In 1995, I was one of the first to receive a degree in tourism. At the time, I remember considering how it would serve me commercially – and what doors of opportunity would open. Now, 25 years on, I have lost count of how many doors have opened – more than I can ever have hoped for. The gem laden doors of private Indian palaces, the mud and rattan doors of curious tribal families, the beautifully block printed canvas door of a Rajasthani tent, and the heavy zip of the green canvas door- that when opened in early morning dew brings with it a buzz and the promise of a big cat sighting, perhaps having been only metres away as I slept?
Travel is my oxygen. Travel is my other lover. Travel enlivens me and makes me buzz from my head to my toes. Heightens my senses and reconnects me. It helps me make more sense of my life. Travel brings people into my life that otherwise, my path would never have crossed. Serendipitous moments are never easily forgotten. Memories are etched hard – like a tattoo that constantly reminds me of where I have been. My virtual tattoos are quite something. Memories of being aloft on the majestic Annapurna, below the waterline with playful dolphins in the most southerly point of New Zealand, sharing a meal and smiles between newfound friends with no shared language, travelling like a local on village trains in India, blessings from an ancient script from kind looking Tibetan monks, comedy moments reminiscent of Three Men in a Boat – out on the crystal azure seas of Ionian Greece, struck by the unreal colours of changing light found in Australia’s Centre, stepping foot on remote Indonesian Islands that aren’t yet mapped, and perhaps most memorable, due to a numb bottom, driving in a straight line for 3000 miles west to east across the Australian Bight.
But where am I most happy? With my tribe – kicking a ball in the back garden or exploring a wonder of the world. Rediscovering travel through the eyes of a child brings a whole new dimension to my travel experience– it only gets better as the years roll by – like a good vintage wine.