Tag Archives: Writing

Passage to Indian dreams …

Last month The Big Journey Company moved in to my office. It is great to be sharing space with this up and coming tour company; they were nominated for The British Travel Awards 2009.  India & Sri Lanka

I’ve always wanted to visit India and in November the Big Journey Company is planning a tour there, The Golden Triangle and Ranthambhore Park  and fingers crossed I will be joining them!  As a lover of the Alastair Sawday books, I was delighted to discover Sawday’s India & Sri Lanka Special Places To Stay, and I spent a magical time looking through the book and dreaming of the trip.  (A version of this appears in an Amazon review for the book – see link.)

There are loads of wonderful choices – from palaces and luxury hotels to homely B&Bs, tree houses and tents – to suit every budget, including a fairly limited one like mine. All the places are chosen with Sawday’s unique approach to accommodation – “We look for comfort, originality, authenticity and reject the insincere, anonymous and the banal.”

I fell in love with exotic locations like Neemrana Fort-Palace built over 6 centuries and spread over 11 levels, Devra Udaipur with its organic farm and views across Lake Pichola, Savista Retreat and its musical preformances on the amphitheatre steps and Dev Villas with 7 ‘stylish safari tents’ and India’s most famous tiger reserve nearby.

(A version of this appears in an Amazon Review for the book – see link.)

Having indulged in a myriad of fab places to stay, I then spent a while wandering around the websites giving info about the region, including Rajasthan Tourism site which gives loads of helpful info and ideas for travel. What a fascinating place to visit – I can’t wait.

If you have any hints or tips for India travel, do let me know …


What does ‘quirky’ mean?

QT logoThe past few weeks have been really exciting with lots of new opportunities to explore, places to visit and people to meet.  The Quirky Traveller seems to have a life of her own – and it’s mine!  Very frequently people ask me why I chose the name ‘Quirky Traveller’.  It came about quite by accident and I’ve written about it for Mark Shaw’s Twitter Success Stories .  But the main thing people want to know is ‘Why Quirky …?’

‘Quirky’, for me, is about being real, about seeing the world from a different angle, about looking at things from all sides, finding the unusual, the interesting, the fascinating. It’s about quality combined with classiness, it’s about being curious about everything and wanting to know more… It’s about travels of mind, body and spirit, recognising that life is not one, two or even three-dimensional, but multi-dimensional.  And most of all, it’s a celebration of life and its uniqueness

What does quirky mean to you?  What is quirky about you?  What are the elements of you that make you unique?  Do leave a Comment – and get out there and celebrate quirkiness in style! 

Follow me on TWITTER and share the quirkiness …

Cumbria’s very first TweetUp!

“Excuse me, could you tell me where the … er… people from Twitter are meeting?”  Well, you feel a … Twit,  asking that, don’t you!  I was meeting up with a group of complete strangers, some of whom I FELT I knew from our connections, but still – a rather strange, definitely quirky and slightly daunting prospect.  The venue was The Lounge, a very chic hotel bar in the centre of Penrith (with great food – thank you!).  Linda Mellor, a local photographer,  had organised the event and about 12 of us turned out last Wednesday evening to meet the personal face of Twitter.

Lovely LindaM and Nick in Cumbria

 It was a really enjoyable evening.  We were from all walks of life, with a wide range of jobs and interests.  Tweeps included Julie, a friendly bee fanatic, there with her husband Graeme, ubiquitous John the writer, my mate Ali the apostrophe obsessive (quite right too IMHO!), Lee the bag fetishist and even a very friendly representative of Cumbria Police – (who did not seem able to get me off my fine for overtaking a Penrith copper with my mobile jammed to my ear, in spite of blatant attempts to bribe him with extra peanuts …)

 Nick, a journalist from a local newpapaper group, interviewed everyone about why they had joined Twitter and what they got from it.  I think I told him that I couldn’t remember why I had joined, but it brought me lots of new friends, information and advice, that it is a very generous place to connect and that it was also helping me to create a completely new business around the Quirky Traveller persona … 
Friendly Twits relaxing ...!

Friendly Twits relaxing ...!

 By the time we left, there had been a lot of laughter, some great connections made and a renewed enthusiasm for the phenomenum that is Twitter.  Don’t ask me HOW it works, but it does – and last Wednesday proved that.  Nick has written a great article all about our night out in Cumbria News & Star so you can read it for yourself!

I am very much looking forward to the next TweetUp, whereverand whenever it is… and if you have any Twitter tales do share them here. 

What is a holiday?

“Are you going on holiday?” asked the friendly chap in the car as I trundled my suitcase down to Carnforth Station (its claim to fame being the setting for ‘Brief Encounter’s tearful farewells from Celia to Trevor). “Yes,” I replied. “I’m going to London for the weekend.” And that set me thinking .. Was I going on holiday – and if not, what was I doing?

Attending a TravelWriting Workshop is not really the stuff of holidays – is it? But I didn’t see it as work; rather a great and hopefully enjoyable way to learn some new skills, meet like-minded people and enjoy myself.  I was also meeting up with a new-found friend from Twitter, Sharon Eden, whose inspirational website Women Of Courage was part of the reason I decided to take the plunge to write. I would be sight-seeing and was really looking forward to it all…  in my mind it was a holiday.

The question is then “What is a holiday?” Do let me know – because I am really not sure, thanks to that cheery chap in Carnforth!