We've never travelled overseas before. We've had a great time over six decades exploring Australia but now the time has come to spread our wings and fly.
One of our chicks, Glenn, has already left the nest and he and Sarah live and work in Zurich so we are going to stay with them for a couple of weeks. But before that we will be driving around the UK and Ireland for six weeks, exploring the villages that our ancestors left behind when they came to Australia in the 1800s. And we might look at a few castles, cathedrals, National Trust properties, museums, natural treasures and beautiful vistas along the way.
The pre-travel preparation has been interesting. I'm fairly computer-savvy and tried planning and booking the trip myself online. In the end I got myself so confused I took myself off to a travel agent and she had us sorted in no time. (If I get to travel overseas a second time I'll be much more confident about doing it myself.) My friends and even brief acquaintances are sick of me bombarding them with demands for travel advice but most people like talking about their holidays more than their listeners are prepared to listen so it hasn't been too difficult to build up a list of dos and don'ts. Time will tell whether their advice has been useful or not.
Neither of us had a passport so we had to go through the whole application process, including getting full birth certificates because we'd never needed them before. Phil had two bites at getting his certificate because his mother's name was spelt wrong on the first one. It took much longer than we'd thought and in retrospect we should have started the process earlier. But now we have them in hand, complete with photos that are very ordinary. One consolation is that the passports are valid for ten years so by then the photos may be a little more realistic or maybe even flattering.
One of our chicks, Gemma, is returning from a year working in Thailand this week and will be housesitting for us while she sorts out her next adventure. And our new grandchick, Geoff, who has just moved from Queensland back to Victoria with his parents Kerrie and Adam, will be two months older when we get back. He might even be able to say "g'day" by then.
So this blog won't be a nature blog like my other one. It's a travel blog so our friends and family can follow us on our adventure.
We leave in just over two weeks. Now I'm getting nervous and excited.