At school, it was the enthusiasm of my geography teacher, which made the world seem a magical and exciting place, and it was without a doubt, under her tutelage, that the seeds were sown for my wanderlust and curiosity about other peoples and places.
I didn’t get seriously travelling until my children were grown up. Apart from Europe my travels have taken me many times to Uganda and Kenya where my son lived for 20 years.
In 1992 I sailed in a 48 ft yacht with four other friends from Phuket, Thailand, via Sri Lanka, Djibouti, Port Sudan, Port Suez, Alexandria and Malta to Gibraltar. A life-changing experience.
I have also travelled in Russia, Mongolia and China via the Trans-Mongolian Railway in 1994. In Papua New Guinea in 1996 I explored the Middle Sepik River by canoe, staying with the local people in their long houses and learning how to do without most Western “essentials”.
I have been several times to South America, including a river odyssey in Guyana.
Journeying in Kamchatka in 2000 and 2006 gave me the material for my book – “Kamchatka – A Journal and Guide to Russia’s Land of Ice and Fire, and in March 2008, I had the honour of being invited by the Royal Geographical Society to be a member of a panel of “experts” on Kamchatka, after which I was made a Fellow.
Central Asia’s scenery of mountains, deserts, fantastic ancient buildings, and embarrassingly generous hospitality made it one of the most fascinating of my travels. The result of these wanderings was my second book, “Our Fiery Hearts”.
My friend Elise and I travel independently, and will continue our travels as long as we can cope with the strictures of today’s airports!
Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.