I cannot tell you how much I enjoy being on holiday. I love it. In fact, I can honestly say, that I have never been anywhere that I didn't love. Some places, of course, I have loved more than others but there has never been anywhere that I have haboured an on-going dislike of. Even if that conclusion needs to be reached through rose-coloured glasses some years hence. I am always trepidatious about leaving behind the trappings and comforts of home before I go, but once I am there (wherever there may be) I am in my element. I love the very 'awayness' of being away. New things, things I have never seen before (and may well never see again), things which draw me out of myself and away from any problems which I have left behind and which may be waiting for me on my return. Strangely enough though, I always manage a disaster (thankfully minor so far) while I am away. There is a photograph of me amongst the April chill of Hay-on-Wye in Wales, an unbecoming woollen hat rammed onto my sinus-swollen head, my eyes puffy. I staggered around Japan with swollen ankles. There's evidence of this too - digitally captured I stand amongst the ordered and beautiful splendour of one of Kyoto's many temple gardens, one ungainly, elephantine foot swathed in bandage. In Germany, I thought it would be hot, so I took skirts and cheesecloth tops. It was so brisk that I had to buy jeans and a jumper at our first stop in Cologne. In Japan, I thought it would be cold, so I took my thickest jumpers, scarves and woollen hats. It was 28 degrees celsius most days and so I spent a considerable chunk of time hunting amongst the Japanese clothing shops for anything cooler which would fit my decidely non-Japanese frame. The more I think I am prepared, the more I try to cover every eventuality, the less prepared I seem to be. This is just one life-lesson which I have taken from traveling (if not quite thoroughly absorbed into my everyday life just yet) and it alone gives me all the more reason to love traveling so.