Diana flies home near the end of July, so we have a lovely long time with her around this year. She is going back via Vancouver, which will be great, as she has never been to Canada. Neither have I for that matter. One day. Crystal??? Hear that??? One day! But so exciting for her to see new places.
She is the adventurer in the family. The one who wants to explore the world, and actually does it too. She is a geographer, after all! When I think back to the year she finished school, and then, aged 18, set off around the world...... Wonderful. She went all round Europe, and then to New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, then off to Europe again to see Prague. And then after many holidays in the Alps, she moved to New Zealand, and since then has done a lot of NZ exploring, been to Australia, and stopped in San Francisco for a few days too. And Hong Kong on the way back last year for a few days.
As I get older, my list of places I would love to visit is being refined slowly, and in most cases, it is the people I want to see, as well as the geographical and historical parts. And because my family and friends are scattered all round the globe, that factors in hugely. I should have encouraged my children to work for an airline. Memo to all you young Mums with a wanderlust.... get your children to think of any branch of aviation as a career!
When I go to different places to visit people, the first things I want to do is see where they live and the places they go to, like shops, and where they have coffee, or go for walks. Then I want to see the surrounding scenery etc. But I want to build a picture in my mind of their reality, so when I am home, I can conjure up pictures from my memories. Isn't that what memories are all about really?
Becky has just come home from a trip to Europe with her husband's choir. I am absolutely sure that her wonderful memories of this trip will be coloured by the experiences of the kids she travelled with, and the people they met, the homes they visited, and the places they ate, and the music they made. She will look at photos of the magnificent castles, cathedrals and scenery, and remember them all AND the things people said or did there. The sounds, the laughter, the fun. The people make it unique.
Of course you can travel alone and have the most amazing times, but you will talk to people you meet, and you will remember them. Small things. Keeping your eyes open, using your imagination, watching how things are done in different places. Learning all the time, and building up layers of memories you can peel back later, slowly, and savour them.
That is why, as we grow older, the memories become so much clearer, I suppose. We take them out over and over again, and relive moments from our experiences. Moments we tucked away, never to be forgotten. So if you happen to see someone gazing off into the distance, they may just be seeking out those memories, perhaps to enable them to get through the day. The memories could be of their childhood or just about anything, but I am sure that they will be coloured by the people who played a starring role. Not just the places.
I have NO idea how I drifted off into memories. Maybe I need to go and sit in the garden and gaze off into the distance, and dredge up some of the beautiful gems tucked away in my mind. I may just come back and share a couple with you later........