I consider myself to have been so lucky. When I was about eight we travelled to Italy for the first time to see family. I remember it seemed very exotic and that the neighbours’ kids didn’t really know what to make of it.
Then in the lower sixth I organised a trip (using Persil tokens) to Germany by train with some other A level German students where we stayed in a youth hostel and I seem to remember, had a great time.
I thought nothing of working all year to save up for my next trip which in my twenties and thirties were often 4 or 5 week sojourns in India, Africa and Indonesia.
I have travelled with my children, my first son and I went to Israel when he was one, Spain when he was two and he went to Poland with a neighbour to see her family without me when he was seven. My mum met my dad abroad, neither of them in their own country and both of them having lived abroad in other countries first. Travel is in our blood.
But what about now? What about the covid effect? Lockdowns? Travel bans?
What about climate change? The last foreign trip the kids and I did was to Iceland where I struggled with the cognitive dissonance of watching an iceberg calf, knowing I had contributed to its melting by flying there.
Emma is thirty, a different generation from me and so it was really interesting to hear about how she was thinking about these issues. We both love to travel, we both see how it helps us grow and change, but we also see how flying at the rate I used to, can not continue.
I’m not sure we came to any firm conclusions but there is much to be learned just from the conversation which you can listen to here or below.