When Dave Tomkins’ grandfather, Stephen Clarke, moved into a nursing home in Australia, Dave helped clear out his house and came across a bunch of old slides taken all over the world. He then asked his grandfather (who never saw himself as a travel photographer) where they were taken – without success: “I got the slides scanned and took them down to show him, in the hope of some of those special Grandpa stories. And to give him more to talk about than catheter bags and who gave him a shower that day. He was happy to see them but he couldn’t remember where any of the locations were”, he wrote. Most people probably would have shrugged it off, maybe framed a few and left it at that. Dave decided to ask the internet whether anyone would recognise some places and ended up traveling the world to retake his grandpa’s photos at the same locations, referring to it as “the long way home“.

dave_tomkins via Stephen Clarke

dave_tomkins-2 via Stephen Clarke

dave_tomkins via Stephen Clarke

Dave’s story inspired me so much that I went through some of the old picture boxes in my grandparents’ attic. They didn’t travel to New York City and they’ve never seen the underwater life at Great Barrier Reef or tasted Vietnamese street food in Hanoi, but looking through these photos made me realise – once more – that it’s not necessarily about where you’re going but what memories you’re bringing back home. I’ve also found that my grandma would be the ultimate Travelette. Look at these fun snaps near the beach… What a legend!

They went skiing in the Alps, sailed on the river Rhine (they’ve spent a lifetime on their family-run ferry business so there was always lots of water involved on holidays), had cake at the beach, got married and gave birth to three very handsome children, one of whom is my mum (the totally Instagrammable Happy 18! cake was hers).


And, don’t judge me, but I’ve sneaked in some wedding and baby pictures because they’re too cute to not share them. I also need to ask my Grandpa about the picture where he seems to (drunkenly?) sleep on the stairs. Not that I’d disapprove of course. Being so far from them made me nostalgic and realise that I don’t know as much about their lives as I’d like to. Dave has set a beautiful example of including older generations in our lifestyle, cherishing them and listening to their adventures. Traveling is all about stories and photography, but what if we’d start in our own families? I bet there’s a bunch of anecdotes from the road that your parents or grandparents would love to share with you over some whiskey. Go listen, grab some old analogue photos and please, please share them with us below!


















All photos taken by Caroline’s handsome grandparents