Memories of my first Overseas Trip – 1986

Yes, I said I would take a bit of a look through my photos of my first proper overseas trip (that I could remember at least) and present some to you, and the time has come! 1986 saw my brother and I’s parents take their sons on a trip through Hong Kong, Europe and Beijing on the way home. I have to say – brave move! As much as I adore travelling I just cannot imagine it with children. Especially boys of 7 & 11 years old (my brother actually turned 8 in Rome, so that means the trip was around August – September 1986). It must have been around six weeks as well. Sounds like pure madness to me. I mean, education and opening up young minds, ok sure, yeah does a bit of that, but then tantrums, toilet stops, and all the things that kids don’t cope with are just magnified 300 times when travelling. Consider that there were FOUR long haul flights there too. I guess that’s why the two stops in China, so that the flights weren’t back to back.

So I’ve pulled out a few photos and will use them as talking points as I start to take you through what was perhaps where my love of travel was first a-kindled. Just remember these were taken on my ‘Brownie’ camera with its little cartridge and small negatives (much smaller than 35mm).

Dad and brother

Dad and my brother in Paris


So just to prove that I wasn’t alone. My Dad and my brother (and mum, must see if I can find some photos of her for next time). I guess Dad and his photography is where I started to get interested in taking photos. And of travel as well. So – thanks Dad! Sorry that it’s meant that I’m still renting at 45 years of age because I keep travelling too, but that’s the way life went! But Dad really went to town on the whole ‘photo-taking- thing and he actually shot I think mostly on slides for this trip. But some of the photos he took he took to the Photography Club and he won prizes and are still mounted on the walls at his home today. Mostly from Beijing actually and mostly of people. which I am still lousy at photographing. The bottom photo of the three is in Paris and the orange egg thing as a tourist booth of some sort. The middle one is Bavaria, we stayed with Mum’s sister there. The top one of Dad and my brother Matt. could be anywhere but I think Bavaria is as good a guess as anywhere.

Father and son at Beijing Zoo

Speaking of not taking photos of people. here’s one! This is almost certainly at the Beijing Zoo and you can really see how low-def this photo is. Lost a bit in scanning as well obviously, it’s also slightly blurred and yet, I think it’s a pretty nice shot. The look on the kid’s face is great. Incidentally, 1986 and in Beijing Dad and Mum always remind me how the locals kept wanting to take our picture!

Flag over the Great Wall
Great Wall at an Distance
Great Wall of China

Umm so yes, the Great Wall of China. I vaguely remember Beijing, I remember the hotel and the empty pool, I remember we had a driver who took us out to the Great Wall. These photos are blurry and rubbish but I like the one with the flag. I remember walking a fair way and I remember it was hot. The whole trip was hot bar Switzerland.

More Beijing Zoo Pandas
Pandas in Beijing Zoo

I also remember even as a kid being shocked at the pandas. I mean, lovely beautiful furry animals, but they were living in such a barren enclosure. I wonder if China realised at the time what a key part of attracting tourists to China they would be? Still, I remember the whole family felt very sad after visiting the Beijing Zoo. I expect – I am sure – it’s completely different today!

My brother on a motor bike – not sure where

No idea where this photo might have been taken but considering the rubbishness of both my camera and my ability in taking photos, this is actually a really good shot. Plus, the helmet is extremely amusing!

Germany at an Angle!

This is Bavaria (Germany) and if I remember rightly the site where my Uncle and Aunt (pictured) were going to build. No, that doesn’t seem right because I think they were half way through building the house they still live in today. And where they live is flatter. This seems to be up in the mountains. I personally love the angle.

Me in a telephone booth

Finally, me somewhere in Europe because apparently everyone loves this photo. Yes, I used it a few weeks back too! And obviously, I didn’t take this one. I got all these photos in a box from Mum and Dad so I’m not sure if they took this with their cameras or mine. It seems clearer so I will say it wasn’t mine. I certainly don’t remember this being taken or the phone booth, indeed for some reason I remember very little of the Europe part of this journey except for Interlaken in Switzerland and my brother and I making mum cry somewhere in Italy which bizarrely I still feel guilt for today. I think we were just hyperactive running around a cabin and wouldn’t stop.

I think that’s enough memories for today! I will in a week or two do some more as I go through more photos. Thanks for popping in today – May the Journey Never End!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.