What exactly can you find on Tracy’s Travels in Time and how can it help you with your travels? My aim is to help you prepare and plan for your trip with the following themes recurrent across my posts:
- Detailed destination guides with a focus on tips and advice to help you experience the culture and history of the city/country you are visiting.
- Insider guides to cities around the world compiled by my friends who actually live there!
- Best book lists incorporating both fiction and non-fiction works. My best books lists will give you an insight into, valuable information about, and of course wet your appetite for, new places and destinations.
- Train journey write-ups of some of the most scenic and beautiful journeys you can take by rail across the globe.
- Comprehensive guides to UNESCO World Heritage Sites to add to your itinerary
A LITTLE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT ME
When I was 7 my Grandmother bought me a pack of 52 cards each with a photograph of a beautiful place around the world on it. My favourites were Table Mountain in Cape Town and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA. Oh how I wanted to see them for real!
I was lucky enough to stand at the top of Table Mountain 9 years later at the age of 16….it took me another 32 years to stand on the Golden Gate Bridge which I finally did in 2015. That was a pretty good feeling!
I was born in the UK and lived in Newcastle until the age of 13 when we (me, my brother, my Mum and step-Dad) moved to South Africa. During school holidays I sometimes travelled back to the UK on my own to visit family – I think I was 16 the first time I flew home alone and I really think this made me fearless when it came to the idea of solo travel! (Though not of flying unfortunately)
Aged 21 after finishing a Bachelor of Arts degree (majoring in both History and Psychology) at University in South Africa I decided I wanted to see more of the world before thinking about a career and settling down in one place. I had planned to travel for a year or so (that was the plan) but it ended up being 7 pretty amazing years.
AN EXPAT LIFE
MY 20’S – THE SOLO YEARS
In my 20’s I lived in
FRANCE – Evian-les-Bains
ENGLAND – London
CANADA – Toronto
SWITZERLAND – Basel
BOTSWANA – Gaborone
The difference between Toronto and Gaborone cannot be underestimated and I soon learnt to adapt rather quickly to different environments.
I worked as an au pair, nanny, English teacher and an assistant manager of a nursery school and met and worked with some fantastic people I am still in contact with nearly 30 years later. I learnt to speak French and to to appreciate food (the French really do have the edge on this) and that skiing is a lot harder than it looks. I learnt to fit into different families and cultures and I also learnt that despite 2 winters in the French Alps I had not really felt the cold until I had experienced a Canadian winter!
During work interludes I also travelled as much as possible visiting Italy, Holland, Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, and Denmark.
My 30’s – the single parent years!!
In my late 20’s I moved back to the UK where my daughter was born. I qualified as a secondary school teacher and sort of settled down but travel was a major part of our life and every opportunity we travelled.
We explored France, Malta, the UK, South Africa and Botswana together. And we had fun! Those years were different – as a single parent your priorities change and travel had to fit around school holidays for us both!
My 40’s – the married years!
And then there was 3! After marrying in my late 30’s the travel continued except now it was me, my daughter and my husband. We spent summers travelling all over Europe by train – we visited Hungary, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, France, Switzerland. We visited Majorca, Greece and beautiful Malta …. and fell in love with it.
In my 40’s I continued to travel either solo (London to Zurich by train in a day) with my daughter (her 18th birthday present a trip to NYC) or my husband (a 40th birthday visit to Amsterdam) or on some occasions as a family (Canada/USA/Singapore/Australia).
Train travel continued to feature with longer trips through Italy, Croatia, Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic and shorter (though extensive exploration) of the British Isles by rail on a monthly basis.
My daughter is now grown up and studying a PhD at university but I achieved my aim of showing her the world. By her 19th birthday she had been to Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and Australia.
My 50’s – So what’s next for us empty nesters?
With a new phase of life as “empty nesters” upon us we decided to relocate to Australia. A fairly huge decision at any stage of life but with 6 countries behind me (and fully prepared for the ups and downs of expat life) we felt the opportunity to live and work in Australia was one we could not miss. So at the age of 50 plus we find ourselves living and working in Queensland!
Australia is my 7th country to live and work in (and my 6th as an expat) and I find the same ups and downs, challenges, obstacles and issues here as I have experienced previously. Emigrating is a process and is not for everyone. If you are an expat – at whatever stage of your journey – you will find multiple posts about our experiences as well as tips and advice which may answer many of the questions/issues/dilemmas you are facing on my website dedicated to expat life in Australia – What About Oz?
Thanks for reading all about Tracy’s Travels in Time!