I love writing and I love travelling. Both are my passion and inspiration. I love writing about the places I have been to and reading about places other people have visited. I grew up fascinated by stories of my Dad having sailed around the world while working on a cruise ship, before he married my Mum. My childhood holidays to the Mediterranean always included exploring the local area as well as the beach. I saved my pocket money to buy a camera to record my experiences.
When I left school I studied a Travel and Tourism Diploma. At nineteen I went to Australia on a 1 year Working Holiday Visa and discovered independent travel. I loved deciding where to go and how long to spend there as I explored new places. And always I kept a journal. I had kept one on and off since reading The Diary of Anne Frank when I was thirteen. But now it became a daily habit and I couldn’t give it up. I recorded everything.
When I returned home after my second big trip, I found that writing daily had become an obsession. I could not give up my diary. Bored with working in an office between long trips abroad, I started training as a nurse in the hope that I could work as I travelled. Then part way through, I began a journey of a different kind. After two years of battling the system, I had a major problem of barely being able to walk. It finally lead to a new companion joining me, MS (Multiple Sclerosis). The college was really good. Because the three months I had off was all placement, they allowed me to continue my training and make up the time at the end. It meant I could still qualify as a nurse with the same student set I started with. And all through that time I kept a detailed diary.
I continued working for the next twelve years, finding my niche in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, travelling during my annual leave, still keeping a diary as I went. My explorations have included India, New Zealand, Japan, Peru, the UK and Europe. Every continent except Antarctica. Although I have sometimes journeyed with friends, I like solo travel most. It’s the best way to meet people, locals and other travellers, especially if I stay in hostels rather than hotels.
Over time as my fatigue increased and I gradually reduced my hours at work until I was medically retired in 2011. Since then, I have discovered a whole new world of writing. I have exchanged nursing for writing, while still travelling when I can afford to, although not as often or as far afield. I have discovered that exploration and travel are not confined to hopping on a plane and leaving the country. Hidden gems can sometimes be found much closer to home.
Those diaries and photos are now being put to use. I am writing a memoir told through travel and how that has helped me adapt to the changes MS inflicts. Even outside of the memoir, I continue writing about my experiences and taking photos. This website includes a Blog which will be filled with them.
It’s not just travel, writing and photography I enjoy, there’s reading, crochet and wheelchair dancing. My friend Scooter (my little mobility scooter) joins MS and me as we trundle around. It has helped open up my world again. It takes me further than my feet do.
Prior to COVID-19, As well as going out and about, I loved nothing better than sitting in a café with friends, a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. Sitting in a café was also where I did my most productive writing. Southend is swamped with cafes, independent and chains, so I had a wide choice and tended to vary my venues, although my favourite was the Cliff’s Pavillion overlooking the seafront.
Then lockdown happened. At first I struggled to write anything, I just couldn’t concentrate at home, there were too many distractions. But I tidied up all the clutter on my table and since then my creative juices have been flowing again.