Me and My Footsteps

My Footsteps..... 

Hi there, I'm Sal. 

When we were both 19, my twin sister Helen was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) a chronic long-term neurological condition affecting the nervous and immune system which robs you of sustained energy to live a normal functioning life, including the freedom to travel.

I realised I am a privileged person, to be blessed with good health with the gratitude of having the opportunity to explore the beauty of the big wide world around us and in doing so, having the ability to make a positive impact by giving back to deprived communities I would visit.  

It was in October 2019, that I finally got to realise my ambition of climbing to the summit of the highest mountain in Africa, the mighty Mt. Kilimanjaro and raised £1,500 in sponsorship to benefit charity 'Action for M.E' who help thousands of sufferers of M.E, like my sister, who are coping with the illness in the U.K. 

Following in the footsteps of the first summiter German Geologist Hans Meyer 139 years later to the 'Roof of Africa'. The first woman was 22-year old Londoner Sheila McDonald in 1927 - what a girl! 

As a child growing up in London in the 1980's and 1990's, I had a star-gazing adventurous spirit and wanted to be an explorer....and help people....and loved stories.

And I still do. Even as I age with each birthday in cold December (with what I would hope to be be hard-earned wisdom and creeping songlines of my life), I am grateful for the more time I get to spend here in the world to entertain my insatiable curiosity about the planet and love a great adventure story to reignite me - the difficult journey of life itself is one big adventure right?

Even though I was a plucky curious young girl, I was enthralled and inspired by the great archaic adventures of male pioneers (real and not so real) traversing foreign lands of our beautiful planet Earth to make exciting discoveries of different animals, landscapes, nature, people and indigenous cultures. I would come to know through the harsh reality that the world would treat men and women very differently, unfairly, but saw no reason why I too couldn't have adventures and discoveries of my own in the world, or at least as close to them as I could in the this limited time that we all have passing through - life can be a gift!  

Now I have come know, all the many female adventurers that have defied social expectations, doing the very same thing and hope female adventurers find some useful and interesting stories from my travels.

So I have a list, which is always being extended, with ambitions of new adventures and interesting experiences that excite and pull at me, some even being accidental!  

I've been a film actor in London, a tennis coach in Africa, studied art in Italy, done a health check on an elephant, sailed on a Pirate Ship, run in an Olympic Stadium, felt the mist of Niagara Falls, reared baby dingo's and kangaroos, danced at a Native American ceremony, cured by a shaman in the Amazon, travelled with a circus, taught desert painting by Aborigines, sat on a canal boat full of cats in Amsterdam, blessed by a Buddhist Monk in Cambodia, sailed with New Zealand Maori's.....and the list goes on (out of breath)

What can I say, I have a penchant for a life of adventure and variety...a passionate curiosity about the world and just needed to be part of the abundance of adventure stories that were going on out there on the horizon.

So this is why I made this blog, to follow in my footsteps of my strange stories and off-the-beaten track experiences out in the real world for you, the many who cannot be a part of the world beyond their own back garden or for other solo females who have a thirst for quirky adventures.  

For me, no matter how long you go for on an adventure, it is all about a personal experience, not a competition. We all have individual dreams and zeal for particular places and experiences which we are drawn to and I certainly have mine. Over the years I've been a traveller who likes to explore their surroundings and get into the heart of the country, grasping the essence of a foreign culture, local language, the people, you name it - I'm intrigued with the real world and unique authentic experiences. Its a privilege really to see how others in the world live and the different ways we navigate through our lives. 

When the opportunity arose for me, I spent considerable amounts of periods staying in one country at a time by working, living or volunteering. During these years backpacking, I would be more of what you would call a 'slow traveller' allowing myself to drink deep from each country and culture to maximise my opportunities and experiencing a lot more from your time on the road 'making plans rather than being part of the plans' as one, wiser, older traveller told me once. 

I felt there were too many interesting elements of experiencing different cultures and lifestyles to pass up in this era of cheap travel and plentiful opportunities to see our fascinating planet...after all...why leave home to experience something just like home?

The world is full of adventures!

I am however, aware of such little time with have passing through life and don't want to waste it - I like to be selective to where I'm most drawn to explore, ever since going on my first overseas school field trip to Paris in 1999. 

Snapshots from some of my adventures.....

My first trip to Africa, The Gambia 2004

One of my passions in life is helping people in disadvantaged situations, I love helping people out in a positive way within my means and feel service to others is a real key to happier living. I have a particular fondness for Africa and in 2007, spent 5 months of my life living in Ghana voluntarily teaching tennis to children in a deprived community and founded charitable non-profit in the UK Africa Tennis Aid which collected and shipped unused books, sports and tennis equipment to Ghana, Uganda and Sierra Leone.    

Return to Africa - Ghana 2007

 Making a stop on a road trip across the big US of A

Nursing orphaned Joeys on a Kangaroo Farm and with Aborigine Ladies at Uluru, Australia

Exploring the Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador 

Joining with prayer and chant with a Buddhist Monk friend in Cambodia 

Kia Ora! Meeting the Maori's of New Zealand

Despite keeping some written journals on my travels, I didn't start having a crack at online blogging until 2009 when I travelled to Ecuador to go and live in the Amazon Rainforest on a conservation programme and kept a blog Letters from the Amazon.

I feel it is also really paramount by leaving only footprints and positive energy with the importance of preserving our beautiful planet for the next generation of adventurous girls to come. If we travel responsibly, truly caring about our environment and the affect we have on it, with the right ethical thinking you can make a positive impact to places and lives of others.

I thought it would be great to combine my interest in writing and creativity to share my worldly on-the-road explorations and wacky wanderings in blogs and creative writings to everyone around the world. 

So, thanks for dropping in. Have a wander around my blog to see my stories and musings from over the years, read my articles and see other projects on Contently, my photography albums or You Tube Channel that you might like to see!