With Passport and Pen

With Passport and Pen

Tales Across Time

Mary McMicking Lane


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Mary travelled by ship to England with three companions in 1965 on a working holiday. She was just twenty-two-years old. Over twenty-one months, Mary wrote hundreds of letters to her family at home, sharing her sense of adventure and fun. The letters tell of her excitement in traveling throughout the United Kingdom and into Europe, the Middle East, and Hong Kong. After a fifty-year gap, Mary rediscovered the letters which had been carefully preserved by her mother, Helen, and has presented them in this book as an important record of how young Australians looked at the world in the 1960s. As well as including many excerpts from the original letters, Mary has interspersed recently added memories and reflections, thus showing how time and maturity can influence our thoughts, attitudes and growth. By reading these letters, Mary's audience will get a deeper understanding of Australia's development as a nation, and the influence those 1960s travellers had on its independence and spirit. The narrative is replete with stories of generous strangers and some fascinating, eccentric people. With her good friend Annette, Mary found excitement in ordinary events and turned near disasters into tales to laugh about.