Two TV ads from the 1980s made a marked impression on my young mind.
One featured a woman with a Lady Di haircut that my thin hair meant I could never achieve. She was brushing her gorgeous wavy locks while a man was driving.
He had done up his seatbelt but she had not and a sombre voice explained that a truck crossing their path would be the last thing she would ever see.
The other ad was for the New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Board (organisations were not as snappily named in those days). A man is travelling the world but he finds it hard to answer questions about his home country.
As he is canoeing down a river he is asked: "Hey man, do you know where the Victoria Falls are?". His rather unfortunate answer is: "Somewhere near Taupō aren't they?"
The message was "don't leave town till you've seen the country".
With overseas holidays not an option at the moment, we have a golden opportunity to explore our country, or just our region. We don't even need to spend a cent if we don't want to.
Monday was not just Wellington Anniversary but Robbie Burns Day, celebrating the birth of the Scottish bard.
Kelvin Grove in Palmerston North is ultimately named after the residential area Kelvingrove in Glasgow, Scotland.
These are the first lines of a Scottish folksong:
Let us haste to Kelvin Grove, bonnie lassie, O,
Through its mazes let us rove, bonnie lassie
There are plenty of mazes to roam in our Kelvin Grove, whether you are a lassie or not.
Linklater Reserve is vast and not only will planes fly above you but you can clamber on the former Taranaki air ambulance, a Cessna 421, and dream of overseas adventures.
The skies are open at Linklater and the views impressive – even with your feet on the ground.
I've just discovered the gate to the reserve on rural Roberts Line; no matter how old I get discovery makes me feel alive.
Schnell Wetland Walkway, also in Kelvin Grove, is full of surprises and not just within the reserve.
I'm not going to give much away, other than to say my favourite feature has four legs and is woolly. Who knows – they could be a Scottish breed.
What is definitely Scottish is the 157th Turakina Highland Games this Saturday. The games are billed as New Zealand's oldest festival of sports, music and dance.
You can have a go at tossing a caber, take part in a haggis ceremony and view clan displays to find out more about your heritage.
If Turakina has always been one of those townships you've never stopped in, on Saturday you can explore not only the Rangitīkei village but experience a taste of Scotland without the jetlag.
+ Judith Lacy is editor of the Manawatū Guardian.