Harburn Village Hall - Joanna's Gap Year


'My Gap Year'.  Talk and presentation by Joanna Pearce.

We held an afternoon meeting on Monday 25th November, where members and friends joined to hear Harburn SWRI member Joanna's talk and presentation.  Joanna's travels took her to 4 continents- Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceana, although not actually travelling for a full year, Joanna packed so much in during the 8 months away, she could easily have been away for much longer.  Although travelling alone, Joanna found that in general, people were extremely kind, and very helpful, in all the countries she travelled to, and wasn't worried about travelling alone.

Joanna started her epic journey on 11th May 2018, leaving her home at 5am to travel to Edinoanna gap yearburgh to catch a train to London, then on to Paris,(see image rt) leaving for Milan by another train in the evening, arriving early morning of the 12th in Napoli.  Next journey  was on to Reggio, where Joanna met up with her younger sister and family, spending a few days sightseeing and travelling through Italy.

The next stage of European leg was to travel, again by train, to Germany on 19th May, visiting Munich, Mannheim, Frankfurt (where Joanna spent a few days with friends), Berlin, and Rosenheim (in Bavaria), where Joanna spent a couple of days sightseeing.  From Rosenheim, Joanna caught another train on 6th June back to Italy,janna gapvisiting Verona,(see to left)Padua and Turin, before travelling back to south east France, visiting Chambery, Valance, and Briancon, arriving in Briancon on 9th June.  Whilst travelling through the Alps Joanna witnessed the 'Transhumance',(below rt) a festival where the sheep are moved to cooler pastures, and greeted by the sound of Alpine horns! joanna gap

Leaving Europe behind, Joanna jetted off to Africa, first to Zambia, East Africa, to meet colleagues in the Art Therapy Centre which Joanna is involved in, where they were training future trainers to carry on the work.  Joanna took a mini break in Zanzibar with its white sands and clear blue sea. (see below rt.)

Next stage was to catch a flight to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, East Africa, where she ran a workshop in the University.(see below left)

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Joanna then took a 4 day train journey to Lusaka (the capital of Zambia), before embarking on an 8 hour  bus journey to Botswana, South Africa, where she had a 2km walk to catch the ferry to the Okavango Delta for a delta safari, camping in tents and using canoes to get around, web 11 where she saw mongoose, crocodiles, hippos, elephants, lions and giraffes.(see below)

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Next journey was by air for a surprise visit to her son and family in New Zealand - she wasn't expected until Christmas time.  Whilst staying with her family, Joanna planned the next stage of her continuing adventure, to Vietnam, Asia.

Joanna flew to Ho Chi Minh City, where she stayed for two nights in the luxury of the Continental Hotel, sightseeing before flying on to Hanoi, the capital city, where she took two trips, the first joanna gaptrip was a Halong Bay Cruise, the second trip was to a Tea Plantation.  From Hanoi, Joanna took a train down to Hue, where she visited some of the many temples.(see left)  From Hue Joanna took a bus to Hoi An (below rt.)for more sightseeing, before travelling back to Hue, where she joanna gaptravelled by train to the Mekong River Delta, where she took a trip by boat on the Mekong River.

From Vietnam, Joanna flew back to New Zealand to her family, for a brief visit, before flying to Australia (see left )to joanna gapattend the wedding of friends in Adelaide.  The wedding party and guests then went on a group honeymoon!, travelling into the outback where they saw kangaroos and koalas.  Then it was back to New Zealand to spend Christmas with her family, and just one more sightseeing trip to the North before setting off on her final flight back home in January 2019, leaving summer and sunshine in New Zealand, and arriving home to winter snow in Scotland..........

Words: Sue - Photos: Joanna

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