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Mar 25, 2009

Beginners.

Traveling is a passion of mine. I can't imagine staying in one place for many years without going off to explore another country. Well, I've done it! My brother has lived in New Zealand for eleven years. He has flown out to the U.S many times to visit me, but for all those years, I have never been to visit him. I have been busy. Having four children is a lot of work. However, now my children are old enough for me to have a break for a few days. I am looking forward to seeing something new and meeting new people. When you go abroad, you need to be organized. First, you must make sure that your passport has not expired. Without that, you won't get anywhere. Then, you must book your return flight. This can be done over the internet, of course, but you must know what you want. Do you want to fly during the day or at night? Do you need to be super comfortable with lots of leg room, or can you cope with being a bit squashed in a cheaper seat? And then there's money. How much will you need to take with you? If you plan on shopping, eating in nice restaurants, or buying gifts for friends and family, make sure that you take enough. All this preparation can be a fun part of the journey. Then the day of departure comes, and you have to ask yourself, "Do I have everything? Am I missing anything?" So you check and double check until you feel confident that you have everything. And you're off! Have a great trip! Take care, and have fun!

Grammar notes.

 Related vocabulary: passport, expiration date, leg room, departure, arrival, the internet, reservation, booking.

Verbs: to explore, to look forward to, to have a break, to fly,.

Exs: The divers explored the coral reef and discovered a new fish.

I look forward to meeting up with you in New York at Christmas.

We had a wonderful break during the Summer.

To fly (fly, flown, flown). The time had flown; we were too late to catch the train.

Advanced.

I remember when I used to travel with my family from England to Spain, what excitement I felt. Being on a plane is a huge thrill for children. Interestingly enough, the things that I remember most are the packages of milk powder that we were given with our parents' tea and coffee, and the tiny wrapped rectangles of soap that we would 'collect' from the bathrooms. These treasures were all over the plane, so it seemed. It's funny how children pick up on the details that adults barely register. Another thing that fascinated me was the curtain that separated the kitchen from the passengers. What a great mystery that was. It reminded me of something that you would find in a theater. I half expected a clown to jump out of it, or a magician to slowly open the curtain and start doing tricks. It was sufficient, though, for the stewardesses to appear and disappear, as they did. I would look with admiration at these pretty women, all well groomed and smelling clean. They always smiled, and wore make-up in ways that my mother never did. I wanted to be one of them. They made the flight go much quicker with their pleasant gestures and happy faces. Mind you, the flight from England to Spain isn't exactly long. A couple of hours and we were there. With my family so spread out around the world now, the flights are substantially longer. But, you know, I still love it. Though,  it would be nice to have a magician jump out and entertain me.

Grammar notes.

Related vocabulary: excitement, thrill, package, to register, a clown, a magician, sufficient, steward/ stewardess, admiration, gesture, substantially.

Useful phrases: ( Interestingly) enough, a couple of, barely, substantially ..... .

Exs: Interestingly enough, the castle was built only recently.

Ironically enough, the thief had his car stolen.

A couple of years ago, we decided to move house.

How many sugars do you want (in your tea)? Oh, just a couple.

I could barely see the mountain; there was so much mist that day.

She barely had enough strength to lift her head from the pillow.

The exam was substantially longer than expected.