"I don't want to holiday in the sun

I want to go to the new Belsen

I want to see some history

'Cause now I got a reasonable economy"

So sang the Sex Pistols, on a record released during my 13th year on this planet. I'll be honest though, I just wasn't old enough to 'get' Punk Rock. That said, 'Never Mind The Bollocks' became one of my most favourite, most played albums…

I inherited a desire to explore from my parents. Not the 'grand' pith-helmet type of exploration, not the canoe up the Amazon type nor the temples and ancient artifacts variant of open-seas pirates, no.

A desire to not go on holiday, laze about all day, get a lobster tan and return home after a conventional 2 weeks, extolling the virtues of the local beers and stinky sausages, and appearing from the holiday snaps to have enjoyed every minute.

My only pool/seaside holiday was my honeymoon; but that's a tale for another time.

Until 1992 we as a family had never left the United Kingdom, not even the mainland – apart from the flight to The Isle of Man for an, er… regulation 2 week annual holiday. We always found something to do. Always.

My dad passed away first, sadly (from my perspective at least) without a repeat flight. By the time mum left us we'd still been abroad only twice; coach tours to first West coast USA then, the following year, East coast USA & Canada. Fan-with-a-capital-effing-an-tastic!

Friends asked if I'd like to go on an Egyptian your; you know, THE Pyramids, cruise down THE River Nile, Karnak, balloon flight… Egypt is an amazing country – and one I hope to return to one day with my family.

One day, one day…

That same year, a USA tour from Washington DC through the South and departing from Dallas TX. The year after that another USA tour, this starting in Denver CO, south through the American Rockies into New Mexico then West, departing from Phoenix AZ.

A couple of years later, with a mate and feeling a little more confident, a week's American Football tour around Ohio; my first, and so-far only fly-drive holiday. Football, beer, noise and driving on the wrong side of the road just because we could. Bloody great!

A year later, with my wife-to-be, a very special Egyptian tour. This time I did not escape the Pharoahs' curse; the Siwa oasis hotel's on-entry-room-smells-of-poo experience simply has to be experienced. And I did. For the next week-and-a-half.

Then we took three cheap mini-cruises; overnight ferry, day in a European city, ferry overnight back home.

Tours hand it, whatever it is, to the tourist on a plate. All the lazy traveller must do in return is not antagonise one's fellow travellers.


After all that, to mention I'd never visited my own country's capital city (2 hours by train) until October last year might appear a little odd.

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