In my past, I have lived and worked as an international lawyer in three different continents (Europe, Australasia and North America) but adventure has always been part of my life and I have travelled to well over thirty countries.
While I loved being a lawyer, the international part of my work was always the drawcard and after designing countless family trips and itineraries for friends and relatives, when Charlie and I eventually put our heads together, everything just fell into place and the rest was history. I have always had itchy feet and I am always planning my family's next adventure.
Choosing my best travel experience is really difficult. It’s hard to forget seeing the amazing Iguaçu Falls for the first time, or sitting, reading my book by the light of a gigantic super moon after four wheel driving into a remote area of the Australian outback. Or perhaps travelling up the Amazon by boat to visit remote communities and learn more about their culture, or introducing my children to the delights of Thailand and the Far East (and loving that they love it as much as me), or wild camping in the Mojave desert - it’s impossible to choose.
My toughest travel experience has been paddling by tandem canoe up the east coast of Hinchinbrook Island (QLD, Australia) and then back to civilisation via the many small islands to its north. It was physically tough, but the most challenging aspect to it was that when we reached the only settlement on the island (an eco-resort, since closed), they greeted us with armfuls of newspapers. While we had been paddling in paradise, 9/11 had happened and the world had changed. Our last evening before we reached the mainland was spent round a campfire, wondering about retaliation and what sort of world we would be paddling back to.
As for weirdest, when my husband and I left Australia, we took our time travelling back to the UK, with the main focus being spending 6 weeks travelling around Canada, finding the lesser known ski resorts. We had completely overlooked the fact that this would mean that we would have our skis and boots with us at our second stop, Moorea in Polynesia. The locals had never seen snow, let alone ski gear, and it caused a bit of a stir on the little, brightly coloured ‘Le Truck’ bus the locals used to get around the island. Come to think of it, that stop also gave rise to another memorable travel experience. Cycling to a promontory on the island, we stumbled upon a long table set underneath a sprawling exotic tree. As we sat and took in the beautiful view, an extended family gathered at the table, two of them playing traditional ukulele and all of them singing in harmony and giving thanks.
I have a lot of favourite places. Having lived there for a few years, I love Los Angeles but also Salvador in Brazil, the islands of Thailand and the French Alps. However, Sutherland, in remote and rugged north west Scotland will always have a special place in my heart.
Like Charlie, I truly love travel. I get a huge buzz out of planning an adventure that I know will introduce a group to new, spectacular experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime.
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