Friday, 29 September 2017

First Adventure


This beautiful photo was taken by my great niece Ellisha on a recent jaunt to Morocco. There is something rather ethereal about it I think.
Ellisha is an art student in London, and being slightly dippy certainly ticks the stereotype box of someone more grounded in colour and form and beauty rather than in the practicality of life.
Her and a friend hiked up the rural mountains of North Africa for instance without any cash for food or even sensible shoes.
The risk taking of youth eh?
The young people of today have a much global world in which to explore nowadays.
You even can track your kids on an mobile app , even if they are journeying the Amazon.
How fantastic is that

What was your first big adventure?

Mine was a first trip to London when I was 18. I went alone and somehow found a bed and breakfast before I went ( how did I do that without the internet?) I went to see Evita, ( which I hated) I walked everywhere because I was too scared to try the underground and my elder sister actually phoned the bed and breakfast's manager to see if I was ok on my first night in the big smoke!
Hardly a breathtaking new adventure, hardly rock' roll, but for a gauche Welsh teenager in 1980.
It was a big deal....

Like I said...what was your first big adventure?

129 comments:

  1. Being chased down the back streets of Rotterdam by a group of leather boys when I was a dippy student more grounded in colour and form than the practicalities of gang rape.

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    1. Gang rape in the 1950s

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    2. There should be a question mark after that

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    3. There should be a question mark after most of your comments, but punctuation isn'r your forté.

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  2. What a beautiful photo, almost like a painting.
    My big adventure was aged 22 going to Israel to work on a Kibbutz. I had the timely my life and overcame shyness. I loved it so much I went back with two friends two years later. It's such an important part of my life.

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    1. I wonder if shyness still cripples the young as it did to me and so many others in the 1970s ? Kids nowadays seem much more confident that I ever was

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    2. mine all struggle with shyness or low confidence in some situations

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    3. I always wanted to go and work on a Kibbutz... never ever did

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  3. I was three years old. We were camping in The New Forest. I wandered off into the woods and they didn't find me until night had fallen. I was sleeping by a log. After that my parents made me wear a Castrol label with my name and contact details on the back. However, I am still lost.

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    1. Bet they dumped u then had second thoughts x

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    2. Boo-hoo! They really loved me you beast!

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. LOL ... John, you are so mean , giggling helplessly ....
      Pudding... they did love you .. they would not have put a return label on you if they didn't :)

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  4. I went to europe in 1970 with my high school french class. a 6-week trip. I was never so grateful to get to london where people spoke english! I was 15.

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    1. I too am not good with other languages AM

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  5. I took a trip to Asia w/my great uncle while I was in college. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, etc. It was phenomenal. Some places we were broken into small tour groups. Other times, I got to wander around completely on my own. I have vivid memories of going around Hong Kong, by myself, and I just thought I was the cat’s meow. I try and remember that feeling of freedom and adventure when my kids want to try something new or go someplace different.

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    1. I think an experience like that is more about gaining confidence than just soaking up culture

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  6. First big adventure was moving to Boston to take a job at age 18, terrified of the subway, didn't use it for months. But how could you hate Evita?
    Cheers Peter

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  7. At first glance, I thought the picture was a screen shot from a game. Very pretty.

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    1. It's the composition and the colours that make it for me

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  8. My first big adventure by myself was driving in a tiny car half way across Canada (navigating through Montreal! - hellish at the best of times) to go to a university for a year where I knew not a single soul. My mother wanted me to dress up a "dummy" and prop it up in the seat beside me so it didn't look like I was travelling alone (I did not do it). Of course all of this was before cell phones and GPS. I had the directions written out on a piece of paper, taped to the dashboard. -Jenn

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    1. You could have put an inflatable man called Errol in the passenger seat. Your mother could have shown you how to blow him up.

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    2. Jenn... YP has a schoolboy humour which is endearing ( most of the time) xx

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    3. Schoolboy humour? More like risque and sophisticated avant garde humour that flies over the heads of the earthbound.

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    4. I think Yorkshire is hilarious.

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    5. There will be no living with him now

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    6. John, I thought you lived with the Professor?

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    7. And have done for nearly two decades! X

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    8. Re Errol and sharp teeth - You have not only let Errol down, you have let yourself down and the entire community too. Now go to your room.

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    9. ...and do 50 pages of punctuation lines by writing out 'charming' with a capital C and full stop.

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  9. Great photo!
    When I turned 18 I drove a car from Michigan to Florida, become a Florida resident, and flew back to Michigan to start my last year of High School.

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    1. You liked the high life even back then

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  10. Having finished my A levels (one of which was German), my German teacher arranged for me and 2 friends to work in a youth hostel on the banks of the Mosel during the summer of 1973, before we all went off to different universities. It was a golden summer (no doubt rose-tinted) and an introduction to a different way of life. Very tame by modern standards of back-packing around the far east, but it was looked upon as quite an achievement by our parents in an age when foreign travel was still relatively new. Very character-building!

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    1. Yes and I think character building gap years for students are recognised as such nowadays . When I was growing up they were rare.... my parents expected me to go to work and contribute

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  11. My first big adventure was driving all round the Scottish coast with a couple of ex-school friends. I think it was about 1,500 miles altogether. Lots of fun and lots of fantastic scenery. I was very sorry when it was time to return home.

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    1. I think we all needed a " red letter" day when we were young...I still think it's the case

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  12. It was 1975 and I was 19 and a hick from Pennsylvania, working as a clerk in a factory and living at home, where nothing much was expected of me except that I should try not to get pregnant before marriage. So I got a passport (first one my family) and bought a plane ticket to Paris, and took off on my own to become French. I stayed for four months, and never really came back "home" for the next 20 years.

    That photograph is marvelous. Your niece has a brilliant "eye".

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    1. How wonderful ....how very brave of you ! Americans a while back were not known for their abilities to buy a passport

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    2. I'm so glad that I saw England in the 1970s, when MacDonald's was still a novelty and English people were complaining that Americans wanted ketchup on everything and required too much ice in their drinks. I went to places, like Colchester, where I was the first American some people had ever met in person.

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    3. I worked in Pittsburgh for a while and I loved the fact that so many people I met had never met a Brit

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  13. My adventure was going to see the Parade for Queen Elizabeths Coronation, my best friend and I both aged 14 went to London by Greenline. WE found a place to sit on the kerb in Pall Mall we sat there all night, People danced and sang an enormous Canadian from one ofthe kilted regiments who was helping guard the route loaned us his raincoat when it rained

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    1. Did you sneak a peak under the kilt?

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  14. My very first Big Adventure was when my parents moved to Hawaii when I was small and we lived there for a couple of years before going back to the US then driving across the country to settle down in my dads home town in North Carolina.
    My next Big Adventure was when I was a young adult and decided to live in San Francisco ... and then I decided to visit NYC....and then I met my husband and the adventures just keep coming ~

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    1. Yes I remember you mentioning your heady San Francisco days before. I would like to hear more about them

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    2. I lived in a Huge ( guest) house with a bunch of people and being so young and southern, I was treated very kindly by more interesting and worldly people .. who took me places I would never have dreamt of going, places I never knew existed.
      It was magical and wonderful..

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    3. Very ATALES OF THE CITY

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  15. Like you, my first big adventure was travelling alone to London to stay with a friend who was nannying there. I was also 18 and felt exhilarated by it all. We went to see the film Jaws, and had to share a bed that night as we were so terrified.
    Ellisha is very talented, her beautiful photograph could be mistaken for a canvas.

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    1. Yes I thought that it's rather beautiful isn't it?

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  16. Probably joining the Army at 18 and went to Ft. Dix, NJ for training... first real time away from home and family..Hugs! deb

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    1. Oh you Private Benjamin you!

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  17. On my first trip to Manhattan, my sister and her husband brought me along for a long weekend (I was 13, I believe). One night they had only two tickets for a dance performance, so I went and got a standing-room seat at the Metropolitan Opera.

    It was Der Rosenkavalier (in a lavish and romantic production), and I ended up getting a second-act seat next to a vivid old lady who took me out for ice cream after. It was a magical night, and I returned on a cloud to our hotel across the street to find my poor sister on the verge of calling the police, for it was very late and she was sure I'd been kidnapped!

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    1. How wonderful, it sounds like a movie. Did the old lady look like Helen Hayes?

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  18. We were at boarding school and half term was a bit of an issue.

    One summer half term my sisters (15 and 11), a friend of my sister (also 15) and myself (12) went to the friend's parent's house in Norfolk by taxi. There were bikes there and I cycled all over and had the best time.

    Helen

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  19. Perhaps rephrased as out of your comfort zone. I stuck my toe into the big city when I was 16. At 45 I moved into the big city and all that it encompassed.

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  20. Taking a half hour trip to Toronto all on my own just to look around and shop and bringing the bus back. Doesn't sound like much until you realise I was prone to motion sickness and was very shy ad timid and had never gone anywhere on my own before....I was 21.

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  21. my first solo trip was when i went to the US to meet my blogging friends, it was for my fortieth

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    1. Who did you meet? How was it?

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    2. It was a fabulous trip! I don't think any of the people still blog but they were:
      Dana: mum and author from SF
      Bob: events manager who has lived all over the US. All around good guy.
      Brian: Seattle crime scene investigator/ author/ public speaker/ lecturer
      Leah: savvy Brooklynite
      Suzanne: crazy cat lady
      Suzanne's ex: washed up soap star

      plus a few others. I blogged about it at
      the time but enough time has passed that I could probably blog about it from a different perspective now

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  22. How can one define that? So many first big adventures which would be classified in so many different ways.
    First big sexual adventure?
    First big psychedelic adventure?
    First big traveling adventure?
    First big living alone adventure?
    I can't choose. But I will say that when I was nineteen, I drove, my myself, in little Ford Capri from Denver, Colorado to Tallahassee, Florida. I had in that car two parakeets in a cage, a rocking chair, all of my books and records and stereo, and a pressure cooker. I still have the rocking chair.

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    1. Me thinks that there is a wealth of other stories here

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  23. That WAS a big adventure for a teenager! I didn't visit New York (which I suppose is the American equivalent of London) until 1995, when I was almost 29.

    I do recognize the town in that photo -- it must be Chefchaouen, which is famous for its blue streets.

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  24. I don't think I have ever had a big adventure!! Instead my life has been a whole series of small to medium sized adventures. Always moving from one 'life' and set of people to another, it keeps things interesting. Perhaps there should be another one soon .....

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    1. Tell us your medium tale

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  25. Mine was over 50 years ago, when I was in your equivalent of 6th form College I think, our last year of high school. One October afternoon in our little town in Oregon it was starting to snow. I was with two friends, Craig and Steve. On a completely spur of the moment decision, we decided to go to California. Two hours later we were heading south on US 97 in Craig's '57 Ford.We had all scrawled notes to our families. A month later we were in LA, broke, distributing Team flake samples for some company. We scraped enough money to get gas and headed back north.
    No real repercussions, my basketball coach remarked it was good of me to show up for the season, and my sister never tired in later years of trotting out my note, in which I stated I was "...going to find myself". The year ended, I was graduated, and the rest is history.

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    1. I would never of had the balls

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  26. I trust that in the intervening years after your first experience of 'Evita' by now it's dawned on you what a true masterpiece it is. And I'm talking about seeing it live on stage, which I've done 5 times (so far).

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    1. No seen
      it three times never liked it

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  27. hitchhiked from Chicago to DC to protest the Viet Nam war.

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  28. I have to ask, did you like the music in Evita?
    My first big adventure was joining the Army. I flew cross country in an old Constellation, that broke down in Texas, to the South. There I took a DC3 to Alabama where I saw my first "Colored Only" water fountain. I drank out of it anyway.

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  29. PS: and it was 1960, and I was 18. California to the east coast with bouffant hair.
    The photo she took, I thought it was a painting too.

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    1. I am not a lover of Lloyd webber

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  30. Sixteen and first time driving down Sunset Blvd. With a girlfriend and she's flirting with what I considered a dude of questionable character that was on the sidewalk. He comes to the window and asks for a ride. I say no and tell her to roll the window up. He pulls out a knife and says, "You're going to let me in." I quickly pull my car to the right with two wheels on the sidewalk (bumper to bumper traffic!) and speed away. Lesson learned....never take stupid girls with me to Hollywood.

    Photo is fabulous btw.

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  31. Anonymous5:16 pm

    Early 70s. Just out of our teens. I and 2 other girls took Hovercraft from Folkestone over to France in a mini! Destination: Athens. Vauxhall driver dwarfed our car but his curiosity piqued by luggage on roof rack, and taking up half of back seat, asked where we were going . On hearing our destination he shook with laughter and said "you'll be lucky". We were. We made it in five days. Stayed in a converted castle cum hostel in Austria. In a beautiful old house in central Yugoslavia. I think Tito was still ruling then - old Soviet style regime. Next morning breakfast in a commune type place. Miners smoking and drinking slivovitz prior to work(!). Room became silent as we walked in. Not many taking this route through central Yugoslavia which was faster. Most went the coastal route. It was another time. Five different countries. Five different currencies. From Athens went to Crete to work, then took job offer tonCrfu. . Beautiful island. Great summer. MaggieB
    currencies.

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    1. Now THIS sounds like a movie .....one of those French new wave ones

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  32. Anonymous5:20 pm

    Horrors of iPad, should read "from Athens went to Crete to work, all three of us to different adventures. I took job offer in Corfu. Beautiful island. Great summer. MaggieB

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  33. Replies
    1. Great...a new slant on the subject matter

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  34. That is a great photo! I met an American up near Westminster who wanted to take photos of me and my friend in our ra ra skirts. We ended up going to a pub, exchanging phone numbers and there was that night in Hyde park and then a sleezy pad in Pimlico................

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    1. Tee hee!!! Luckily it was all quite innocent but I could have ended up being murdered with the situation I put myself in!!!

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  35. Hitch hiked from Wakefield to Newark. Cant remember why. Aged 14. Allegedly staying over at a friends. Discovered and returned to face Police who just ... wanted to know if I had seen any drug dealing? Bizarre. I hadnt.

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    1. What a strange choice of destinations! Newark....hardly the big lights! Lol

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  36. Ahhhhh, I just knew that we are long lost twins! I also went to London when I was 18. I also went alone. But I had booked my hotel beforehand, and I was daring enough to use the tube. When I was 19 I went to New York City. Again, I went by myself. I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (and back) in non-sensible shoes. And because I did not know the English word 'band aid' I couldn't even buy any. Oi vey!

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    1. I was 33 when I went to the big apple for the first time

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  37. YAY for 'dippy' Ellisha!!
    My 1st solo adventure was in 1972 to Freeport, Bahamas....a graduation from university present to myself. Beside frying (and I mean frying) myself in the sun, I was introduced to Scotch. Everything else is a blurr!!

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  38. I told my dad I wanted to travel back in the 80's he suggested I get a job in Derby ... 15 miles away

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    1. The best comment of the night x

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  39. I'm still waiting to have a big adventure. I've lived a sheltered life........

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  40. Jan do you want one?

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    1. Well I don't know.... due to my advanced years it wouldn't have to be anything too strenuous!

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  41. My first big adventure was when I was twenty and flew from London Airport as it was then (mostly nissen huts if I remember) to Paris for a week. I went with my very new husband and we stayed in the Hotel St Petersburg in the Rue Ceaumartin (fancy remembering that) - and would you believe it I tasted a mushroom omelette for the first time (such culinary delights just had not reached Lincolnshire in those days)

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    1. How old ARE you weave ? Lol

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  42. John, you have such a knack of drawing out wonderful stories from your readers. Loved them all. I think my first adventure was aged 18. Sleeper train to Salzburg and a week there in an hotel with a friend. Not very adventurous these days. Like being at home with the dogs!!

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    1. It's always the case where the comments are all better than the post

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  43. To Ottawa (capital of Canada) from my home province of Nova Scotia, for a conference, completely alone, by air. I'd been to various places by various modes of travel before but always with other people. I was mom to two teens by then and over 40! I think it was the alone-ness that made it special.

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    1. Doing things alone and succeeding seems to be a theme me think

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  44. This photo of Morocco by Ellie is so unusual because it is not the colours of my Moroccan photos! It must be the blue city that I have only heard of but never seen. The woman draws me in and it is a wonderful composition.

    All the first adventures here are interesting to read. Mine was leaving home and arriving in Central London alone at 17 on a Sunday with a room I had found in secret for 5 guineas a week, in Bloomsbury, and the only time I had been to London before that was a trip to see A Midsummers Nights Dream with the school. I jumped on the Underground next morning and found a job.

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    1. Thanks for the review of the photo, I believe it's one of her best
      Every time we stay in London now we stay at the Morton Hotel in bloomsbury x

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    2. Ps given your art background those comments are very welcome xx

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    3. It is quite biblical.
      xx

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  45. When I was nineteen I spent four months in Iran during the revolution. Most of the people were wonderful... I wore the Chador and sunglasses so my blue eyes didn't show. It is a stunningly beautiful country

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    1. We that out trumped most of ours

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    2. I think the Kibbutz beat me by a mile. It is my 'if only I did' thing.

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    3. Nobody beats anybody. Every single one was important to the person that did it at the time.

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    4. Everyone's red letter journey was important agreed rach x

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  46. Biggest and best adventure-spending 9 days off the grid in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Packing in all our supplies, sleeping on a glacier, drinking water from mountain streams, hiking an area where no vehicles were allowed. It was beautiful, quiet and serene...no intrusions from the "real" world.

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  47. The photo is wonderful.
    That is some golden ratio going on there. Such proportions and angles. The color just glow. Such a great eye.

    cheers, parsnip

    cheers, parsnip

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  48. Seventeen, just graduated from high school and decided to go cross country on a greyhound bus! lol. The characters I met it was insane. I got to Chicago and changed buses. Whereupon a pimp (didn't know at the time) sat next to me and for the next 8 hours tried to recruit me. man, was I naive. Don't worry everything turned out okay because relatives rescued me. Made it to New Yawk which at the time was seriously nasty. Flew home 2 days later . I had $600.00 dollars and came back with $50.00 those were the days. Now I'd be having serious panic if my child would have done this shit. Back in the day parents didn't parent as much. And I am thankful for it. But hard knocks did happen.

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  49. Love the pic. The colors and architectural shapes really do give it an otherworldly feel, to my Western eyes, at least.

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  50. My sister was in the Peace Corps in Bogota, Colombia. Another friend and I drove cross country to Florida and flew to Colombia for 3 weeks, this was in the mid-70s. It was an eye-opening experience, I still can't believe my Dad let both daughters go there where he knew nothing about the country or culture.

    And I didn't like Evita, either.

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  51. As a very young 21 year old I came out to New Zealand on my own. I had a little money but my mother helped me spend most of it in London (mainly on a cine camera) before boarding the ship. I am still living in New Zealand.

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  52. Wonderful, wonderful photograph, which I also took to be a painting.

    John, I can't stand Evita either.

    My first big adventure was travelling two thousand miles away to do my nursing training - hospital training in those days.
    Naturally my religious parents assumed I would remain free from alcohol... oops, sorry.
    They also assumed I wouldn't get pregnant too. Another, rather bigger oops there. Naturally the baby's father turned out to be a rat, so I came back to Brisbane to a Home for Unmarried Mothers until the big day arrived. The good bit (and in a way, the end of my adventure) is that my darling son finally found me two months ago, and we get along beautifully.
    Some of you know this story already, so my apologies for repeating myself.

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  53. Wonderful photograph. My first adventure was when I took off all my clothes, put them in a bag, and set off for Bognor Regis. I was four years old.

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  54. John I love reading all these stories. My husband's first trip out of Scotland, apart from a rainy scout camp, was to London with his parents and sister to go to the boat show and see Evita. He gets all weepy when he hears Elaine Page sing and we tease him like mad.

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  55. My first big adventure was when I was 10 and I went to Dartmoor in a smelly gear grating ear bashing rattling old lorry with the boy from over the road and his dad who showed us the gates of the famous prison full of murderers and bank robbers.

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  56. Winter igloo building in deep DEEP snow in Canada . . .
    And sleeping inside through the night . . .
    Refreshing . . .

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  57. 1973, My brother and I went to see Bruce Springsteen at almost every concert in North America. We still go to see him every time he is in Toronto.. Partners came and went but we always go together.

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  58. Hi John,
    I have been following your blog for years and enjoy reading about your adventures. I was inspired to think about the adventure that shaped my life as it happened in London, also.
    As a naive prairie girl from the stubble jumping, rural metropolis of Weyburn, Saskatchewan it was a pretty unlikely idea. BUT....
    At age 18, never having been away from home or flown on a plane I moved to London to study nursing at Kings College Hospital. Talk about adventure, I didn't speak the language (east London Cockney) and the work was very hard for 6 days per week for little £££. Totally wonderful and I loved it! I met so many wonderful, interesting people and London was my playground. Student nurses were treated like charity cases and given pints of milk to keep our strength up, theatre tickets to improve our minds (I saw Hair at the Shaftesbury when it was first released). Every chance I had I went to the Tate, British Museum or the VandA. It was an amazing year....and a terrible one. That year, 1970/71 was strike central in London. Power outages, garbage piled up on every street corner for weeks, the Post Office was out for 3 months so no letters from home!
    Still, it was the character building basis for my life and I would not have changed a thing. (Maybe the power thing as some people in my hospital died)
    Not to end on a sad note, I continued my nursing studies at home after my year in London and retired early from an amazing career, to travel the world, which I am enjoying immensely.

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    1. Nice to have your memories and a belated hello to you too x

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  59. Why do I bother spilling my guts to you, John? Why? I know you get loads of comments, but I have yet to get a single reply. Never mind. Sorry to hassle you.

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