I was fascinated by anything touristy from an early age. I loved holidays and given sufficient spending money, I would happily have filled my bedroom shelves with souvenir shop china ornaments and plastic mementos.
My hometown of Birmingham didn’t offer much opportunity for sightseeing that I knew of (I know better now) so it was annual visits to the south coast and seaside day trips (featuring Weston-super-mare and Southport) that piqued my interest in life beyond the West Midlands, before we graduated to road and caravan trips round France and flights to Spain and Mallorca.
School Duke of Edinburgh expeditions introduced this townie to the idea that it was actually OK to walk across other people’s land, leading to several years of YHA walking holidays with friends. At about the same time I hit 17, learned to drive, joined the National Trust and within the next few years was dragging my long suffering family around the UK and beyond.
We’ve visited hundreds of beautiful places and visitor attractions, staying in accommodation that has varied from tents, camping pods and caravans to self-catering cottages, five star hotels and cruise ships.
The internet barely existed when I was a young mum, but I suspect that I would have loved the opportunity to write about my life and travels, connecting to the world outside the home via social media, as so may seem to now.
I lectured in tourism for 10 years and loved preparing teaching materials using resources and knowledge I’d collected on my travels. Students were often amazed by how many places in the UK I’d been to and would ask ‘have you been everywhere?’ as I showed them my photos and regaled them with yet another tale. Of course I hadn’t, but I’m still working on it, and as an official ’empty nester’ I have more time to write about it too. If anyone else finds what I have to say of interest, well that will be just dandy.