Travels with Our Aunt

‘What a lot of traveling you have done in your day, Aunt Augusta’.

‘I haven’t reached nightfall yet’.

In the 1969 book ‘Travels With My Aunt‘ the main character is a rather lacklustre retired Bank Manager Henry Pulling, whose main occupation is tending to his dahlias. At his mother’s funeral his Aunt Augusta sweeps in (whom he has never met) and proposes a little trip. She laments that her traveling days have been curtailed. ‘Ah’ says Henry ‘Age strikes us all before we know it’ to which she replies ‘Age? I was not referring to age’. What she was referring to was the fact that her younger, black male companion (“He’s your valet?”  “Let us say he attends to my wants.”) has taken off to France with the police close on his heels.

And so the adventures begin, a 74 year old woman with her 54 year old nephew. It is a fabulous, funny and engaging book written of course by the magnificent Graham Greene (The Quiet American and Brighton Rock). Maggie Smith (I’m a little besotted with the woman) stars in the 1972’s movie of the same name.

What is it about travel that keeps us both interested and interesting? When traveling; we wake up to new surroundings every day and upon waking it can take us a little while to remember where we are. New smells, tastes and sounds – every day is an adventure. We forget about that snide remark a work colleague made weeks ago, the state of our spare room and the sun spots on our back. We are too busy; reading timetables, pouring over maps and converting the currency (Do we divide by 2 and then add 30?). We are in the moment and looking for connections with people and experiences. Life becomes more vivid and time slows down (which is why Aunt Augusta travels so much – she ages less).

Lonely Planet’s Robert Reid thinks that traveling also makes us sexier and smarter. Check out his theory here. So, nab yourself an Aunty (or any older woman who is up for an adventure) and do some traveling, you may find yourself more interesting, smarter, sexier and younger!

This is our Aunt Philomena and me in Oxford, England.

love Aunty Darling


Facey Comments

2 Responses to “Travels with Our Aunt”
  1. Siobhan says:

    How I have enjoyed traveling, writing my journal, plotting, planning and currency converting (by the way, I think divide by 2 & add 30 is how to work out the time back at home)…thank goodness for smartphones to do the converting and I do more shopping!!

  2. Aunty Mod says:

    Adventure they say can be found at home, but why indeed find it at home when you can find it abroad much faster…

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