Memories of a young traveller
Spain is a place of happy childhood holidays. Our first visit was the week following my 5th birthday and Spain was exciting and different, and the beginning of a life-long love. I’d been on planes before, we flown to Northern Ireland regularly, sometimes twice a year. Dad had friends and business clients who owned a hotel and an early memory for me was one cold Easter helping clear snow from car windscreens with my older sister while standing on some sort of box so I could reach. We would have our tea in the kitchen early as we were so young, and got told off for running around the hallways, all the staff knew us.
We toured Ireland too; it was there I first rode a horse, first threw pennies into a wishing well and nearly got washed into the Atlantic by a freak wave. We always had a holiday somewhere in England as well but my Mum longed for warm sunshine and package holidays to Spain had just begun, so Spain it was.
When flying to Ireland as a toddler I have a clear memory of worrying about the propellers spinning off and Dad reassuring me they couldn’t. So my first memory of seeing a plane with jet engines is wondering where the propellers had gone! No propellers was very worrying!
I wasn’t a ‘good traveller’, in fact I’m still not, plagued by motion sickness and ear problems all my life, flying can be a painful and unpleasant experience, but planes get me from A to B quickly and boats just make me feel ill for longer! My parents and fellow travellers must have been very patient with me.
Spain in the 60’s didn’t have high rise buildings, air conditioning, kiss me quick hats, larger louts, fish and chips or pubs. What it did have was terrible roads, strange food, lots of donkeys in hats pulling carts along dusty tracks, hot sunshine, warm sea and wonderfully friendly people. We seemed a very long way from England or Ireland that first visit – to me, a little 5 year old, we had entered a whole new world.