The year my eldest sister turned 21, she was living in Scotland.
Not wanting her to be alone on such a momentous occasion, my beautiful hardworking mother took my middle sister and I on our first overseas adventure to our big sister to celebrate and have a month-long tour of the UK!
I was 15 at the time, (a selfish, pain in the arse time of life). Despite this, it was as an amazing holiday, a once in a lifetime adventure that I’ll remember forever and will be thankful for till the day I die! Your awesome Mum!
We had 2 days in LA where we did Disney, Universal and the prerequisite tour of Hollywood. Then flying into London we were met by my big sister at Heathrow airport, carrying a welcome sign with “the Uglies” written on it. Yup, my family are hilarious. (One day sarcastica WILL be a text option).
We picked up our hire car, crossed paths with a few bobbys who kindly reiterated the road rules and went on to explore London’s landmarks then off through Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Stopping at every BnB, landmark, castle & graveyard on the way! Magic!
The trip was not without incidence of course. 4 women, one Mum, one 19 year old smart alec, 1 defensive vegetarian and 1 moody teen in a hatch back. He he he. It was nothing if not entertaining.
There was a bitch fight in Edinburgh, a pretty full on argument over cheese sandwiches and the moody teen (me) decided to stubbornly refuse the cold rainy walk to the beautiful castle ruin on the bluff overlooking the ocean and instead sit in the car to read brave heart. (Trying to immerse myself in Scottish culture perhaps? Idiot.)
But overall we all got along fine. We danced the night away at a ceili, were tricked into a horse and cart ride by an old Irish man chewing the most tobacco I have ever seen in my life, went to a witches cave and kissed the Blarney Stone (yeah I know, pretty gross but kissing local urine is really a small price for a tourist to pay for the gift of eloquent speech).
We met some heeyland coos*, found a sad old wildlife park and stumbled upon a place we dubbed Alternative Energy World. A new age recycling theme park. The weirdest place I’ve ever been. Solar panels, giant underground tunnels with fake moles, a hydro powered elevator and to the joy of my vege sister (and disgust of us carnivorous closed minded fools), a no meat cafe!!
We payed homage to William Wallace and Rob Roy and to our own ancestors at our castle. Yup, our castle. Well our ancestors castle, now owned by the national trust. Croft Castle Herefordshire UK! Gorgeous place!
We were lucky enough to stay the night up in one of the tower rooms.
We got to stay in our super haunted family castle!!!
Money can’t buy that!
The 3 of us left my sister in a teary farewell in Bath & left the UK for a few days in Singapore on our way home.
My big sister went on to trek the world and has now settled in the US with her husband, my middle sister followed suit, eventually settling back in the coal fields to raise her family. My Mum has spent the last few years working and traveling and is ticking off adventure/volunteer holidays like nobody’s business.
Well my adventures began with a baby after high school. But that’s another story.
My trekking has been contained to Central Queensland. My adventures, no way less exciting than the rest of my families, have all been with my little crew, and have all been Aussie based destinations!!
But in under a month my crew and I will head off for our first big overseas adventure!
We did have a fun trip to Fiji a few years ago with Mum in tow. We wanted to give the kids a look at a different culture, the inside of an aeroplane and a mild international airport. All with 1 adult per child to ease us in!
This time it’s just us 5, and just like 18 years ago, we’re headed to see my big sister!!
Are we ready for customs, body scanners, luggage checks? Maybe.
Are we prepped for the driving and inevitable arguments between Mum, Dad, 14, 11 and 9 year old girls??? No.
But are we ready for adventure? Yes sir!!!
And NOONE will be staying in the car.
*Highland Cows. And as a side note I spent a lot of time saying Heeyland Coo and a Wee Moose (wee mouse), when we got home.