And on this, World Kindness Day, a shout-out here to those who have shown me random acts of kindness on my travels… and sometimes me them.
You only realise it when you’re 50 miles along the highway then here’s your go-to guy.
Hit the road Zach
Zach arranged to get a courier to bring it from Jackson to Cleveland and the Two Mississippi Museums.
The next year Zach sought me out at the American Travel Fair, IPW, in Denver when I left my mobile phone down as I went for a coffee and he tut-tutted. Legend!
Zuhair, a hero
And a shout-out here to all who observe Ramadan which puts a Christian’s Lenten fast into sharp focus.
Despite not being able to let a drop of water or morsel to his lips despite the travel and 30+ temperatures and desert until early evening.
When even Petra camels could.
Rachel, a ray of sunshine
Sometimes when you travel the world for a living you forget how lucky you are.
And that’s when you need a star like Rachel to pick you up.
Often it’s wine and a prehistoric South African valley which will remind you that whatever’s happening at home can wait.
And which is why I’m delighted for her (and me in the future) that South Africa is opening up again for international travellers with a negative test.
Your honour, Onur
And I’ve reserved this place for my favourite Turk, Turkish Airlines’ Onur, and very nearly favourite person in our industry.
Which is why he, like me, is also a past recipient of Irish Travel Media’s Pleasure To Work With Award.
Now if there was an award too for Most Accidental Tourist I’d win that too… every year.
I’ve enjoyed Onur’s company on the little island of Kuramathi, too small even for me to get lost.
And I’ll carry your cross
And Finisterre after the Camino
And sometimes I’ll be your hero on your travels.
Only for her to have to remind me to give it back.