"John Alexander travels" johnaalex's Profile
I was born in London and, although I have lived here all my life, I have always enjoyed travel. I was an only child and I think that is why I have always been independent and, as much as I love meeting new friends, I am quite happy in my own company. As a schoolboy I found it a thrill to explore London on a Red Rover bus ticket, but since then I have travelled much further a field from having gone as far to the West as Hawaii and as far to the East as Taipei. As well as travelling for pleasure my work has also given lots opportunity for travel in the UK, Europe and there have even been a couple of transatlantic trips. Thanks to the business travel I have been a BA Executive Club Gold Card holder for some years and I earned lots of BA Miles (I also got gold cards with Hilton and Marriott). Alas the good days are now over on that front. I have travelled in all classes from economy to first, including Concorde. These days I normally travel in business class, but I have been able to use those miles for some first class flights.
I was a late starter when it came to flying. My first flight was from London to New York in 1981 when I was 25. Because of my “fear of flying” I thought at the time that I would only be making one trip by air so I arranged to travel around the States on Amtrak trains. I went from New York to New Orleans, then onto Los Angeles. From LA I went to Chicago (stopping in Flagstaff for a trip to the Grand Canyon) and then back to NY for the flight home. I thoroughly enjoyed my first flight and within a year I had done three other trips to the US (Florida, Dallas and then back to the West Coast). Since then I have made up for lost time, having taken over 1,000 flights!
Without doubt my two favourite countries are the USA (over 30 trips) and Thailand (40th trip there was in January 2013). I have travelled quite a bit in both countries. My favourite cities in America are San Diego, Las Vegas and New York. In Thailand I love Bangkok and Patong Beach on Phuket. Other favourite places include Amsterdam (where I was lucky to work for 6 months), Madrid and Dublin. Outside of cities I love the wide open spaces of the western US. Death Valley in California is just about my favourite place, anywhere.
I listen to a lot of music. I used to be a DJ and have a large collection of vinyl and CDs. The vast majority of the music is 50s style rock and roll and country. Comedy is another great interest for me and I do have a great sense of humour (well, I think so!). I like to take photographs on my travels, but I never got into video. I am life long supporter of Liverpool Football Club. Good food (big steaks and hot curries), real ale, red wine and fine malt whisky keep me going and account for my larger than normal size.
I lived with my girlfriend, Janice, for nearly 30 years and we finally got married in Cape Town in 2006. Happily we have no children, but we do have a golden retriever - Rocky.
Janice shared my love of travel, but sadly she died on 20th June 2012 as a result of complications associated with gastric cancer.
I nearly always travel with my lap top PC, but most important for me are my MP3 player and digital camera. I used to have one of the first hard disc MP3 players, known as a PJB100 it predated the iPOD by a couple of years. This has been replaced by a 60gig Zune HD on which I currently have over 6,000 tracks. For long flights I use it with the QC2 Bose noise cancelling headphones I also use Shure 535 in ear head phones. To listen to my music in hotel rooms I have a Bose Bluetooth Sound Dock
I am now on my 6th digital camera (I have to keep upgrading). It is a Nikon D800E and some very good lenses. If you want to see some of my photos, in addition to any on these pages please checkout my Flickr site at:
In 1995, as part of my celebrations for my 40th birthday Jan and I went on a special charter flight to Egypt. What made ii special is the fact that we flew on Concorde. It was a long weekend flying from Heathrow to Luxor where we stayed overnight. Everything was included in the trip, sight seeing trips, hotels etc. We were treated like true VIPs – no hanging around at immigration just straight to the tour bus and off to the Temple of Karnack, the first stop on our whistle stop, but nonetheless, comprehensive tour. After a pool side evening buffet it was back to the temple for the son et lumiere display. Next day it was off to Thebes and then back to the airport where “our Concorde” was waiting to take us to Cairo. In the Egyptian capital we had three luxury coaches, only two were used the third was a spare and a police motorcycle escort so as to avoid any hold ups! The next day we were taken to the pyramids at Gisa and we had a great buffet lunch in a large tent near them. On the last day we were woken by a minor earth quake – not part of the planned itinerary! No damage was done by the quake and our sightseeing when on unabated ending up with another superb buffet on a luxury Nile cruiser. It was late afternoon when were taken back to the airport for the flight home and more of that fine Krug champagne and Johnny Walker Blue label scotch as always served while flying faster than sound on the best plane ever, Concorde. The final highlight was that the pilot, who along with the rest of the crew had stayed with us for the four days was about to retire and our trip home was his last flight in charge. It was not cheap, but everybody agreed it was superb value for money!
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