Hi everyone, I thought I’d give you a short post on the different places I’ve travelled to over the years with my family.
So, as I’ve mentioned in my first post for the month, I started travelling at a very young age when my parents moved to Zambia for work. Most summer holidays were spent in the 80’s either travelling back home to Sri Lanka to visit family or visiting famous tourist spots in Zambia and other neighbouring countries.
My earliest memories are of playing with friends during a visit to a national game park in Zambia. The impression these left on me still remain as I saw from a young age how wild animals such as zebras, giraffes and lions were supposed to live: free to roam on their own. Visiting the Victoria Falls were always special to me as I got to, each time, marvel at this massive force of nature. As my siblings and I grew older, my parents took us a bit further afield. One year we went on a shopping spree to Johannesburg and drove back in newly purchased cars back to Zambia through Zimbabwe. Another time dad took us to visit Serengeti National Park, the part in Tanzania, and we even managed to stand in front of Mt. Kilimanjaro and get a few photos.
As I left my childhood behind and returned to Sri Lanka, our travels were limited to places frequented by family. Back in the early 90’s the political situation in Sri Lanka allowed us to travel to only a few places together, but thanks to dad’s perseverance he took us to the main heritage sites and gave us some amazing memories as well as experiences.
From Sri Lanka, we moved again, to New Zealand; where we now call home. Starting university and journeying towards adulthood was eventful, to say the least. In those first few years we only ventured as far as our budget could take us. Over the last ten years or so I managed to stretch my travel muscles a little bit and we did manage to see a few more places. Visiting my sister in the UK helped me fuel my inner Anglophile and I was fortunate to visit the Lake District, Cornwall and see the cities of Bath and Bristol where she lives. Mum and I went for a visit a couple of years ago and we also squeezed in a short stay with a friend in Paris. Now that was an experience!! Standing in front of the Louvre, climbing to the top of the Eiffel tower and zooming down the streets of the City of Lights in a sightseeing bus couldn’t compare to the history that spoke to me from every corner intermingled with the 21st century!! Next to the UK, Australia is another destination of ours. My cousins who live in Brisbane invited us a few times and these trips have given us a glimpse into the beauty of the Brisbane city and a little bit of Queensland. More recently I ventured into South East Asia when my brother and his lovely wife invited me for a short trip to the island resort of Koh Samui in Thailand. You’d think as someone who grew up in Sri Lanka would be okay with the heat there; it was sweltering to say the least!! Despite the heat that was a trip worth doing at a leisurely pace though!! The one thing I loved there were the friendly locals and amazing food!!
New Zealand has been an amazing place to call home. We settled in Auckland, the largest city, and still haven’t seen all of it. What we have seen so far has inspired us to see more. The picturesque beaches of Waiheke Island, the lighthouse at Manukau Heads and walking through history at Auckland Museum are some of the more memorable of our travels here in the City of Sails. In the last few years I ventured a little further with mum and dad, and managed to see a little bit of the North Island. Our trip down to Wellington, the capital city, by train was one that impressed my parents. They enjoyed the few days we spent strolling in the national museum Te Papa, sightseeing from a city tour bus and on the final day, a tour of the parliament buildings!! Our tiki tour of Rotorua was also a treat as my parents couldn’t stop marvelling at the beauty of the geothermal nature of the area. The last place we visited was Paihia up north and even squeezed in a short visit to the Treaty Grounds, the most historic site in New Zealand where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. To many people around the world, New Zealand is known as an ‘adventure playground’ with beaches to relax on, mountains to hike over and raging rivers to ford. For me, New Zealand is so much more; it’s home.
Travelling, for me, is not just about seeing something new and meeting people, it gives me an opportunity to learn more about the world around me and helps me grow as a person. I hope you enjoyed this post on my travels!!