to place and found a decent Bed and Breakfast near the British museum… I shopped (or looked really) at Harrods, checked out the “Elgin Marbles”… went to the Assembly Rooms in Bath… went to the Smithfield (market) [having been influenced by Roberta Gellis as well as by several hundred Regency novels].
    Don’t wait until everything is just right in your life – go for a week if that is all you can afford… once you’ve traveled abroad once – it gets easier and easier to go again and again!
    Have fun!
    Jpoorman

    Reply
  84. Actually, anyone reading this post who really wants to go… go ahead and just do it! Get that passport, reserve a room and buy a ticket!
    The first time I went to England I bought a BritRail pass to get from place to place and found a decent Bed and Breakfast near the British museum… I shopped (or looked really) at Harrods, checked out the “Elgin Marbles”… went to the Assembly Rooms in Bath… went to the Smithfield (market) [having been influenced by Roberta Gellis as well as by several hundred Regency novels].
    Don’t wait until everything is just right in your life – go for a week if that is all you can afford… once you’ve traveled abroad once – it gets easier and easier to go again and again!
    Have fun!
    Jpoorman

    Reply
  85. Actually, anyone reading this post who really wants to go… go ahead and just do it! Get that passport, reserve a room and buy a ticket!
    The first time I went to England I bought a BritRail pass to get from place to place and found a decent Bed and Breakfast near the British museum… I shopped (or looked really) at Harrods, checked out the “Elgin Marbles”… went to the Assembly Rooms in Bath… went to the Smithfield (market) [having been influenced by Roberta Gellis as well as by several hundred Regency novels].
    Don’t wait until everything is just right in your life – go for a week if that is all you can afford… once you’ve traveled abroad once – it gets easier and easier to go again and again!
    Have fun!
    Jpoorman

    Reply
  86. What, hellion, Branson isn’t exotic enough? “G”
    I’ve always had itchy feet. When we were young and poor, just driving out of state was enough. But we’ve traveled most of the states now and a number of countries. Now I want to spent months elsewhere, experiencing different cultures. They need “senior hostels” around the world–ones with real beds and baths. “G”

    Reply
  87. What, hellion, Branson isn’t exotic enough? “G”
    I’ve always had itchy feet. When we were young and poor, just driving out of state was enough. But we’ve traveled most of the states now and a number of countries. Now I want to spent months elsewhere, experiencing different cultures. They need “senior hostels” around the world–ones with real beds and baths. “G”

    Reply
  88. What, hellion, Branson isn’t exotic enough? “G”
    I’ve always had itchy feet. When we were young and poor, just driving out of state was enough. But we’ve traveled most of the states now and a number of countries. Now I want to spent months elsewhere, experiencing different cultures. They need “senior hostels” around the world–ones with real beds and baths. “G”

    Reply
  89. What, hellion, Branson isn’t exotic enough? “G”
    I’ve always had itchy feet. When we were young and poor, just driving out of state was enough. But we’ve traveled most of the states now and a number of countries. Now I want to spent months elsewhere, experiencing different cultures. They need “senior hostels” around the world–ones with real beds and baths. “G”

    Reply
  90. What, hellion, Branson isn’t exotic enough? “G”
    I’ve always had itchy feet. When we were young and poor, just driving out of state was enough. But we’ve traveled most of the states now and a number of countries. Now I want to spent months elsewhere, experiencing different cultures. They need “senior hostels” around the world–ones with real beds and baths. “G”

    Reply
  91. Julie P, I think this is a brilliant comment — I couldn’t agree more.
    “Don’t wait until everything is just right in your life – go for a week if that is all you can afford… once you’ve traveled abroad once – it gets easier and easier to go again and again!”
    A lot of people put trips off until everything is right and they have lots of time and money, but you don’t need to take tours or stay in expensive hotels or spend a lot of money. If you just go and “wing it” like my 75 y.o. aunt did, things just fall into place.
    And if you travel alone, the worst part is the worry before you leave. Once you’re actually traveling, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to meet people along the way, and how kind and friendly people can be. And even though I’ve met my fair share of dodgy characters, traveling has always reinforced my faith in the basic goodness of human nature. There’s a reason I’m a romance writer.
    Pat, I love the sound of “Senior hostels.”

    Reply
  92. Julie P, I think this is a brilliant comment — I couldn’t agree more.
    “Don’t wait until everything is just right in your life – go for a week if that is all you can afford… once you’ve traveled abroad once – it gets easier and easier to go again and again!”
    A lot of people put trips off until everything is right and they have lots of time and money, but you don’t need to take tours or stay in expensive hotels or spend a lot of money. If you just go and “wing it” like my 75 y.o. aunt did, things just fall into place.
    And if you travel alone, the worst part is the worry before you leave. Once you’re actually traveling, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to meet people along the way, and how kind and friendly people can be. And even though I’ve met my fair share of dodgy characters, traveling has always reinforced my faith in the basic goodness of human nature. There’s a reason I’m a romance writer.
    Pat, I love the sound of “Senior hostels.”

    Reply
  93. Julie P, I think this is a brilliant comment — I couldn’t agree more.
    “Don’t wait until everything is just right in your life – go for a week if that is all you can afford… once you’ve traveled abroad once – it gets easier and easier to go again and again!”
    A lot of people put trips off until everything is right and they have lots of time and money, but you don’t need to take tours or stay in expensive hotels or spend a lot of money. If you just go and “wing it” like my 75 y.o. aunt did, things just fall into place.
    And if you travel alone, the worst part is the worry before you leave. Once you’re actually traveling, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to meet people along the way, and how kind and friendly people can be. And even though I’ve met my fair share of dodgy characters, traveling has always reinforced my faith in the basic goodness of human nature. There’s a reason I’m a romance writer.
    Pat, I love the sound of “Senior hostels.”

    Reply
  94. Julie P, I think this is a brilliant comment — I couldn’t agree more.
    “Don’t wait until everything is just right in your life – go for a week if that is all you can afford… once you’ve traveled abroad once – it gets easier and easier to go again and again!”
    A lot of people put trips off until everything is right and they have lots of time and money, but you don’t need to take tours or stay in expensive hotels or spend a lot of money. If you just go and “wing it” like my 75 y.o. aunt did, things just fall into place.
    And if you travel alone, the worst part is the worry before you leave. Once you’re actually traveling, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to meet people along the way, and how kind and friendly people can be. And even though I’ve met my fair share of dodgy characters, traveling has always reinforced my faith in the basic goodness of human nature. There’s a reason I’m a romance writer.
    Pat, I love the sound of “Senior hostels.”

    Reply
  95. Julie P, I think this is a brilliant comment — I couldn’t agree more.
    “Don’t wait until everything is just right in your life – go for a week if that is all you can afford… once you’ve traveled abroad once – it gets easier and easier to go again and again!”
    A lot of people put trips off until everything is right and they have lots of time and money, but you don’t need to take tours or stay in expensive hotels or spend a lot of money. If you just go and “wing it” like my 75 y.o. aunt did, things just fall into place.
    And if you travel alone, the worst part is the worry before you leave. Once you’re actually traveling, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to meet people along the way, and how kind and friendly people can be. And even though I’ve met my fair share of dodgy characters, traveling has always reinforced my faith in the basic goodness of human nature. There’s a reason I’m a romance writer.
    Pat, I love the sound of “Senior hostels.”

    Reply
  96. Just to explain the Grey Nomad thing — the name comes from a poem written by a woman– I’ve forgotten her name, but she’s not a famous writer or anything, just an ordinary woman who loves words and who, I think, sent in the poem to a national radio show. Then the title was used in a documentary by a local film-maker, Steve Westh, and it, too was shown on national TV. It’s so apt, it caught the public imagination, and though most people here know what a grey nomad is, they don’t know the origin of the term.
    While many people have traveled overseas, many more of us haven’t been to every part of our own country, so on retirement, many people sell up the house or rent it out, and buy a campervan or something like that and head off to explore their own country. Some just do it in their cars, staying at camping grounds.
    There are lots of grey nomad blogs. Here are a few:
    http://www.susan.com.au/blog/
    http://www.greynomadaustralia.com.au/
    I’m surprised that more retired Americans don’t do that — I think exploring every state of the US would be a wonderful experience.

    Reply
  97. Just to explain the Grey Nomad thing — the name comes from a poem written by a woman– I’ve forgotten her name, but she’s not a famous writer or anything, just an ordinary woman who loves words and who, I think, sent in the poem to a national radio show. Then the title was used in a documentary by a local film-maker, Steve Westh, and it, too was shown on national TV. It’s so apt, it caught the public imagination, and though most people here know what a grey nomad is, they don’t know the origin of the term.
    While many people have traveled overseas, many more of us haven’t been to every part of our own country, so on retirement, many people sell up the house or rent it out, and buy a campervan or something like that and head off to explore their own country. Some just do it in their cars, staying at camping grounds.
    There are lots of grey nomad blogs. Here are a few:
    http://www.susan.com.au/blog/
    http://www.greynomadaustralia.com.au/
    I’m surprised that more retired Americans don’t do that — I think exploring every state of the US would be a wonderful experience.

    Reply
  98. Just to explain the Grey Nomad thing — the name comes from a poem written by a woman– I’ve forgotten her name, but she’s not a famous writer or anything, just an ordinary woman who loves words and who, I think, sent in the poem to a national radio show. Then the title was used in a documentary by a local film-maker, Steve Westh, and it, too was shown on national TV. It’s so apt, it caught the public imagination, and though most people here know what a grey nomad is, they don’t know the origin of the term.
    While many people have traveled overseas, many more of us haven’t been to every part of our own country, so on retirement, many people sell up the house or rent it out, and buy a campervan or something like that and head off to explore their own country. Some just do it in their cars, staying at camping grounds.
    There are lots of grey nomad blogs. Here are a few:
    http://www.susan.com.au/blog/
    http://www.greynomadaustralia.com.au/
    I’m surprised that more retired Americans don’t do that — I think exploring every state of the US would be a wonderful experience.

    Reply
  99. Just to explain the Grey Nomad thing — the name comes from a poem written by a woman– I’ve forgotten her name, but she’s not a famous writer or anything, just an ordinary woman who loves words and who, I think, sent in the poem to a national radio show. Then the title was used in a documentary by a local film-maker, Steve Westh, and it, too was shown on national TV. It’s so apt, it caught the public imagination, and though most people here know what a grey nomad is, they don’t know the origin of the term.
    While many people have traveled overseas, many more of us haven’t been to every part of our own country, so on retirement, many people sell up the house or rent it out, and buy a campervan or something like that and head off to explore their own country. Some just do it in their cars, staying at camping grounds.
    There are lots of grey nomad blogs. Here are a few:
    http://www.susan.com.au/blog/
    http://www.greynomadaustralia.com.au/
    I’m surprised that more retired Americans don’t do that — I think exploring every state of the US would be a wonderful experience.

    Reply
  100. Just to explain the Grey Nomad thing — the name comes from a poem written by a woman– I’ve forgotten her name, but she’s not a famous writer or anything, just an ordinary woman who loves words and who, I think, sent in the poem to a national radio show. Then the title was used in a documentary by a local film-maker, Steve Westh, and it, too was shown on national TV. It’s so apt, it caught the public imagination, and though most people here know what a grey nomad is, they don’t know the origin of the term.
    While many people have traveled overseas, many more of us haven’t been to every part of our own country, so on retirement, many people sell up the house or rent it out, and buy a campervan or something like that and head off to explore their own country. Some just do it in their cars, staying at camping grounds.
    There are lots of grey nomad blogs. Here are a few:
    http://www.susan.com.au/blog/
    http://www.greynomadaustralia.com.au/
    I’m surprised that more retired Americans don’t do that — I think exploring every state of the US would be a wonderful experience.

    Reply
  101. Hi Anne
    I’m one of those Australian Grand Tourers on the late 60s early 70s. I spent two years living and working in England, and periodically touring to parts of the continent as the money and inclination suggested. Today I look at all the wonderful sites that have been roped off or closed to today’s tourists – the Parthenon, the Forum, Stonehenge and others – and believe I was one of the lucky ones. I spent shorter periods in Europe over the years, but never less than three months. Now, even though I would love to go back, circumstances don’t allow. I can however look back through my memories and relive those wonderful times. No-one can ever take those away from me.

    Reply
  102. Hi Anne
    I’m one of those Australian Grand Tourers on the late 60s early 70s. I spent two years living and working in England, and periodically touring to parts of the continent as the money and inclination suggested. Today I look at all the wonderful sites that have been roped off or closed to today’s tourists – the Parthenon, the Forum, Stonehenge and others – and believe I was one of the lucky ones. I spent shorter periods in Europe over the years, but never less than three months. Now, even though I would love to go back, circumstances don’t allow. I can however look back through my memories and relive those wonderful times. No-one can ever take those away from me.

    Reply
  103. Hi Anne
    I’m one of those Australian Grand Tourers on the late 60s early 70s. I spent two years living and working in England, and periodically touring to parts of the continent as the money and inclination suggested. Today I look at all the wonderful sites that have been roped off or closed to today’s tourists – the Parthenon, the Forum, Stonehenge and others – and believe I was one of the lucky ones. I spent shorter periods in Europe over the years, but never less than three months. Now, even though I would love to go back, circumstances don’t allow. I can however look back through my memories and relive those wonderful times. No-one can ever take those away from me.

    Reply
  104. Hi Anne
    I’m one of those Australian Grand Tourers on the late 60s early 70s. I spent two years living and working in England, and periodically touring to parts of the continent as the money and inclination suggested. Today I look at all the wonderful sites that have been roped off or closed to today’s tourists – the Parthenon, the Forum, Stonehenge and others – and believe I was one of the lucky ones. I spent shorter periods in Europe over the years, but never less than three months. Now, even though I would love to go back, circumstances don’t allow. I can however look back through my memories and relive those wonderful times. No-one can ever take those away from me.

    Reply
  105. Hi Anne
    I’m one of those Australian Grand Tourers on the late 60s early 70s. I spent two years living and working in England, and periodically touring to parts of the continent as the money and inclination suggested. Today I look at all the wonderful sites that have been roped off or closed to today’s tourists – the Parthenon, the Forum, Stonehenge and others – and believe I was one of the lucky ones. I spent shorter periods in Europe over the years, but never less than three months. Now, even though I would love to go back, circumstances don’t allow. I can however look back through my memories and relive those wonderful times. No-one can ever take those away from me.

    Reply
  106. Jenny, yes, I recall being able to stand in the middle of Stonehenge and lay my hand on the stones, and wow, what a sensation that was.
    I’d read a lot of druid era stories and had been brought up on Henry Treece books, and all of them brought that awareness to the experience.
    Not my Asterix comics, though. LOL.
    BTW if anyone wants to read a couple of fabulous books about that era: try the Marion Zimmer Bradley book, the mists of Avalon, and also the Pauline Gedge book, the Eagle and the Raven, which is set in the time when the Romans first conquered Britain.

    Reply
  107. Jenny, yes, I recall being able to stand in the middle of Stonehenge and lay my hand on the stones, and wow, what a sensation that was.
    I’d read a lot of druid era stories and had been brought up on Henry Treece books, and all of them brought that awareness to the experience.
    Not my Asterix comics, though. LOL.
    BTW if anyone wants to read a couple of fabulous books about that era: try the Marion Zimmer Bradley book, the mists of Avalon, and also the Pauline Gedge book, the Eagle and the Raven, which is set in the time when the Romans first conquered Britain.

    Reply
  108. Jenny, yes, I recall being able to stand in the middle of Stonehenge and lay my hand on the stones, and wow, what a sensation that was.
    I’d read a lot of druid era stories and had been brought up on Henry Treece books, and all of them brought that awareness to the experience.
    Not my Asterix comics, though. LOL.
    BTW if anyone wants to read a couple of fabulous books about that era: try the Marion Zimmer Bradley book, the mists of Avalon, and also the Pauline Gedge book, the Eagle and the Raven, which is set in the time when the Romans first conquered Britain.

    Reply
  109. Jenny, yes, I recall being able to stand in the middle of Stonehenge and lay my hand on the stones, and wow, what a sensation that was.
    I’d read a lot of druid era stories and had been brought up on Henry Treece books, and all of them brought that awareness to the experience.
    Not my Asterix comics, though. LOL.
    BTW if anyone wants to read a couple of fabulous books about that era: try the Marion Zimmer Bradley book, the mists of Avalon, and also the Pauline Gedge book, the Eagle and the Raven, which is set in the time when the Romans first conquered Britain.

    Reply
  110. Jenny, yes, I recall being able to stand in the middle of Stonehenge and lay my hand on the stones, and wow, what a sensation that was.
    I’d read a lot of druid era stories and had been brought up on Henry Treece books, and all of them brought that awareness to the experience.
    Not my Asterix comics, though. LOL.
    BTW if anyone wants to read a couple of fabulous books about that era: try the Marion Zimmer Bradley book, the mists of Avalon, and also the Pauline Gedge book, the Eagle and the Raven, which is set in the time when the Romans first conquered Britain.

    Reply
  111. Oh what a lovely blog! I loved reading everyone’s comments. I too have the wanderlust I love the shiver of anticipation before embarking on a new trip. I love airports and never find them boring, in fact Heathrow needs 3 -4 hours just to see all the shops! I also ditto the comments about just doing it – The world is so accessible now and flying is cheap. Arrive in a city and contact the nearest tourist info and they’ll find you rooms in your budget. Or book online; We got a great hotel in Prague for $70 two nights including breakfast and free WiFi. We then took the overnight sleeper train to Vienna. It was easy and affordable and saved a night in a hotel. You get into Vienna at 6:30am so have the whole day ahead of you.
    Happy Wandering to you all.

    Reply
  112. Oh what a lovely blog! I loved reading everyone’s comments. I too have the wanderlust I love the shiver of anticipation before embarking on a new trip. I love airports and never find them boring, in fact Heathrow needs 3 -4 hours just to see all the shops! I also ditto the comments about just doing it – The world is so accessible now and flying is cheap. Arrive in a city and contact the nearest tourist info and they’ll find you rooms in your budget. Or book online; We got a great hotel in Prague for $70 two nights including breakfast and free WiFi. We then took the overnight sleeper train to Vienna. It was easy and affordable and saved a night in a hotel. You get into Vienna at 6:30am so have the whole day ahead of you.
    Happy Wandering to you all.

    Reply
  113. Oh what a lovely blog! I loved reading everyone’s comments. I too have the wanderlust I love the shiver of anticipation before embarking on a new trip. I love airports and never find them boring, in fact Heathrow needs 3 -4 hours just to see all the shops! I also ditto the comments about just doing it – The world is so accessible now and flying is cheap. Arrive in a city and contact the nearest tourist info and they’ll find you rooms in your budget. Or book online; We got a great hotel in Prague for $70 two nights including breakfast and free WiFi. We then took the overnight sleeper train to Vienna. It was easy and affordable and saved a night in a hotel. You get into Vienna at 6:30am so have the whole day ahead of you.
    Happy Wandering to you all.

    Reply
  114. Oh what a lovely blog! I loved reading everyone’s comments. I too have the wanderlust I love the shiver of anticipation before embarking on a new trip. I love airports and never find them boring, in fact Heathrow needs 3 -4 hours just to see all the shops! I also ditto the comments about just doing it – The world is so accessible now and flying is cheap. Arrive in a city and contact the nearest tourist info and they’ll find you rooms in your budget. Or book online; We got a great hotel in Prague for $70 two nights including breakfast and free WiFi. We then took the overnight sleeper train to Vienna. It was easy and affordable and saved a night in a hotel. You get into Vienna at 6:30am so have the whole day ahead of you.
    Happy Wandering to you all.

    Reply
  115. Oh what a lovely blog! I loved reading everyone’s comments. I too have the wanderlust I love the shiver of anticipation before embarking on a new trip. I love airports and never find them boring, in fact Heathrow needs 3 -4 hours just to see all the shops! I also ditto the comments about just doing it – The world is so accessible now and flying is cheap. Arrive in a city and contact the nearest tourist info and they’ll find you rooms in your budget. Or book online; We got a great hotel in Prague for $70 two nights including breakfast and free WiFi. We then took the overnight sleeper train to Vienna. It was easy and affordable and saved a night in a hotel. You get into Vienna at 6:30am so have the whole day ahead of you.
    Happy Wandering to you all.

    Reply
  116. Sue, that’s great encouragement. There’s something so exciting about arriving in a city and finding accommodation — really it’s much easier than most people think. And by doing it, you meet local people, and start to get a real feel for the place.

    Reply
  117. Sue, that’s great encouragement. There’s something so exciting about arriving in a city and finding accommodation — really it’s much easier than most people think. And by doing it, you meet local people, and start to get a real feel for the place.

    Reply
  118. Sue, that’s great encouragement. There’s something so exciting about arriving in a city and finding accommodation — really it’s much easier than most people think. And by doing it, you meet local people, and start to get a real feel for the place.

    Reply
  119. Sue, that’s great encouragement. There’s something so exciting about arriving in a city and finding accommodation — really it’s much easier than most people think. And by doing it, you meet local people, and start to get a real feel for the place.

    Reply
  120. Sue, that’s great encouragement. There’s something so exciting about arriving in a city and finding accommodation — really it’s much easier than most people think. And by doing it, you meet local people, and start to get a real feel for the place.

    Reply
  121. What a wonderful blog, indeed!
    Like Anne and Jenny, I and my husband are a couple of those great Australian ‘grand tourers’ or ‘grantouristas’ as we call ourselves.
    My addiction to grand touring started when my family dragged me around Australia in a caravan for 5 years as a teen in the mid- to late-1970s.
    This year, my husband and I, who naturally became travel writers, have embarked on a year-long Grand Tour we’re calling Grantourismo. http://grantourismotravels.com/ Please do come and take a look and let us know what you think!

    Reply
  122. What a wonderful blog, indeed!
    Like Anne and Jenny, I and my husband are a couple of those great Australian ‘grand tourers’ or ‘grantouristas’ as we call ourselves.
    My addiction to grand touring started when my family dragged me around Australia in a caravan for 5 years as a teen in the mid- to late-1970s.
    This year, my husband and I, who naturally became travel writers, have embarked on a year-long Grand Tour we’re calling Grantourismo. http://grantourismotravels.com/ Please do come and take a look and let us know what you think!

    Reply
  123. What a wonderful blog, indeed!
    Like Anne and Jenny, I and my husband are a couple of those great Australian ‘grand tourers’ or ‘grantouristas’ as we call ourselves.
    My addiction to grand touring started when my family dragged me around Australia in a caravan for 5 years as a teen in the mid- to late-1970s.
    This year, my husband and I, who naturally became travel writers, have embarked on a year-long Grand Tour we’re calling Grantourismo. http://grantourismotravels.com/ Please do come and take a look and let us know what you think!

    Reply
  124. What a wonderful blog, indeed!
    Like Anne and Jenny, I and my husband are a couple of those great Australian ‘grand tourers’ or ‘grantouristas’ as we call ourselves.
    My addiction to grand touring started when my family dragged me around Australia in a caravan for 5 years as a teen in the mid- to late-1970s.
    This year, my husband and I, who naturally became travel writers, have embarked on a year-long Grand Tour we’re calling Grantourismo. http://grantourismotravels.com/ Please do come and take a look and let us know what you think!

    Reply
  125. What a wonderful blog, indeed!
    Like Anne and Jenny, I and my husband are a couple of those great Australian ‘grand tourers’ or ‘grantouristas’ as we call ourselves.
    My addiction to grand touring started when my family dragged me around Australia in a caravan for 5 years as a teen in the mid- to late-1970s.
    This year, my husband and I, who naturally became travel writers, have embarked on a year-long Grand Tour we’re calling Grantourismo. http://grantourismotravels.com/ Please do come and take a look and let us know what you think!

    Reply

Leave a Comment