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your first foray abroard

(51 Posts)
Sel Mon 14-Jan-13 22:19:07

The first time I set my foot on foreign soil...I loved it. I've never looked back and have travelled extensively. Having watched Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents, I'm bemused. My youngest daughter phoned me today and echoed my thoughts, thankfully smile What happened between my idea of a cruise on a ship and that shown on this programme (games involoved blow jobs, naked girls, naked men?We've come a long way ladies confused

gracesmum Mon 14-Jan-13 22:24:49

Is this an unconscious neologism, Sel?hmm
aboard + abroad = "abroard"?? smile

annodomini Mon 14-Jan-13 22:50:32

I first went abroad in 1956 (the year of Suez and the suppression of the rising in Hungary) when I was 15. Ayrshire ran a summer school whereby we entertained French pupils at a residential camp and they entertained us in a Lycée in Versailles. In those days there was no risk assessment culture. Our teachers let us off the bus in the Place de la Concorde and told us when to come back - then they sloped off for a quiet afternoon smoking and whatever teachers got up to then. And we all did come back at the right time. I really loved being 'off the leash' - up to a point. Tried Gaulloises but never really liked smoking; bought loads of fresh, ripe peaches - unheard of outside a tin in post war Britain; ate horse meat; used 'hole in the floor loos'; took French cheese home, stinking out my case. Couldn't wait to get back to Paris, but it took another 40 years, although I managed to see quite a lot of Europe and Africa in the interim.

jeni Mon 14-Jan-13 22:50:47

What? Where? When?
What have I been missing on Cunard?shock

Couldn't sleep! Checked in and what do I see?shock

Greatnan Mon 14-Jan-13 23:15:53

I was 39 before I finally got abroad - even when we were comfortably off my ex husband would not travel beyond Scotland, Wales or the West Country for our holidays. He said it was because he didn't want to put our labrador in kennels, but I reckon he was just afraid of flying.
After we separated, I saw an advert for an assistant for a retired Public Company chairman, to work in Monaco. I was interviewed in London and flew to Nice a month later. When I stood on the top step of the plane, I just couldn't believe the heat! My new employer met me with his Monaco Rolls (he had another at his mansion in Kent) and we drove along the Moyenne Corniche to his penthouse on Avenue Princesse Grace. The blue of the sea was dazzling and I fell in love with France at first sight! My daughters had stayed with their father for a week, whilst I found a flat for us in Menton.
Since then, I have travelled to many countries, but I will never forget that first view of the Mediterranean, with that wonderful light.

jeni Mon 14-Jan-13 23:18:30

I can't remember my first sight, actually it was the Adriatic.
But I was only eighteen months oldgrin

Sel Mon 14-Jan-13 23:28:31

gracesmum love it - I had to look up neoligism. grin My point, albeit not well expressed, remains. It was so exciting to set foot on foreign soil = wasn't it?

anno did you just take that it your stride? Or did you feel you were doing something different? I'm intrigued. I so remember leaving the cold of England and landing in Majorca in was a different world.

Joan Tue 15-Jan-13 04:00:33

I was 16 and went on the Yorkshire/Lille school exchange. We had a French girl staying with us first. She used to lean over my Dad at night and give him a goodnight kiss. I think he thought he'd died and gone to heaven. She kissed my mum and brother and sister goodnight too.

Then I went to France with her for 3 weeks and absolutely loved it. Her Dad was a fruit and veg vendor and wine merchant. I loved the food and wine and the whole French experience. Loved the French people I met too - they were so friendly. My French was pretty good back then so I had no problems communicating.

Mind you, it was hard for a Yorkshire lass getting used to all that kissing stuff!

tanith Tue 15-Jan-13 08:46:03

I was just 16 and went to Austria by coach/ferry with a friend, it was for 10 days skiing and cost me £128 it was very exciting , now I can't see my daughters allowing my 16yr old grands to go off on a coach for a holiday abroad with just another 16yr old for company but we had a fantastic time.. although it was a bit scary on mountain roads in a minibus and snow chains..

Ariadne Tue 15-Jan-13 09:08:26

I went to the French alps just after "O" Levels, to stay with my French penfriend at her grandparents' hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva. I will never forget the first view of the mountains and the lake - I still have a passion for that sort of scenery, which is why I now love the Rockies, Vermont, the Italian lakes, bits of Scotland etc. etc.

But what an experience for a working class girl from Nottingham, whose only holiday thus far had been to Skegness! These people were so rich it was unbelievable for me. But I adapted quite quickly to the luxurious

grandimars Tue 15-Jan-13 09:11:02

I was a month off 16 and I flew to Dusseldorf to stay with my German penfriend. I was working as a Saturday girl at Busby's department store in Bradford and I saved up the money for the flight and holiday from my wages of 15 bob a week. I was doing German at school so the language was OK , and my dad took me to Yeadon (now Leeds/Bradford) airport, and she met me at the other end with her parents.

Grannylin Tue 15-Jan-13 09:13:52

I had a similar awakening Ariadne.Went on a 3 week French exchange when I was 15 to St Claude in the Jura and the family took me for a week to their holiday home in St Tropez.We returned the favour by taking Raymonde to my uncle's council flat in Southend for a few days grin

Movedalot Tue 15-Jan-13 10:11:35

I always wanted to do the school trips abroad but for some reason was the only child in the family not to do so.

My first trip was our honeymoon. In those days it was such a long way away, we went to Majorca which was very exotic. I didn't know where we were going but did know I needed a passport and in those days it needed to be in my married name. We had to complete all the formalities and then the passport was sent to the vicar who had to keep it until we were married before giving to us. How things have changed!

We got to the railway station and DH put the labels on the luggage then went off to get the sports paper while I read them and found out where we were going. We then went to the Black and White Minstrel Show (change again!) before going to the airport where I found other new brides trying to remove all the confetti and scratch their wedding rings which I still don't understand. Many of you will remember that there was a tax benefit to get married at the end of the tax year which explains why there were several of us. When we arrived and walked down the steps from the plane there was a photographer taking pictures of each of the passengers. I still have that picture.

In those days not many of us went abroad for our honeymoons.

Greatnan Tue 15-Jan-13 10:32:19

Ariadne, I live 20 minutes away from Lake Geneva and I still find it amazing how far I have come from the back streets of Salford!

Gally Tue 15-Jan-13 11:03:54

1959. I was 10 and went on a coach trip with Mum and Dad to Brussels,Bruges and Paris. I think I was the youngest passenger by at least 40 years. It gave me a taste of France and I later went there as a student, but on the whole it was pretty boring grin

Nonu Tue 15-Jan-13 11:07:31

First time I ever went abroad was to Switzerland on a school trip .

Did not like it at all

Greatnan Tue 15-Jan-13 11:07:32

I sympathise, Gally - while those towns are very interesting for adults, there is not much for children and the scenery in that part of France and Belgium is very flat. When I lived in Brussels, I had to travel right down to the Ardennes for a day out.

Ana Tue 15-Jan-13 11:10:50

I've never heard of scratching wedding rings, Movedalot. Was it to make them look less 'new' d'you think? confused

Movedalot Tue 15-Jan-13 11:15:29

Yes Ana I think it was but I was very happy for everyone to know I was newly wed. They wouldn't do it these days as wedding rings are much thinner now.

Ylil Tue 15-Jan-13 11:15:56

My first trip abroad was a camping holiday to the Costa Brava with my mum, dad and sister. It was around 1958 and we drove all the way. I remember how scary the Pyrenees roads were with a sheer drop on one side! We camped in an olive grove when we got to Spain and it was very unspoilt, this was way before all the hotels were built along that coast.

Mamie Tue 15-Jan-13 11:45:06

I first went to France on a school trip when I was 15, but the best visit was when I did a course at the Sorbonne in Paris at Easter 1968. The student demonstrations were just starting and I remember being sprayed by water cannon, seeing the massed ranks of police and feeling the heady scent of revolution in the air. It was life-changing.

flowerfriend Tue 15-Jan-13 11:55:27

Just like a few of you, I first went abroad to Paris. This was after 'o' levels when I was at secretarial college. I still love Paris and I'm so looking forward to showing my youngest DS and DiL around this April.

At 16 I got up to things on that trip that was no doubt replicated by my three DSs. I don't know and I'd rather not. I don't want to think of what my three GDs might do when their first taste of freedom comes. Thinking about it, it wasn't the "being abroad" that was relevant so much as the lack of parents around saying "no".

cheelu Tue 15-Jan-13 11:56:09

I was about 5 and got on a plane to Malta with my Nan and remember wetting myself, I did that a lot when I was little, I pity the person that had to sit on that seat after me!!

It wasnt the best of experiences for me as we were moving out there and the school teacher that I hadin my new school would have frightened Hitler. Wile out here, my Mum had a nervious breakdown due to all the stress immigrating and loosing all her lifes savings.......

She went on to fight another day Bless her, as we came back to London and she worked like a horse for years to accumilate savings and feed us all, I did have a Dad, but my Mum was always the bread winner, she had lots of fire in her belly....

annodomini Tue 15-Jan-13 12:07:50

Sel, as we were a big group of friends, I think we did take a lot in our stride. I'm sure I should have felt nervous in Paris, because most of us had never seen a bigger city than Glasgow, but a bunch of us went off and explored together. I can't remember where we went, except that I ran out of francs and had to be content with reaching only the second level of the Eiffel Tower! Some of my schoolmates went off and bought sexy undies such as were not seen in the Scotland of the 50s but I had a vision of what my mother would say and wisely refrained.

gracesmum Tue 15-Jan-13 12:22:39

I first went abroad when I was 5, I think, to meet up in West Germany with my grandparents who lived in Berlin. Thereafter we had regular holidays in Germany, France or Austria so I never thought of it as a particularly big deal. The difference between holidays and living abroad came when I studied at the university in Neuchatel iin Switzerland, which I adored. DH lived abroad most of his childhood - France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium usually 4 years in each although in his teens he came "home" to school. As a child in a small Scottish town people thought we were a bit odd going abroad for holidays, I dare say some of them thought we were "above ourselves" as it was seen as exotic. Nowadays, however, it is oftencheaper to go abroad than holiday in this country.