Yes, I’m cheating. I could have made X is for Xylophone, Y is for Yazee and Z is for Zebra, but I’m not going to. Truth be told, I didn’t play a Xylophone, scream “Yazee!” or even see a zebra whilst travelling.
And XYZ really is such a poetic metaphor for ‘the end’, don’t you think?
On December 30th 2011, I left for a European holiday. It was the first time in a good long while that I’d travelled not for study or for research, but for me. Five countries in four weeks proved exhausting, but also incredibly gratifying. Exploring new places, visiting old friends, and indulging in foreign food, cultures and people made a recipe for wonderful experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.
But the end of a journey is bitter sweet. The excitement of getting home to your own bed and the joy at seeing family and friends is coupled with the realisation that amazing experiences have now come to a close, and reality awaits.
Castles, canals, and home-made lasagne from your Italian host-mother are replaced with work, study and Vegemite on toast*. And before long, a week has passed. Two weeks. Three. And then it all just seems like a faraway dream; something you did a long, long time ago.
Thankfully I have this A-Z series of posts to now look back on and remember what wonderful experiences were had, and I thank you all for keenly following this travel memoir-come-nostalgic holiday journal with me.
It’s now been two months since I returned to Australia, but already I feel like it all happened a lifetime ago.
This trip allowed me to start 2012 with a bang, but with so much planned for the year ahead, I intend to finish it with a bang too. I am now 6 weeks into my Masters in Creative Writing course where I am actually holy-shit-scaringly penning my first fantasy novel. It’s new and it’s terrifying, but I’m using the explorations and experiences of my trip to fuel it… and I hope you will stick along for the ride.
For now I leave you with my Top 10 Travel Memories. If you’d like to see a list of the whole series, hover your mouse over the ‘About Katy’ link at the top of the page for the drop down link.
Happy reading, minions!
10. Watching the Scottish Ballet perform Sleeping Beauty.
9. Walking the cobbled stone streets of the Ancient Town of Rye.
8. Getting lost in Venice.
7. Exploring London on a sunny winter’s day.
6. Drinking hot chocolate at The Elephant Cafe, à la JK Rowling style.
5. Meeting up with my childhood best friend after 17 years.
4. Listening to live celtic folk music in an Edinburgh pub.
3. Being greeted at a Hamburg train station by my brother holding a Hawain garland and waving a German flag.
2. Arriving by night to the lights and Christmas markets of beautiful Krakow, Poland.
1. Seeing Edinburgh Castle for the very first time.
* I secretly missed my Vegemite on toast breakfast ritual. Shhh!