Itterashai - Go Away & Come Back ❤️

Itterashai - Go Away & Come Back ❤️

I did the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award - after a rocky start with not being able to find school friends to go with, I have extremely fond memories of running amok in Monmouth with another group of 16 year olds until the early hours of Sunday morning.  I have excellent legs for walking so, even though I was still very much under the influence the next day I managed to get to the rendezvous point without issue. I really enjoyed the freedom of the expedition but loathed the teacher who ran the award so didn’t carry further along the scheme.  

But I was a very adventerous teen - a proper loner who loved nothing more than trying to get lost; whether it was on my bike or on the tube - I simply liked being on the move.  And being a tad nerdy I’d take myself off to the science museum at the weekends in the winter and I’d queue with hundreds of other kids to type some words onto a computer and see something up on a screen - I’ve no idea what is was for but the excitement was contagious!  Still, I think I preferred the simulated earthquake corner where you stood on a platform that shuddered and slanted whilst images of plates and books falling from shelves were projected onto the walls… looking back it was most assuredly pretty low-fi but I was impressed at the time.

I used to get the train and bus alone to my Great Uncle and Aunt’s for the school holidays from the age of 13.  The Intercity 125 to Cardiff took less time than the bus from Cardiff to their house but it went via so many towns there was always something interesting to look at and an old person to chat with.  My favourite unescorted single journey was when I was 16 and took an early flight from Paris to Heathrow, the tube into town and train from Waterloo to Southampton to drop off my luggage (long story) then on to Wales on a cross country train that took forever but flew by as I spent the entire journey chatting to a couple of army cadets. I was always chatting with strangers on public transport - people, in the main, are fascinating and will always have, at least 3 or 4 really interesting stories to tell whilst we’re being transported from A to B.

Sadly at 16 panic attacks descended and that was the end of my adventurous days.  I worked very hard to keep my irrational fears hidden from the children as they were growing up, although they have said, in hindsight, I clearly over-reacted to a 'stubbed toe' at Heathrow one year when they were in their early teens. 

It is a wonderful feeling to know that they can go off on adventures without the debilitating and life-constraining fears of their mother and I'm super proud that they're an adventurous bunch.

My active imagination continues to be a constant source of mirth though.  Is there anything weird in asking for proof of life (photo) now and again when away for extended periods of time?  Is it weird to have them type out the name of a family pet or a distant cousin to prove it’s them texting? Was it weird to sneak a totem St Christopher into their backpacks before they left even though we’re not Christian?  Well actually, I thought the last one was pretty weird so when my eldest left for Japan in February to live and work there for a year, I sent her off with this keychain and pin instead.  I needed something really small to donate to the process and, as jewelry wasn’t an option, a backpack charm seemed to work perfectly.  Suffice to say, a Japanese travel totem going to Japan for a year is a bit ‘coals to Newcastle’ in this instance but I’m told it’s received a lot of good attention and has started many conversations (chip off the old block in that respect 😁)

So here it is! Itterashai translates as "Go and Come Back.”  It’s a much used expression in Japan - in fact, it’s kinda synonomous with our “see ya later” which I take as a promise because, you know, I can be quite intense.

If your little and not so little ones are going away, whether it’s with a tent on an expedition, on their gap year travels, off to uni or just off on a school residential then this makes for a lovely travel totem that, in my world, screams 


But ever so quietly 😁 

As an aside, only one of my 3 did their DoE and I’m pretty sure his decision to do so was influenced by a girl. He went to the New Forest for his weekend expedition although he and his returning rucksack would suggest he’d gone back in time to Mudstock. However, he did learn a very valuable life lesson which was this: dry feet = happy human.  It took around 4 days to get the bloated sodden wrinkles out from his toes... so if you are intending to sneak one of these pins or keychains onto a backpack, perhaps add a nice pair of woolly socks!

That is all.

Safe Travels to you and yours!

Sarah 🖤

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I love reading your posts and this blog. Your openness is to be admired and is so relatable for me. Always something to make me laugh out loud too …..hope that’s the intention 😀 Thank you for being you and sharing ❤️

Sylvie Grant

Another fab bloggy bit, Sarah. None of what you do (eg demanding proof of life etc) is weird – all perfectly sensible. Can I just say that although both of mine are in their 50s and one lives in the States, I haven’t got any less clingy, just a little less overt. Weirdly(?) it doesn’t seem to work the other way, but I conclude that they think a) I never actually go anywhere, or b) I’m immortal.

Deb Tanner

Love your honesty.
I too request proof of life from my kids, even as the adults that they are.
And explained in detail to my oldest that my” hey hows things?” Messages were really just “ i love you” x

Lydia Robertson

Loved this. I don’t think I have done very well with the whole hiding my fear thing. Well done you though and I love this idea.

Claire Withnall

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