My Story

Womens Oral History, my story

Julie C Farmer and her story for Women’s Oral History


I will be telling you my story and that of my family as soon as I find out. I will also tell of some little anecdotes, just as an example of the history, we all have.  This page will grow over the next few weeks and months.

A Brief History of my Traveling Education

Julie good imageMy father was in the Army when I was born, so we moved around a great deal, he eventually left the army when I was about 9. By trade, he was a helicopter pilot and managed to find a job in Greenland. So when I was ten years old, my parents relocated to Greenland, so we (I have two brothers) were shipped off to boarding school for three wonderful years. I loved boarding school.  It is one of the best places for a young child to go.  I learnt to be self-reliant, take on responsibilities and create friends that would last longer than a few months.

While at boarding school I became friends with another girl, Vicky, who’s parents lived in India.  After persuading my parents, and I think it took a lot of convincing, they let me go India for the whole of the summer holiday, a total of 3 months. I think I was about 11 or 12.  What a fabulous experience that was.  It was also an extraordinary experience for me as I was of the opinion that it set a precedent for travel.

A few years later (I was 14/15), I was attending a local state school and an opportunity arose for a years study in Canada as an exchange student.  I was so excited and convinced that I would be allowed to go.  When I asked my mother she replied that I had to ask my Dad and that if he is happy with the idea then she would be.  My father worked overseas, which meant he was home for 3 or 4 weeks at a time and then in Greenland for 3 or 4 weeks.  A no brainier to me, he would absolutely let me go.  I had almost packed my bag before asking him.  To my complete shock and horror he refused to let me go.  I couldn’t believe or understand why.  I had been to boarding school, I had spent the entire summer with another family and now he was saying No.   I truly couldn’t see what the issue was and we had one of our big disagreements.  He acknowledged that it would be a great opportunity for me, that I would learn a lot and that I would enjoy the year.  However, he stated that he wouldn’t see me for an entire year and therefore he wouldn’t let me go.  He know that it was a selfish attitude but he was in charge and that was the end of the discussion.  I was mad.  So mad that I even noted the number of days I sore him that year.  A total of 43.  I could have gone to Canada and come back for holidays and he would have seen just as much of me.  Its funny the things you remember.

When I went to University (it was a Polytechnic then), I finally studied overseas.  I went for a semester in Denmark studying European Law.  As soon as I finished my degree, I saved up and went back backing around South East Asia and Australia with a friend.  This time, it was my Mother who didn’t want me to go.  You just can’t win.