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#80: Geelong to Croatia

Postcard number: 80
Bought in: Geelong, Australia
Sent to: Antonella in Croatia
Written: 11 January 2017
Sent: 13 January 2017

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Text says:

11 January 2017, Geelong

Dear Antonella,

Happy New Year to you! After two weeks in New Zealand, my family and I are back in Geelong, where we currently live. It’s the school holidays and we’re planning to do a lot of local exploring over the next few weeks. On the agenda is a trip to the waterfront (shown on this postcard), where there’s a carousel, weekend markets, an outdoor swimming pool and playground. Not far from the ‘shark fin statues’ (the artwork is actually called North), is the National Wool Museum where my kids like watching the giant carpet loom, and which will have the London Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year display starting soon.

We also might venture out to the You Yangs (the mountains in the distance on this postcard), and walk some of the tracks. Our favourite so far is the Big Rock trail – which, as the name suggests, has a big rock you can climb up onto at the end of it, with great views over the surrounding area. There are also several BBQs throughout the You Yangs Regional Park, where we can cook sausages for our picnics… though between the wind and rain in Winter and the heat and flies in Summer, it never seems an ideal time to eat outside!

Today, we walked along the river and the kids practised their Frisbee throwing in Barwon Valley Park. Despite the fact that postcard stamps are more expensive here, it’s good to be home.

Tash

Postcard number: 79
Bought in: Waitakere Ranges, New Zealand
Sent to: Noel in the USA
Written: 7 January 2017
Sent: 8 January 2017

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7 January 2017, Auckland

Dear Noel,

I found this postcard in a box of brochures and souvenirs from my choir tour to USA and Canada in 1998. I guess I must have taken it with me on that trip, to show my host families where I was from. Back then, it was fairly clear cut. I was from West Auckland. Now, having lived in America, Korea, the UK, and Australia as well, now I am married to an Australian and have British citizenship, the whole ‘home’ thing is a little less certain.

I’m back in West Auckland this week, with my children, staying at my parents’ house. We’ve been to Te Henga, with its black sand hills; we saw the sun going down on New Year’s Eve looking out over the Waitakere Ranges. This place will always be special. But also this week, as I’ve gone through all the boxes that we had packed away, as I’ve discovered and reread my old journals and travel diaries, as I’ve sent out postcards, it’s like I’ve been living in all those other places again too.

In some ways it might be easier to have just one place to call home, but I’m so glad to have the memories of all the cities and people and adventures….
Tash

Postcard number: 78
Bought in: Montreal, Canada
Sent to: Tynesha in the USA
Written: 6 January 2017
Sent: 8 January 2017

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Text says:

6 January 2017, Auckland

Dear Tynesha,

This postcard from Montreal has been sitting on top of the pile in my Postcardia Project box for the last few days, so I thought it was about time I found it a new home. I would’ve bought it in February 2003, during a short trip to Montreal with some friends from the Vermont ski-field where I was working at the time.

My lingering memories of Montreal are:

  1. Constantly slipping on the icy footpaths, and the steps that had almost turned into an ice slide as we climbed Mont Royal. Being from New Zealand and Australia, this was a new problem for us! I really appreciated the underground network of connected shops as a way of avoiding the freezing temperatures and ice outside.
  2. Having my wallet stolen out of my bag as I sat in a mall writing postcards. I didn’t notice anything until the mall’s security guards suddenly ran up to me, yelling in French – unfortunately I never got it back.
  3. After cashing more traveller’s cheques, buying a marked-down orange coat that I saw in a shop window and fell in love with. I was wearing that coat, later in the year and half a world away, on the weekend I met the boy who would become my husband. I have photos of me in that coat on my wedding day. I still have that coat today.

Wishing you all the best for 2017 and beyond,
Tash

Postcard number: 77
Bought in: Wellington, New Zealand
Sent to: Reuen in Taiwan
Written: 5 January 2017
Sent: 6 January 2017

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5 January 2017, Auckland

Dear Reuen,

Happy New Year! This postcard comes from a date with my then boyfriend (now husband) in September 2005. I hope I didn’t pay for it, as I’ve just noticed the back of the card is printed the wrong way up! Anyway, we were living in Wellington, New Zealand at that time, and got tickets to the World of Wearable Art Awards show. The outfits on show weren’t everyday wear, but rather beautiful and strange original creations, made of a variety of materials, showcased on stage with lights and music.

To be honest, I don’t remember many details of the show itself, but I do remember my Mum and Dad, who live at the other end of the North Island, were watching the live broadcast of the event and saw the two of us going in. They called me me on my mobile, and asked if we could to walk past the cameras again so that my grandparents could see us too.

Wellington was a great city for theatre, book launches and live events like this one. I really enjoyed my time in New Zealand’s capital.

Tash

PS Happy New Year! I hope 2017 brings lots of great things your way!

#76: Jasper to Italy

Postcard number: 76
Bought in: Jasper, Canada
Sent to: Cristina in Italy
Written: 5 January 2017
Sent: 6 January 2017

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5 January 2017, Auckland

Dear Cristina,

This postcard comes from my trip across Canada on the train in 2003. I was travelling alone, with a huge backpack, a roller bag and the ski gear I had accumulated during a season working on an American ski-field. I stayed in a hostel about 7km outside of Jasper township, paying $49 for two nights accommodation and a lift ticket for Marmot Basin in the Canadian Rockies.

It was April, which I guess was near the end of the ski season, but in my travel journal I wrote that it snowed the whole time I was there – resulting in fresh powder, but also poor visibility at the top of the mountain (which was pretty scary when I was skiing alone).

I always remember the sense of freedom that skiing gave me, the quiet of making my way down an empty trail, the excitement of challenging myself to do a black diamond run (even if I often ended up face-down in the snow). There’s not too many opportunities to ski in my life now, but it’s definitely something I’d like to to try again someday.

Happy New Year to you!
Tash

Postcard number: 75
Bought in: New York, USA
Sent to: Olynovia in Indonesia
Written: 4 January 2017
Sent: 6 January 2017

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4 January 2017, Auckland

Dear Olynovia,

Happy New Year! I would’ve bought this postcard in New York at a similar time of the year in 2003, when I was working on a ski-field in Vermont and NYC was only a Greyhound Bus ride away. From memory, my travelling companions from the mountain and I didn’t make it onto the ice at the Rockefeller Centre, but I loved the lights and the energy of the city.

All I remember eating on that trip to New York was bagels from street vendors. Perhaps we did have other meals, but then again we were on such a budget that possibly that was all we did eat. Luckily there was a lot we could do for free or relatively cheaply: wandering through Times Square and down Wall Street, walking across Brooklyn Bridge, visiting the World Trade Centre site, Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art…

Wishing you lots of amazing travel adventures!

Tash

 

Postcard number: 74
Bought in: San Francisco, USA
Sent to: Sue in Malaysia
Written: 3 January 2017
Sent: 4 January 2017

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3 January 2017, Auckland

Dear Sue,

I found this postcard while going through a box of souvenirs and brochures from my choir tour to North America in 1998. I was still in high school then, so this is probably one of the oldest postcards I have in my collection. While I’d been to Australia as a child, this was my first Big Trip overseas, and I remember feeling so grown up sharing a hotel room with one of my friends in San Francisco.

According to the trip report I found in the same box, we only had two days here. I can’t remember everything we did, but the memories that stick are our choir performing at Grace Cathedral, riding on the trams, walking around Alcatraz and eating dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (a restaurant inspired by the movie Forrest Gump) – and trying to work out how much we should leave as a tip afterwards (as we’d never done this in New Zealand).

This was a trip that definitely made me want to travel more – and is probably in part responsible for all the country-hopping I did in my 20s!!

Wishing you a Happy New Year,
Tash