5 Ways Life’s Journeymakers Have Enriched My Travels

Throughout the month of January I’m partnering with American Express Travel to recognise the people who’ve made my trips more memorable. 

Taking part in the Journeymakers campaign I’ve spent the last few weeks reminiscing about the good folks who have enriched my adventures over the course of my world wandering; and I have to say I’ve been blessed with some fantastic travel experience thanks to the Journeymakers I’ve met along the way. Ways Life’s Journeymakers Have Enriched My Travels

Since I first left my home in the UK some four and a half years ago I’ve been fortunate enough to live in 10 different countries. I’ve driven across continents, scuba dived on remote atolls, and hiked across active volcanoes, and every single one of my most treasured travel memories involves a tour guide, local resident, or fellow traveller who has elevated my adventure in some way by simply being a part of the experience.

Below you’ll find snapshots of 10 Journeymakers who have enriched my adventures; without influence from these passionate people my adventurous tales of travel could read quite differently.

Here’s to the Journeymakers who gave me a place to stay

Here’s to the Oakley family on Barbados who invited me to stay on with them after I’d completed their house sitting assignment. Thanks to them I developed a network of house sitting contacts throughout the region and have lived rent free in the Caribbean for the last 18 months.

Here’s to Carolyne and Richard in Las Vegas who not only invited me to house sit, but showed incredible kindness by allowing me to host some of my extended family during my house sitting stay. For this and for their continued generosity I am truly thankful.

And those who inspired me to explore my surroundings

Here’s to the Ny family in Auckland who inspired me to return to New Zealand after 12 incredible months of adventure. Collecting me from the airport when I first flew into the country, and dropping me off to fly out to neighbouring Australia just under 12 months later, their passion for the Land of the Long White Cloud was so intoxicating I was back after just three months away.

Here’s to Chef Michael from Cobblers Cove in Barbados who cooked up the Conch I found whilst snorkelling on the shallow reef in front of the hotel. Hearing of my find from the hotel’s General Manager, he invited me onto a food tour of the island the following day where he prepared a traditional conch salad for me to taste. Delicious!

Here’s to the Journeymakers who shared their stories

Here’s to Dorothy, the housekeeper on St. Kitts who charmed me with her tales of island life and simpler times during my time house sitting stay on the south-east peninsula. Her insight into the idiosyncrasies of island living and her passion for the smallest nation in the Americas was infectious and in part inspired me to return to its sister island Nevis later on in the year.

Here’s to Shelly the Starbucks employee at JFK airport who helped me retain my sanity while waiting for a delayed flight out to the Caribbean. A budding stand up comedienne she had me in stitches as I sipped my green tea during the wee small hours of the morning and turned what should have been an arduous wait into a treasured travel memory.

And to the ones who influenced mine

Here’s to Clare and Richard on Nevis who helped me through a particularly difficult situation in which I found myself towards the end of 2015. Thanks to their positive influence and unyielding support I was able to find a new direction amongst the chaos.

Here’s to Anna the pilates teacher on Antigua who patiently instructed me through my first class despite having a room full of advanced students. Inspiring me to shake up my fitness regime and incorporate a more varied program of strengthening and toning exercises, I’ve since dropped a dress size and feel body confident in my bikini for the first time ever. Hurrah!

Here’s to the Journeymakers who have become lifelong friends

Here’s to Mary who took me under her wing in paradise. Who fed me countless rum punches – over a fair few sundowner sessions (drink responsibly kids), and who took me on a journey to show me why she loves her island home.

Here’s to Levi, the guy on the live aboard dive boat in Australia who elevated an already enviable experience into a once in a life time adventure. Not only did he act as nurse when almost all the passengers were struck down by a hideous bout of seasickness, his comedic genius and never-ending supply of energy carried me through two weeks at sea.

Here’s to your favourite Jounreymakers

As part of the Journeymakers campaign American Express Travel are giving you the opportunity to recognise the people who’ve made your trips more memorable.

If you’ve a Journeymaker in mind head over to the Journeymakers website here where you can create a digital postcard that can be displayed online and shared with friends through social media.

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Share the story of your favourite Journeymaker with me in the comments below.