The time I went to Hawaii & Mexico. Apparently.


Ah, the hot white sand of Hawaii, the world-class diving in azure waters and the fragrant scent of fresh fish cooking on smoky fires; the majestic wonders of ancient Mexico, the smell of spice carrying on the warm breeze; I close my eyes and I can picture it now. But remember it? Not a chance. That’s because – to my undying exasperation – this beyond fabulous adventure to far-off tropical lands happened before I was walking, talking or forming longterm memories.

My family have had some great holidays in our time, but the most adventurous of my travels have been enjoyed with friends. Family holidays for us consisted of long, hot and sticky car drives, of BBQs on drizzly beaches, and of hiking in the pouring rain. When we lived in Germany, vacations would take the form of road trips to the south of France or Amsterdam. When in England, we’d pilgrimage to quaint, musty seaside cottages in Cornwall or Wales. If we were feeling particularly exotic, we might even take the Dover-Calais ferry to Brittany. I’m not complaining – some of my happiest childhood memories involve soggy sandwiches at the top of a Cornish tor, or learning to bodyboard in the bracing Welsh sea – but they can hardly be called exotic adventures. It was being based in Canada for a few years, where I was born, that inspired my parents to plan a more tropical trip. With two children under the age of five in tow, the flight from Canada to Hawaii seemed far less daunting than a transatlantic haul would have been, and the idea of having some heat after a winter of -40 temperatures was no doubt appealing.

To the 1-year-old me, life was starting out so well – three foreign stamps in my little baby passport before I’d even set foot on English soil. Perhaps it was this trip and the promise of more to come which planted the seed that blossomed into my insatiable thirst for travel. Or perhaps I just enjoyed being propped up in a jacuzzi or rocking a particularly fetching flower garland.

Quite literally dipping my toes into this whole travel lark… 

Either way, I’m sure this early foray into foreign experiences whetted my appetite for further adventure.

I’d love to be able to reminisce in detail about highlights and lowlights of the trip, the difference in cultural experiences that each stunning country had to offer, and which formative memories were made. But, as this all happened before I was capable of distinguishing between my arse and my elbow, there’s little more I can do than look longingly at the grainy 1980s photos and try to stir up some vague nostalgia that my chubby 1-year-old self might have held onto…


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