All my life I have been an explorer and so a love of art and culture travel is completely natural.
My mother was largely responsible for this, having been born in England and her adolescence marked by World War II, she was determined to leave Great Britain, longing to live somewhere where the ‘light was brighter’ , she settled initially on Africa. At that time, there were plenty of opportunities for bright young men in the colonies; my father had a dual mechanical and electrical engineering degree and was a willing partner in this venture. The family – including myself aged three and my brother, nine months, sailed on the Cape Town Castle for a new life in Johannesburg, then in the Union of South Africa.
Duncan, my brother, and I enjoyed an idyllic childhood; every year we went to another part of the country on holiday.
The Drakensburg – setting of the film Zulu, Basutoland (now Lesotho), and Durban, excitedly spotting lions, elephant, giraffe and hippopotamus on our many trips to the Kruger National Park. We had trips back to England (flying in hops in those days – Johannesburg to the Congo, then to Salisbury, Nairobi, Khartoum, Rome and finally, London). We sailed back down the African coast – Gibraltar, The Canaries, Cape Town and then the famous Blue Train through the Karoo and South African veldt. In 1961 we left, to start a second new life, this time in Australia.
So, my mother passed me the travel gene and I seem to have passed it on to my children – they both live a long way from Australia!
For me the long haul flight is exciting and always an adventure – not always planned – like the overnight stay in a sheikh’s apartment in Dubai – a delay due to fog closing the airport for four hours. Many of my trips in the past have been associated with work and I could combine lecturing or investigator meetings with a quick foray into the town where I was staying. (Colombia, Ho Chi Minh City, Madrid etc)
Now that I am retired and have transitioned into working full time as an artist I am free to travel as I wish and often combine that with visiting my children and grandchildren (LA, New York, London, Cambridge)
In 2016 I decided that I would like to share some of these experiences with like-minded others and started the aspect of my art business that takes small groups on art retreats or art holidays. I now do that in my local area and overseas (France 2017, England and France 2018, France 2019) If you are interested in art, enjoy travelling, are reasonably fit (able to easily climb stairs, happy to use public transport, want to be in a small group and feel supported – it’s perfect for single travellers), then join me ! France – Paris and Vannes in Brittany 2020