A group for those among us who love travelling and are excited at the thought of where’s next in the world to discover and explore. And what better way could there be than to hear first-hand from people who have been there and done it?
Together the group will share knowledge and experiences, and agree the theme for each month’s meeting. It could be, for example, a country, a region, special interest holidays, road trips, city breaks or travelling solo.
Please note that we won’t be arranging travel.
Group Conveners: Graham Bennett and Stephen Rigg
The Group meets in the John Aston Room, Union Church and Community Centre, Weston Park, N8 9PX, on the third Tuesday of the month, 1 – 3 p.m.
This form may also be used to contact the Convener on all matters relating to the Group.
Our journey so far …
We welcomed five new members to the Group and first on the agenda was where we had been since the last meeting. Once again it a varied selection from walking in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco to discovering the unexpected delights of Lanzarote, plus Italy, Paris and closer to home, Chester.
We had two presentations on Japan, one on a Great Rail Journey trip and the other on experiencing the spiritual side of the country. A lively discussion ensued because several of the group had been to Japan and others wanted to go, so had plenty of questions.
We welcomed four new members, all of whom joined after coming to the recent Open Day.
Uzbekistan was the theme for the October meeting and we really enjoyed a presentation by Rev’d Gerry Stanton, the Minister of Union Church & Community Centre who had been there last month. Interestingly, two members of the group had also travelled to Uzbekistan this year. It was splendid stuff, thought-provoking and appetite-whetting, and the time flew by.
Before the presentation, we asked where the members had travelled in the four weeks since the last meeting. The destinations were varied and plentiful, ranging from Brighton, walking and climbing in the Lake District and the West Country to cycling 250km through Northern Germany, the Algarve and Sofia. One intrepid member had her South American travel plans disrupted by the civil strife in Ecuador. It added a memorable uncertainty to the trip, but she had the joy of visiting the Galapagos islands before all the upheaval.
It was a full house at the September meeting and it was great fun. We started by hearing where the members had been since the last meeting in August. What a well-travelled group we are! Menorca, Italy, Venice for the Biennale, Alsace, the Champagne Trail of northern France, nearly crossing the English Channel three times, walking the narrow bit of Scotland, Armenia & Georgia and Poland for a family wedding.
Carl then took us to the USA, recalling his 2,000-mile road trip through the Southern States when he visited Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. He enhanced his talk with music: country, rock‘n’roll, cajun and jazz.
Brian then told us about “a different way to explore the world”. Servas – the name means We serve in Esperanto – is the longest-established hospitality network in the world. The organisation spans 130 countries and promotes international understanding through shared hospitality in members’ homes.
Cuba was the destination of choice this month and we had an enthusiastic discussion as a number of us had been there, all around the same time so it transpired. Graham showed a selection of evocative photos of Havana which captured the elegance, faded charm and infectious vitality of the city.
Then we got down to talking. The topic was Ways we can help save the planet. We shared ways that we can made a difference from buying friendly toiletries to staying in eco-friendly hotels, flying on green airlines and carbon offsetting. The group is going to compile a list of hints & tips which will be available on the website.
In Setember, we shall be in the Southern States of the USA as Carl relives a musical road trip, then travelling on to Japan. We will have an update on responsible tourism and more on carbon offsetting as well as a Q&A session. It is clear that, after only four meetings, the Group has a wealth of knowledge to share and are more than happy so to do.