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.
50 Camels and She's Yours
What a wonderful selection of travel writing - the 5 authors each bring a different style and unique view on the world. Hivernel's "Why Mauritania?" transported me and made me look at my own world with different eyes. Immerse yourself in some armchair travels and there are even two reflections on the difficulty of coming home.
A Glimpse of Eternal Snows
What an amazing read this was. I was sorry to come to the end but hoping Jane will write the next part of her story very soon.
Posted on fishpond
The book is beautifully produced and presented, and wonderfully written, leading the reader on through the story that grips at every turn with artistic descriptive work and tantalising insights into life far from home. Jane is able to paint pictures of people and wildlife so well with her words.
The story centres on her family, husband Simon and their two children, Alexander and David. David was born with medical problems and disabilities. Jane's description of the emotions this evoked within the family from even before the doctors' diagnoses are a must read for the medical profession and anyone with friends or family living with a child with significant medical problems.
Lemurs of the Lost World
"Jane weaves a wonderful sense of place and people into this book."
Deanne Urmy, HMCO, Boston, Mass
Staying Healthy When You Travel
I have used this book for several years of personal travel, it provides excellent advice and gives a good, balanced view of what the real risks are while travelling in far flung parts of the world. It is a great reference and will tell you when to panic and when things really are fine and you don't need to worry. It covers all the travel health issues that you may encounter (and many more), is well written and easy to read, not a stuffy old textbook on health. I recommend anyone planning to travel to get a copy, read it and take it with them.