When Anne set off to cycle alone round the world, she was 54, overweight and unfit. She had not cycled for 30 years and she wobbled on her new machine.
Most travel writers start travelling when they are young and hope to make a career of it. Anne had already had her career and wanted an adventure before it was too late. What she didn't know at the time was that her adventure would turn into a new career!
So why did she give it up?
"In January 1983 I was taking a holiday in India to recover from the rigours of the long Autumn Term. Somewhere in Rajasthan I looked out of the bus window and saw a cyclist, a solitary European man, pedalling across the immensity of the Great Thar Desert. I was seized with sudden envy. I wanted to be out there myself on that road on a bicycle, alone and free, feeling the reality of India, not gazing at it through a pane of glass.
I was not athletic. I was not young. I had never been a keen cyclist. I had no idea how to mend a puncture. I hated camping, picnics and discomfort. In fact, my qualifications for an arduous cycle-ride were minimal. Yet it was the bicycle which had immediate appeal. I made up my mind that morning that I would cycle across India. But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered why I should stop at India. While I was at it, why not cycle round the world?
It took me four years to screw up my courage to leave a secure job and cycle into the sunrise, but I did my sums and reckoned that I could just afford it, if I lived modestly on my savings until my pension came through. I had no ties. My family were married off and I was a widow - not a happy situation, but at least widows are freer than wives. I could see the gap in the fence and I made a run for it. I traded in the Kurt Geiger shoes and the Alfa Romeo for a pair of trainers and a sturdy custom-built Condor cycle (bought for me as a leaving-present by the girls at my school), and set off in 1987 on my first solo cycle-ride around the world."New Career
If you would like to make a booking, or find out where there might be a talk near you, please send an e mail to Anne at email@example.com All enquiries will be answered eventually, but travellers travel and you may Sometimes have to wait a while!
Please note that Anne will be on her travels for approximately one year from May, 2009, and will not be giving any talks until Autumn, 2010.