I suppose you could say I’m having a gap year, at approximately double the usual age for such a thing. I’ve always enjoyed travelling but annual leave allowance is never enough so I quit work. Let’s see if I ever go back.
Travel can broaden the mind but it does not confer coolness upon the traveller. I do not distinguish between traveller and tourist. I like to stay off the beaten track but equally some places are famous with good reason.
One of the best things about travel is the sense of sharing. People all over the world want to share their knowledge but travel of any kind can have negative as well as positive consequences for local people and environments. I believe our impact on all the places that are shared with us should be as gentle as possible.
I go budget most of the time. I love sea journeys and most forms of land-based public transport, most of the time. But I also love to drive and I appreciate that in many cases a flight is the only way I’m going to get somewhere on time, on budget. I don’t like crowds, so I try to travel out of season and off-peak.
‘Gentletourist’ is the name I chose because of the oppositions contained in those two words. I like oppositions and the balance they bring. No traveller or tourist is perfect, but neither are the places we visit. I travel with my eyes open, expecting the best of a destination but knowing that sometimes it is the quirks and wrinkles that make for the best experiences.