The world is a wide and wonderful place, filled to the brim with people; diverse people, friendly people, each with a unique story to tell. For as long as I can remember I have taken great delight in avoiding such people.
At school, other children frequently called me a loner. It took me a long while to realise that they meant this as a pejorative and even now, thirty-odd years later, I still don’t know why being a loner is such a bad thing.
Needless to say, I was a teenage goth.
I love to travel. I want to see as much of the world as I can before I die. Financial constraints mean that I often have to stay in hostels rather than hotels. The thing about hostels is that they are full of interesting, lively and sociable people who see travel as a way of meeting others. People I call friendlies. Friendlies fill me with horror. I am the traveller that you see scuttle through the hostel common room, only breathing properly once the door to my single, separate bedroom is safely closed behind me. You may hear me, late at night, once everyone else has retired to their joint dormitories (*shudder*), sneaking out to use the kitchen. As often as not, I’ll be gone in the morning, long before you wake.
I am a teacher of English and avid world traveller. Born and raised in the UK to Welsh and Cypriot parents, travel has been a major part of my life from an early age. With family and friends scattered across Europe and, latterly, the world, it was never likely that I would stay in one place. I graduated with a degree in English literature and a teaching qualification, gained from four universities in three countries on two continents. And set out immediately, to see what I could of this fantastic planet. Well, I moved to Devon, anyway. And it was another ten years before I could afford to go abroad. But I like to think that I have more than made up for this decade-long hiatus since.
Despite a brief and ill-advised bout of marriage in my thirties, I have not stopped long enough to settle in any one place. Thankfully, I have also managed to avoid reproducing thus far. Hence it is only my bank account, and the fact that I have to work to replenish it enough to travel, that holds me back.
I currently live, work and travel from the United Arab Emirates and have visited 72 countries and counting.
Disclaimer: despite all of the above, I do not always travel alone. I have several good travel buddies who have accompanied me to many beautiful and interesting places. And to Kuwait as well. However, I know these people well before I set out on an adventure with them. In fact, as well as enjoying their company, they are often useful in deflecting the attention of well-meaning but unwelcome friendlies.