Travel to the US and Europe – overview
Travel is self-fulfilling in many ways. Visiting new places provide us with the opportunity to learn new things and enable us to have different perspectives of the world view. Coming into contact with new places and people in different countries and cities can challenge our pre-conceived ideas and views, and we can find new evidence to confirm our already acquired knowledge. Generally, travel is educative and entertaining and a great learning experience.
The United States America and Europe are quite far from Australia as we know. It needs quite a bit of planning for a trip to these places, especially if we travel with members of our family, including young children. Planning considerations include the places to visit in different countries, where to stay, choosing to see places of interest in a city, arrangements of visa if needed, not to speak of airline bookings well ahead of time to get a reasonable deal. And wha not.
In mid last year, we decided to pay a visit to the US and a number of countries in Europe (UK, France and Italy). While living in Canada twenty two years ago, we visited only some border towns of the US but did not have the opportunity to see the big cities like New York. So our travel itinerary included the Big Apple and Washington DC. Europe is a seductive continent as some people say as it has a very long and interesting history spanning at least three thousand years. It has varied cultures intertwined with traditional and modern values, customs and national idiosyncrasies.
We managed five weeks for our travel to the US and Europe. We left Australia on 23 December 2011, first flying off to New York via Los Angeles and returned to Sydney on 25 January 2012 from Paris via Frankfurt and Singapore. Fortunately, we did not experience extreme cold in winter either in the US or in Europe. It is now distressing to see snow clad cities, mountains and fields across Europe with so many deaths and virtual stopping of daily activities in many places.
In short, we had a wonderful time overseas enjoying our stay in different cities in four countries. My grand daughter enjoyed the most. She got a photo with the US President Obama! Not really, it was in fact a digital manipulation by the photo vendors in Washington to exploit parents of young children.
I will lay bare our experience of the travel in some detail in subsequent episodes.
Abdul Quader writes from Canberra