x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

The world is my oyster

I like nothing better than sitting with a blank piece of paper in front of me. Add to this the travel book that lies opened in one hand, my pen in the other ready to write down whatever comes to mind, and the world is my oyster.

I've always been brilliant at making up lists of places I'm going to travel to. Brilliant and wildly imaginative lists. Lists, that if ever completed, would definitely put me up there among the world's greatest travellers.

My travel aspirations range from touring all the spots where the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World once (supposedly) stood to climbing to the base of Mount Everest.

I like nothing better than sitting with a blank piece of paper in front of me. Add to this the travel book that lies opened in one hand, my pen in the other ready to write down whatever comes to mind, and the world is my oyster.

What I'm not so good at, unfortunately, is following through with any of my plans. Sure, I've done rather a lot of travelling in my lifetime, but the majority of that was with my family when I was still too young to appreciate it. I do have one great memory, though, from a trip to what was then Yugoslavia, when I was about five, of my dad taking me out of our hotel - all covert-like - to an incredibly fancy restaurant for dinner.

I don't know why it was just the two of us who went - although when I think about it it was probably because my mum was otherwise occupied with my two younger siblings - but it's an excellent memory nonetheless.

Other great memories from past holidays include my first trip to Oman, with the local Girl Guide troupe, when we kayaked over a stretch of lake bursting with turtles, a sight I will never forget.

Other unforgettable memories I have are from my holiday in Toronto when I was seven, visiting my uncle and his family. Between spending hours catching fireflies in the back garden and having my two wobbly front teeth pulled out by tying a bit of string around them and the handle of their living room door, that is a trip that always brings a smile to my face. What's sad, though, is knowing that many other memories like these, from all my other trips abroad, have been lost forever, obliterated by time.

There is a silver lining to this story, however. It has prompted me to actually get up and go out travelling, to tick off the hundreds of places on my dozens of travel wish lists. And first? A long weekend in Amman, Jordan, just over a week away, where I'll - of course - make my way to Petra.

I can't promise my companion that I won't embarrass her by re-enacting a scene from Indiana Jones (because there's no way I'm not going to) but I think she'll appreciate it in the long run. I mean, it's all about the memories. Right?