People fascinate me. Perhaps that is why I love working as a GP. When I travel, I always want to ask questions and know what life is really like for everyone I meet. Sadly, I am not much of a linguist but I smile and gesticulate a great deal and make the effort to communicate. Given enough time, it is remarkable how connections can be made
I explore, try to understand and write about difficult issues including corruption, prejudice, exploitation, caste and poverty. I know that for some this makes uncomfortable reading and even risks demystifying and undermining the image some travellers have of the simple natural existence of the rural poor in emerging nations. Nevertheless I fervently believe these issues should be understood by all who travel so my aim is to present the facts as sympathetic engaging stories about real people. I am frustrated by the look-and-point approach to travel, but I hope I don't preach. I write of my adventures and enthusiasms and of colour and beauty so that my readers can enjoy my travel experiences as much as I do.
Travel Health Guides
Within minutes of arriving in the sleepy town of Khairpur in Sindh, I was faced with a medical crisis. I'd been qualified as a doctor for a few years but was new to expatriate life, and I was travelling with my firstborn, three-month-old son. A guy who was expecting to work with my husband announced that he needed to be evacuated because he was desperately ill. I introduced myself as a GP and offered help. Quickly I realised that my new friend was not suffering from some horrendous tropical pox but that he just had a nasty attack of sinusitis. It made him feel awful with frontal headache that recalled having a screwdriver rammed into his eyeball. Labelling it with a diagnosis made it less scary, though, and we found that the correct antibiotics were readily available over the counter in the local bazaar. By the next day my patient was well on the way to recovery.
That was the first time I really had to think about travel health. What this, my first real travel medicine ‘case’, made me realise is that even the calmest and most sensible of travellers will nearly always become disproportionately worried about themselves when taken ill. In my friend’s case, he didn’t know much about the local health service and didn’t know where he could find a doctor he could trust. He just wanted to get home to his friendly British GP. That experience showed me how liberating and empowering information can be and motivated me to start writing accessible straightforward travel health advice. I began work on a manual that was distributed amongst expatriate engineers, and soon after wrote my first travel health feature for Wanderlust magazine. It was - of course - on diarrhoea.
A Glimpse of Eternal Snows
I have just today finished your book A Glimpse of Eternal Snows and want to say how much I enjoyed it. I admire your decision to take your son David away from what would have been an never ending round of doctors and treatment had you remained in England yet it cannot have been an easy decision to make and carry through. I think however you can take pride that, in the final analysis, it was the correct decision. You gave him as happy a life as it was possible for him to have.... you should be proud of your son and the life you gave him. I know you really are proud of him so do not ever feel you should hide his existence.
Lesley by email
I just loved the descriptions of life in Nepal and all the wildlife in your book - it was all so very evocative. In total a wonderful read and the sort of book that stays with you for a while after finishing it.
50 Camels and She's Yours
A refreshingly honest collection of travel vignettes. Chapters shift easily from 'evacuating' into yoghurt pots to touching local encounters, all made possible by the relentless curiosity of five remarkable people.
Your Child Abroad: a travel health guide
“offers advice on everything from keeping children occupied on flights to avoiding food poisoning…”
The Express, London
Lemurs of the Lost World
“Excellent travel adventure story and introduction to peoples, animals and environments in Madagascar. If you're thinking about going on an expedition to somewhere like Madagascar and fancy a dry-run in an armchair first, this is your book.”
Pete Kay, N.Yorks