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Summer landscape of the Odle Mountains in the Dolomites taken from above Seceda at the end of the Fermeda chairlift 

I always feel a little guilty when we head off for another holiday overseas, but on the eve of our 2019 trip, I want to justify why in recent years we are heading OS so many times.

Our first trip was in 1984 and we had no holidays for 3 years to save up and go to the UK and Europe for 9 weeks.

It was glorious.

It was expansive to see the rest of the world and experience different cultures and it certainly whetted our appetite for travel. But that appetite had to be suppressed for 27 years, because that’s how long it took for the next opportunity to leave the children alone (safely) arose. Whilst we had an absolutely amazing trip that visit in 2011, as the plane landed after a 24 hour flight home, I turned to Bob and said- I can’t do that again! That plane flight absolutely wiped us both out and yep I decided that was the last holiday OS.

Ravello, Amalfi Coast 2011

But there’s nothing like a slide night of photos of the Amalfi Coast and Positano to re-consider such a rash statement and revisiting The Continent became a high priority again. Three years later we had another trip planned and booked and we excitedly jumped on the plane and headed on that long 24 hour plane flight. It took 3 years to save for the trip and that was in the days when our Aussie dollar actually had a bit of credibility.

Then in 2016 the first of our children went to London to work (as they do) and in 2018 another one went off on his Great London Adventure. So since then we have headed off to London/Europe every year to holiday and give the children a hug or seven. As much as we love their desire to travel the world and experience working overseas, we miss their company and look forward to some short catch-ups.

The downhill slide of the Aussie dollar has definitely hurt each year so why do we do it? It seems an such extravagant thing to do, and I am sure people think we are greedy (for life experiences), but I have relatives and friends for whom life has suddenly and unexpectedly been changed dramatically by ill-health and as such their ‘life bucket list’ has been decimated. And it is for that reason that we go despite it being a financial impost and probably not the best thing for our retirement.

Who knows what life has to throw up in the future and what I don’t want to do is wait until I’ve retired, because at the moment, physically I can manage it, whereas in the future we may not.

The last couple of trips have been to London, but this year we decided (we couldn’t stand another wet, cold busy city trip) to go to some beautiful European Alps and see if the kinder could join us – and like the Hills sang to Maria in the Sound of Music, the kids are rendezvousing with us in Salzburg to Climb Every Mountain we can find.

The reality is I am very excited about this trip – there are many gondolas to ride up and many mountains to walk across and down so there will be lots of mountain spam coming in the next few weeks. I’ll apologize up front now, but I do hope I am providing a community service with lots of homuncular refreshment to help flush out those naturally occurring chemicals of dopamine and serotonin (sometimes called the happy hormones) and make you feel good even if you can’t actually be there…….and remember we waited 27 years and work pretty hard all year to achieve this goal. And what is our goal?

To stop buying things and start buying life experiences. Life is really very short.

See you soon Sophie, Jimmy and Mick xx

PS Big congrats to Sophie and Jimmy who got engaged on the magical Mont Blanc Trail walk – slightly more romantic than our telephone booth – hey Bob Croft? But it was a little Supermanish….