· Hello!Who are you?
Hi, I’m Michelle, Gemma’s Mum. Her wanderlust may be due to me encouraging her to leave home. I’m a busy MD of a Training company, so I like my holidays to be easy to organise at present. I really love lots of fresh air (avoiding tourist buses is essential) and experiencing different cultures. Local food, local people and local architecture are highlights for me.
· What do you travel for?
Both work & pleasure, and its important the former includes the latter.
· Last destination visited?
This year I’ve touristed Melbourne, Tanzania, Fiji & Dubbo. What variety! The trips have covered work, pleasure and romance (not necessarily all together), so it’s been a very enjoyable year. This is probably my biggest travel year ever as I’ll also go to Guam and Brisbane.
· Hotel or Hostel? Why?
Hotel. I like my own room with all the bells and whistles, fresh clean sheets and towels, and plenty of space. I don’t like rooms with smelly sock odours, and listening to strangers snort and snore all night. But I do like camping – why wasn’t that included?
· Favourite destinations.
The best destinations for me have water, river or sea, that is warm enough for swimming. Water makes it easy to unwind and relax. I think each place has it’s own special charms, so I don’t rate one place over another.
· Travel good luck charm?
Salisbury Cathedral Tower badge. I’d read the story of Old Sarum in which the cathedral was built, and then years later I actually visited it and climbed the tower. It reminds me dreams come true.
· Packing ritual?
Throw everything into the bag at the last minute. Don’t stress. You can always buy anything you need if you forgot something. And if you are on the move then you don’t need many clothes, so long as you get to wash frequently. Lots of baggage is just a nuisance.
· Destination you will not return to? Why?
Levuka, Fiji. Hot, noisy, mosquito ridden, no beach and nothing to do (and I may have hated it more because I was pregnant).
· Destinations you dream about.
Macchu Pichu, South America to see ancient, ancient history, wonderful scenery, and a totally different culture. I doubt that the pictures do it justice.
· Must have in your carry-on luggage.
Nowadays my ipad loaded with good books! Lonely Planet guide of my destination and my camera.
· The best meal you have had away.
Lots – Soup and rolls in pubs across Ireland, 5 courses of fungi in a monastery in China, Peking duck in a Peking duck exclusive restaurant in Beijing, eating amazing food in a Chinese peasants house with the pig in the room next door.
· Favourite travel quote.
It’s not about the destination; it’s the journey – pretty cliched!
· How do you survive the flight?
Read a long book that requires lots of concentration. Get excited about the food! Plan where I’m going to visit, as I’ve generally not done it before I left.
· That one travel story that you have told a million times, and will keep on telling.
Can’t say I’m much of a story teller. More of a photo taker, and there are too many favourite photos.
Our communist guide in Beijing asked our group tour to appoint a sole decision maker for the group because we would not be able to agree as a group. We protested and insisted on a democratic vote, which took a lot of insistence to get accepted. He was so sure it wouldn’t work that when our first vote was 6 to 7 we all just smiled, kept our mouths closed and accepted the vote. Which meant we saw the Beijing Opera, didn’t understand a thing, and were nearly deafened, but we still all said it was fantastic.
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