Looking back at my childhood, it’s really no surprise that I caught the travel bug. Although there were no sun-soaked holidays in the Med, no middle-class skiing trip in the February half-term, no money for much more than a leaky tent pitched in a half-empty field on the south coast of Cornwall (and what more, frankly, does a child need for a fantastic holiday?), I was always encouraged to be curious, to explore, to interrogate, to discover things for myself and to be open-minded.
I recently started to scrapbook my travels and I’ve made some amazing finds along the way. I thought my scrapbook material only went back as far as my trip to Cambodia four years ago but, in fact, recent sorting-out of all the paraphernalia in my parents’ garage has unearthed ticket stubs, brochures and boarding passes from a trip I took to New York aged seventeen. I even found thought-provoking souvenirs from a tour of the Belgian battlefields I went on with school, aged fourteen. But by far the most satisfying, most nostalgic, most heart-tugging discovery, was the account I wrote of the trip to London I took with my Dad at the tender age of seven. I remember writing it on the train home, and now I’m a ‘grown-up’, I can see in it the little tell-tale signs of the nomad I would grow up to be. And I’d like to share it with my readers, whoever and wherever you are, if anyone even reads this little offering. I’ve left the spelling mistakes in because, well, it was written by a seven-year-old. (And they’re cute).
‘My Trip to London.’
On Thursday morning we had to rush because we got up late. We rushed to the train station and got there just in time. We had Kit Kat Chunkies for breakfast! We got the train at sevon-thirty and got to London at eleven-twenty. We played hangman but the journey was really boring.
We got on the tube-train to Russel Square. We got on the Northern Line and the Piccadilly Line then we found our hotel. It was called ‘The Celtic Hotel’, it was clean and simple with very friendly people.
After a short break we went for a walk around Covent Garden. Dad was disappointed that there were no street entertainers. Then we walked on to Leicester Square where we went to the ticket stall and got three tickets to see Cats. I jumped up and down and was really exited. The girl in the ticket stall wanted to come with us.
Then we walked around London a bit more then maid our way back to the hotel where we waited for our friend Lisa to goin us. She arrived at six-thirty and we went for an indian curry. THEN WE WATCHED THE FONOMINAL FANTASTIC CATS! I got a program witch Old Deuteronomy signed for me. I didn’t want it to finish at all because it was so fabulous.
We walked back to the hotel very happy very exited and very tird after our first day in London, we collapsed down on our beds and fell asleep.
We got up at sevon thirty and had a bath and went down to breakfast. I had shreddies first with orange juice. Next I had bacon, eggs and beans with hot chocolate. My Dad had suger puffs and an English breakfast. Then we caut the underground to the Millenam Dome. We had to go on the Piccadilly Line then the Northern line then the Jubilee line. We got to the Dome at ten o’clok.
- At the senter of the Dome we watched the millenam show with lots of people in the air. It had three acts
- Sky scape. We didn’t get to do it.
- Body. I didn’t like it very much the heart was horrid.
- Play. I really enjoyed playing on a piano where you press a button and roll a ball.
I went on a maze I almost won. On my second go the boy said that I was eavern better than him. It was an interactive computer maze that I had to stand on.
- Shared ground. We tell the time capsule about our naiborhod and our life.
- Jorney. Jorney was about how we do and how we might travel in the futer.
- Living island. Living island is about how we waist water in this contry.
- Home planet. We travelled through space back to Earth again.
- Talk. It is important to talk. I found it a little bit boring. Having my photo with E.T was great.
- Work. We played computer games and answered questions on tel.no’s.
- Mony. We didn’t get to do it.
- Lernig. Lernig was a big school corridor with a horrid headmaster.
- Millenam Jewles. Millenam Jewles was boring but pretty.
- Our town stage. It was ok but it was in Welsh so I didn’t understand it.
- Rest. We lied down on a hard stone floor and watched the lights change. I kept sliding down the wavy bits and Dad told me off.
- Faith. We didn’t get to do it.
When we got back to the hotel we asked if there was anywhere for us to have an indian curry. Then we went back to the hotel and went to bed.
We got up at sevon o’clok. We had breakfast then left for the train. ‘I don’t want to go home’ I told my Dad, just as we were about to leev.
By Charlie Jessica Murrell–Edwards.
I hope you enjoyed it.
So there we go. It’s pretty typical for a child to tell their parent that they don’t want to go home at the end of an exciting trip but, for me, that statement encapsulated the buzz I would continue to get from the discovery of new people and places and experiences which would feed in to my current wanderlust. On rediscovering the aged, yellow sheets ripped from a tattered notebook sixteen years ago, I felt such empathy with that little writer and my childhood suddenly didn’t seem so distant. For me, it signalled the moment that I started to realise there was a whole big world to discover, and that I could use my own words to share it with people. My birth as a travel writer.