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
Heart-breaking and life-affirming account of how a Cambridge medical doctor struggled to come to terms with her second child’s disability and how she and her husband fought to make his short life one worth living. Against much opposition from the medical establishment, they returned to Nepal, where they were involved in development work, and where the Nepalese people’s embrace of their ‘beautiful boy’ was in cheering contrast to the silence and embarrassment they had encountered back home. "Jane writes beautifully and while her account of her son's life is very poignant, it is not in any way self-indulgent. .... In addition, Jane's huge love of Nepal, the people, the scenery, the culture and language is spell binding.
Juliet Rogers, MD, Murdoch Books
Your Child Abroad: a travel health guide
“adventurous parents…should pack a copy…It is packed with sensible advice about how to avoid exotic illnesses and what to do in emergencies (such as being burnt by hot buffalo milk)…it is also a delight to read.”
Daily Telegraph, London
50 Camels and She's Yours
A psychotherapist, an accountant, a teacher and two doctors write about their very different experiences and insights of travel in five continents. The prose is well-observed, funny, poignant, perceptive and thought-provoking.
Lemurs of the Lost World
“fascinating firsthand account of expedition life and work, as well as an exciting glimpse of the flora and fauna of Madagascar.”
Geographical Magazine, London