When I saw this opportunity advertised I thought: ‘Wow – I would have loved to apply for that before I had my baby.’ Three seconds later I thought: ‘Hang on, that’s exactly what I should do NOW!’ If I won, I’d be fulfilling a lifelong ambition to explore South Africa. I’d also hope to inspire other Nat Geo viewers: ‘growing-up’ does not mean an end to adventuring!
I have travelled in every continent apart from Africa, and feel that I’ve been saving the best until last. My mother was a spirited adventurer who lived in South Africa in her twenties. I grew up surrounded by her South African books, photographs and artefacts (like the stone dog in my photo) and fascinated by her tales of Kruger Park and life in Johannesburg.
I caught the travelling bug from Mum and in 2004 we backpacked around the world together, exploring fifteen countries in six months. Africa was next on our list, but in 2007 I suddenly lost Mum to cancer. I would love to carry on our adventure in South Africa, to see everything that Mum loved when she lived there.
I had my own baby ten months ago. Since then my adventures have been limited to Cornwall – aargh! This prize would be the most amazing way to jump back in where I left off. And to explore my 30th country before I turn 30 would be the icing on the cake.