snippet #3

Setting off on my new adventures meant many ‘firsts’ for me. My first international flight, had only been on a small 4 seater for a twenty minute joyride in my late teens. First time in a hotel, we always camped, and a delayed flight meant a stay at The Ashoka in Delhi charged to the airline. Remarkably my first time ever of having a room to myself … it would be a very long time before that happened again.

Then to top it all off I flew into Kathmandu on the morning of my 21st birthday, seeing the Himalayas for the very first time! They really looked like clouds until I realised it was snow peaks stretching above the clouds. I returned for many treks and a Tibetan partner and would later live in HP in the Himalayas but not for sometime to come.

My first impressions of India were the strong smells, intense heat and plethora of vultures. Years later at a zoo I asked what birds we were looking at. My friends laughed and said they were ‘vultures’ but I must have seen many in India … none were as plump and well fed as these majestic zoo captives.

Another first for me was all the attention from staff at airports, the hotel, wherever I ventured. It truly felt like there was about ten Indians to attend each foreign or wealthy visitor. Initially this was extremely uncomfortable for me, from a poor background we’d had to be independent. It was not until after much contemplation and my second visit that I understood this was more gracious than begging. So I kept sufficient change to ensure I spread the generosity.

As I read through my mail to trigger memories for these ‘snippets’ I see clear indications that my family were not so interested in my travels. My first letters and postcards were detailed like a diary but later ones focused entirely on family with the only brief references to actual location. Fortunately those overland travels to UK and then returning overland through the Middle East were highlights and have been well documented. Along with details of fellow travellers and the unique characters I met along the way.


  1. So amazing to know of your travel experiences, and when that young. It is so amazing to note how different each country smells and feels right at the onset of arriving. The smell of India used to feel like home initially and now I feel like a visitor there too, and also I feel the difference of the people culture clearly evident to me 🙂 It was interesting to read from you.

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  2. You certainly could write an amazing memoir! Wow! It is always nice to hear a first-hand account of a place you have never been before. You have had many adventures and so many stories to tell…you know you would have a lot of readers for your book!!! 🙂 I certainly enjoyed this ‘snippet’!

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    • I think these snippets are as close as I’ll get Linda but finding my mail I thought this might be a good distraction for my readers … certainly triggers many memories 🙂

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  3. Kate, thanks for sharing a bit of your international travel experience. I can only say that I’ve traveled to Canada from Montana. Your details convey a blessed view of living in a different culture.

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  4. reading this made me wanna go on for an adventure trip now Kate… you literally took me to your adventures here.. and that four seater plane, i could only imagine …

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  5. What wonderful adventures! Just reading what you shared made me feel the excitement and emotions of such an amazing adventure! Anytime we can spend time with people around the world teaches us, grows up, opens us, etc. All good! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂
    PS…your photo is so lovely…it reminds me life is precious and delicate…but we can be strong as we deal with the things thrown at us in life. 🙂

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  6. I can’t imagine not being interested in letters describing another land….I can’t visit everywhere myself, so I sure enjoy it when others are willing to share their experiences!

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  7. You were fortunate enoughto be able to travel so far being so young. It must have been quite some experience for you. The countries were/are worlds apart. About th enumber of attendent, it’s still the same in third world countries even today.

    I have read many blogs and articles on first hand experience in India. What you felt is not a shock or surprise to me 🙂 and at the same time it’s interesting to read. Every writing and experience is different.

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  8. I am amazed , Kate , by all of those important plane trips that you did in a so young age. On my own I made only one plane trip : Paris-Toronto (Canada ) in 2001 to meet a friend known in 1944 !
    Love ❤

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  9. Travel really opens your eyes to the reality of others. I remember when we went to the markets in Zimbabwe. We weren’t that keen but our driver told us that some of those in attendance had no other source of funds, and being the off season they were struggling. We spent way more than we should have, stretching it to as many as we could.

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  10. Thank you for sharing, Kate! I’ve just been reading about an Everest ascent, and this whole area really interests me. I’d like to get to Base Camp one day!

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        • somehow it’s never greatly impacted me, but then I started trekking the Annapurna at 21 yo! Lived in northern India for years at altitudes higher than our highest mountain in oz. In Tibet I ran around fetching drinks and food for those suffering … but it’s nothing to do with fitness. A group of 20 elite usa athletes, 16yo, had to be airlifted out … extreme cases can cause death, so it can’t be taken lightly

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  11. I spent a lot of time in India during the ‘80s. There’s something about Indian people that sits well with me (cricket being a firm common ground, for a start). Most of my time was in Mumbai (back then Bombay) where the vultures had a specific and practical purpose.
    I had many funny experiences that linger in my fading memories. I was also invited to a wedding in Kathmandu only recently but, alas, was unable to attend

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    • I omitted my brief visit to Bombay, part of a human digit dropped on the street before me … retreated swiftly to the airport and demanded the first available flight out of India. They sold me a ticket to Delhi … 🙂


  12. I think you were very fortunate and youthfully brave to travel so broadly as a young adult … I didn’t have an opportunity to travel out of Victoria/Australa until I was into my sixties … and I am thoroughly enjoying your introductory snippets, and look forward to hearing more about your journey

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