I ran a successful hairdressing business for 20 years while I raised my son. Then I travelled to Nepal on a charity hike – the adventure changed my life. That trip to Nepal started me on a journey of study and experience, enabling me to lead over 60 expeditions worldwide. I’ve worked alongside many amazing people, and meeting and sharing my journey with them has been an absolute privilege.
White Park Bay on the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland is my favourite of all the world’s beaches. When I have spare time, I love wild camping on the beach with my husband, collecting driftwood and cooking over a campfire. We make sure to leave only our footprints in the sand as we go.
My mum and dad sold everything, including our house, when I was only seven years old. We bought an old Volkswagen camper van and drove across Europe, eventually ending up on the island of Crete. At first, we lived on a beach in our van. Then we moved into a two-room house in the mountains without electricity, running water or a toilet. It was the coldest winter in 40 years, but the wood fire kept us warm! It was this experience that shaped my love of adventure.
Since qualifying as a mountain leader in 2008, I have guided numerous expeditions worldwide, from high mountains like Kilimanjaro and the jungle in Borneo to horse riding in Mongolia. I have led groups of all ages, from 13 years old and upwards. Every trip teaches me something new – every day is a school day!
While travelling in Ecuador, I was lucky to visit the Galapagos Islands for four days. I could not sleep the night before we flew there because I was so excited! Snorkelling in the Galapagos with hammerhead sharks below you and seals coming up to your mask to say boo before swimming away – hoping you will chase them – was an experience I will never forget.
Seeing dolphins off the coast of Country Antrim feels just as special; it makes me feel so lucky to call Northern Ireland home.
I was given a dog by my young sister last year. Now, I love nothing more than hiking and camping with Pierrot, my cocker spaniel! Getting up early and walking along deserted paths as the sun comes up, before finding that great little cafe for breakfast – or walking a long distance trail with my loyal canine friend and setting up camp for the night – is my idea of heaven.
Hiking, travel and reading. I also listen to a huge amount of audiobooks as I walk, work or garden!
I play backgammon and will gladly teach my fellow travellers how to play or give them a game but beware, I am highly competitive!
I moved to Ireland 30 years ago and sometimes still feel like a tourist as I discover new places to explore. The Wild Atlantic Way on the west coast is my favourite route; it offers walkers so many beautiful and dramatic vistas. However, my heart belongs to the Giant’s Causeway and the Glens of Antrim. As they say, there’s no place like home!
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