Anne’s Hot Holidays was due to go out ten days ago. It was set up, but then, SOMEONE, forgot to make the post live. You just can’t get the staff! Seriously, sincere apologies to Anne for the hold up and my thanks for her co-operation and understanding. Elaine x
ES: I am so happy you’ve agreed to share your Hot Holidays with us, Anne. Please can you tell us how you came to be such a prolific blogger and reviewer?
AW: I’m originally from North Wales, but have lived in Wetherby in West Yorkshire for the last 25 years and now think of it as “home”. I took early retirement in March 2014 after 40 years in the Civil Service, and wonder how I ever found time to work (does everyone say that, do you think?). I have a book blog called Being Anne and since retiring have thoroughly enjoyed reading whenever I want to and building up the blog. My other plans – to travel even more frequently and widely, and to have a new hectic post-retirement social life – were put on hold for a while because of a few family issues, but with everything back on an even keel I’m now raring to go again. I’ve discovered (to my astonishment) that I quite enjoy the gym, that the local U3A has over 70 groups to join, and I never realised there were quite so many book-related events within easy striking distance…
Thank you for the chance to be part of your lovely feature. If your readers want to follow my blog or any other details and/or news about me then can go to the following links:
ES: That’s great, Anne. So, my first question is: Where did you spend your last holiday and what made you choose it?
AW: My last holiday was to Vietnam – and it was wonderful! I started in Hanoi, travelled via Halong Bay and Hoi An, and finally flew home from Saigon in the South. It’s been on my “must visit” list for some time after friends told me what a wonderful experience it was, and it didn’t disappoint in any way. Halong Bay was something I’ll never forget – we spent the night on a junk, the weather was absolutely perfect, and the colours of the sunset surrounded by such dramatic scenery were absolutely breath-taking.
ES: That sounds amazing. What is you favourite type of holiday?
AW: I always used to love a fortnight lying in the sun (with a pile of books, and easy access to a bar for regular cocktails), preferably somewhere in the Greek islands, but these days I can get just a teeny bit bored – and the boiled lobster look really doesn’t suit me. So I’m now really enjoying long haul touring holidays, seeing as many sights as I can. I quite like cruising too, waking up in a different port every day – I had my first taste of P&O to the Baltic a couple of years ago, and it was a really lovely holiday. And yes – I’m also a big fan of singles’ holidays!
ES: LOL! We need to get together then if I decide to write another singles’ book! I’m sure you’ve got some stories to tell me. But, tell us about your best ever holiday and just what made it so special.
AW: I’ve been very lucky – in the last ten years I’ve travelled solo, with singles’ groups, to both coasts of the USA, Canada, China, Peru, Cuba, South Africa, Thailand, Cambodia And Vietnam, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every holiday. I really can’t pick a “best ever” – they were all fantastic holidays for different reasons. I’ve also been to Goa a few times with a friend, a lovely place for a totally laid back holiday. In October I’m off again – to Chile, Argentina and Brazil.
ES: Wow! No stopping you! Have you ever had any holiday or travel disasters?
AW: I think I’ve been exceptionally lucky, but I really haven’t had any real disasters! Or then again – there was the time I fell off a bar stool in Crete after one too many Metaxas and knocked out my front tooth, but I’ve drawn a veil over that…
ES: Let’s move swiftly on, then! Which place do you long to visit?
AW: A little closer to home than my usual long haul, but I’d really like to go to Carcassonne in South West France. I loved Kate Mosse’s Languedoc trilogy – Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel – and I’d love to see the area for myself. In fact, books often inspire my travels – I’m looking forward all the more to Rio De Janeiro in October after reading The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley, which featured the story of the construction of the statue of Christ the Redeemer.
ES: Who’s your favourite travelling companion(s) or do you prefer your own company?
AW: I do like my own company, but I’m very sociable too – so I find travelling solo with a group gives me the best of both worlds. Friends with partners think I’m terribly brave, but I’m not – I just love my holidays, and prefer a bit of company. My fellow travellers have never been particularly strange – all groups are made up of people you’d choose as friends, and some you probably wouldn’t. I’d never share a room – I need a little time and space of my own. And I sometimes don’t take well to being “organised”, and prefer to look around on my own – and you’re almost always able to do that.
ES: I agree. Singles’ holidays work, don’t they? Now, let’s get personal: Have you ever had a holiday romance? Details, please!
AW: Of course I have – I’m nearly 60, and I’ve had my moments. In fact, I cringe when I think of some of the things I got up to in Greece in my twenties and thirties – and no, I’m not sharing any stories!
ES: Okay, (I did try, Readers!) How would you spend your dream 24 hours if you could go to multiple worldwide destinations with no travel or time restrictions?
AW: I’d really like a whistle-stop tour of Australia and New Zealand – I’d love to see both, but the flight time and the length of time I’d be away really put me off a bit. They just haven’t made it to the top of my “must see” list yet…
ES: What tips or advice would you give to travellers and holidaymakers?
AW: If there’s somewhere you’d like to go or something you want to see, try as hard as you can to make it happen. I know it’s easy for me to say that with my unlimited time and disposable income, but I’m always aware that the time will come when I won’t be able to do this any more, and I don’t want to have any regrets. And if you’re partnerless or don’t have friends to travel with, do try a singles/solo trip – I’ve never regretted that decision!
Thank you so much, Anne! So pleased you could take part xx