One of my passions is travel. To discover new places, new people, cultures, food and to see those things from the past that inspired mankind to greater heights that still inspire us today. Places such as Buddhist temples, the pyramids of Egypt, the vast deserts and oceans that cross our planet.
As I have mentioned elsewhere, I was fortunate as a child to have seen much of Europe. My father being in the Armed Forces was a boon to me although I did not always realise it as such at the time. Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and all the other Countries that I saw and devoured when I was much younger. The castle of Neuschwanstein - the same castle that is portrayed in Disneys film of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' is a memory that will last for a long time yet.
Of course as I grew older my travels diminished as my father spent more time in the United Kingdom. Then I discovered America, San Francisco to be exact. Her hills, the Golden Gate bridge, the trolley cars, coffee houses and of course the Castro district. Great food, friendly people, I felt alive once more. The nearby town of Sacramento with its almost Old West styled Old Town fascinated me. After San Francisco came further trips to the States. Detroit, Sacramento, the Nevada desert, the Californian coastal area of Sea Ranch and then more recently Florida. Not Disney Land, but Miami, Lake Worth, Palm Beach where people such as Estee Lauder and Donald Trump have homes.
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Later I also got to see the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert. A two week celebration of freedom ending with fireworks and the burning of the 'man'. Originally this festival started out on San Francisco beach but as the crowds who attend each August have grown it has moved to the desert. I was lucky enough to go for the 2000 Burning Man. Not knowing what to expect it surpassed anything I could have imagined.
We went for the last five days of the festival, people in costumes were around us, there was a strong sense of fun, freedom and excitement. You can not buy anything at Burning Man except for coffee or tea in the Central cafe which is a large area for people to meet. Everything else you take with you or you barter for. There is a rule at Burning Man, what you bring with you, you take back with you. Nothing is left on the playa at the end of the two weeks.
We had a cowboy themed camping area and it worked wonderfully until the day of a great sandstorm where we had to take shelter in an old school bus that had few windows and did not really keep out the dust and wind. All in all an experience I shall never forget.
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Then in 2002 I moved to the South of France to begin work as the secretary to the Managing Director of 'Seven Seas Marine Consultants Ltd', a job that changed my life in more ways than one. I faced long sea voyages, giant bugs in Sri Lanka and the Philippines, the South West Monsoon, Africa and the grandeur of the pyramids of Cairo. It was also during this time that I met Bruno. I got to be a member of the crew on the Motor yacht 'Diana' for several unforgettable months.
In a few months I visited the capital city of the Philippines - Manila (twice) then Subic Bay the old American base in the Philippines and the town of Olongapo. After came the beauty and technology of Singapore and Raffles Marina, then unfortunately the fierce storm at sea - the South West Monsoon. A quick docking in Sri Lanka - Trincomalee before going on to the capital city of Sri Lanka - Colombo. I spent several months in Sri Lanka making some great friends. I arrived in July and left in November.
From Colombo, having repaired the yacht we travelled onto Djibouti on the coast of Africa, down to Egypt where we saw Port Said and Cairo before ending in Rhodes, Greece, Genoa, Italy and finally our destination, Toulon, France.
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Now I live in Callian with Bruno and Skippy, happy with life.