Reflections on returning home…

We kept blogs of our 5 week journeys to Western Australia in 2008 and the ‘Top End’ in 2009 and I can no longer imagine travelling without keeping such a record to share and for posterity. The irony of my personal philosophy, when I travelled independently in my 20s, that ‘life was for living not recording with a camera dangling inanely around your neck’, is not lost on me. Life is a funny like that sometimes and one is best to laugh at such cosmic jokes.

As I said in 2008, when reflecting on our travels in WA, that Kiama is a salubrious place to return to after a trip. Nothing has changed. It is great to be home.

I asked the kids and Kate what were their highlights of our 4 months overseas and here’s what they listed. Kate says, in no particular order:

  • The British Museum
  • Becoming teary at the momentous experience of all that culture and history at Westminster Abbey
  • Arriving in Naples, the craziness and how nice people were in that city
  • Our day on Capri
  • Hong Kong (especially after dark and the night markets)
  • The food – especially yum cha in Hong Kong, pizza in Naples, Denmark, and the Brick Lane ‘Aladin’ restaurant
  • Legoland
  • The Space Mountain roller coaster ride (or at least Darcy screaming and laughing hysterically in the darkness of spaaaace)
  • The pure joy on the girls faces playing with new Danish friends at SFO (after school in Viborg)
The girls were very clear and could place their favs in order:
  1. Hong Kong Disneyland
  2. Legoland
  3. School in Viborg
  4. Masks in Venice
  5. The boat ride around Capri
  6. Being in London
To make my list, the event, day or activity had to make me feel truly elated or deeply emotionally or intellectually stimulated. Not everything is a biggie, some in fact, are quite small events but just made me feel so right. In no particular order:

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore 

  • walking the Appian Way and along the Tiber in Rome
  • catching a taxi to Roma airport with Joe Jackson on the radio
  • teaching Marianne’s and Kim’s classes at Viborg Katedralskole
  • helping ‘the bloggers’ and Aleksander at Viborg Katedralskole
  • Photographing Anders Fogh Rasmussen at Viborg Katedralskole
  • Being in London again, where I want to live
  • Finally visiting Westminster Abbey
  • Walking by myself for a day and taking a great Mountain Goat tour in the Lake District
  • Watching Sarah handle a real crush on ‘the tube’ in London with serenity and good humour.
  • Lucy in Macau speaking to a bookshop assistant so beautifully, “excuse me, do you have any children’s books in English”
  • The kindness of strangers and new friends
  • These three photographs

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore 

My final special memory is catching the bus every morning, with Kate and the girls, to school in Viborg. I loved how the girls dressed, with their gumboots and ‘school uniform’. That ‘tunnel’ looms large too.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

4 months is a long time to be away from home with young children. Lucy and Sarah, I can honestly say, expressed no feelings of homesickness at any stage, during our time away. I am proud of them for this and the way they travelled positively, ate well and walked endless kilometres as we explored. They talk with strangers confidently, make friends easily and enjoy a joke…often at my expense.

Lucy is very keen to travel, on a school trip with me, to Korea next year. Her big dream is to journey to Egypt and Sarah will happily accompany her. Kate wants to go to Japan and I will happily accompany her!

This has been a trip to remember and one that came about unexpectedly, with an offer of exchange to Denmark. I hope that we can travel in Europe again, when the kids are older, and see Spain, Greece and Eastern Europe. Not sure when that will be but we look forward to our future travels.

I heard someone once say, of young children and experiences, that ‘folders are opened in their minds’ and they will be accessed and added to for many years. This works for me as an image of what travel does in regards to learning. I hope that ‘the folders’ opened on this trip will prove more than just useful for the girls in the years ahead but memories that are joyous.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


4 thoughts on “Reflections on returning home…

  1. I watched your travels via my blackberry facebook app with increasing amazement-what a long time to be away with young kids! Seems you had an awesome trip. Next time you come over come to ours for lunch, and you can add the wilds of Surrey to your checklist and we can complain at length about various education systems x Leona

  2. Nice one Darcy. I concur with your statement on blogging as a travel diary/ memory. Also and especially on how the little things stay with you. A funny conversation with someone you meet, struggling over a menu in a different language or a road sign. We are back as well and it almost seems too long ago and its only 4 days.

  3. When you ventured on to tertiary education Darcy, my only request was you take any opportunity that came your way and all I asked was that you keep in touch. Here we are some 20 odd years later and keeping in touch has a whole new meaning. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to keep in touch by logging on to my P.C and actually see you all and speak with you as if you were in my home . Also follow your travels and experiences at the click of a button. I am very proud of you all and congratulate you and Kate for the way you were able to involve the girls in all your experiences and return home and the girls couldn’t wait to get to school . Well done. Love Mum

  4. Darcy, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following your travels. It was especially insightful to me as we were planning a trip that followed fairly closely in your footprints, a month or two behind you, with our kids just a little older than yours. Our family highlights are not dissimilar to yours. For the kids, HK Disneyland, Venice and Capri all rated a mention. For me, the moments similar to the ones you describe are priceless – an early morning photo-walk in St Marks Square, watching the kids talk to strangers on public transport – telling them all about their holiday (and trying to describe a wombat to Americans!) and the feeling of absolute awe at ancient Greek sites such as Delphi.

    You’re photography along the way has been both informative and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your stories, your images and your life. Col.

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