"Travel with me" toonsarah's Profile

Early morning view from our lodge at Mandina

to my VT home page. I hope you enjoy reading about my travels ~ I have certainly enjoyed writing about them and sharing my photos.

My latest pages on VT are about Kent: an overnight stay at a rather special place, the Big Cat Sanctuary in Headcorn, and a brief visit to the bleak headland of Dungeness.

Our most recent trip was to The Gambia. As well as my main page, I've made a small page about our base for the first week, Fajara and a fabulous stay at an eco-lodge inland, Mandina.

In October last year we had a wonderful trip to Japan and I have created pages about all the destinations we visited:
Essential Honshu (my overview of our tour and time in Japan)

Travel plans

In May I'm heading to the VT meeting in Riga and from there on to Tallinn. We haven't booked anything for later in the year yet but we'll probably head to Asia again - maybe Burma, maybe Laos and Cambodia, possibly India.

Still on my wish list:
Chile, Venezuela, Columbia,
Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua,
Botswana, Ethiopia, Libya,
Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Burma
Alaska, Arctic ....

Who am I?

I am a Londoner, born and bred.
I am a librarian by profession, these days working as a freelance consultant.
I am a passionate supporter of Newcastle United.
I am a keen photographer, as I hope my pages show.
I love to socialise, to eat good food and to have a few drinks!
I enjoy the cinema, art exhibitions (especially modern art and photography), museum visits and more – both in London and on my travels.

And I LOVE to travel!

Some top five travel experiences

Natural wonders

The Grand Canyon, Arizona – especially watching a snow storm from its North Rim
The icebergs of Antarctica – I feel privileged to have visited this most remote of continents
The Great Barrier Reef – my first experience of snorkelling, which spoilt me for any other!
Yosemite – our introduction to the wonderful network of US National Parks
The scenery of the US southwest – such as Utah or New Mexico



New York, New York – the first city I visited in the US and still my favourite
Paris, France – I keep going back (but am yet to build a proper VT page!)
London, England – noisy, dirty, full of vitality – I love living here!
San Francisco, California – the city I want to return to
Sydney, Australia – cosmopolitan vibe and lots of water = my favourite mix

Ancient wonders

Temple of Karnak, Egypt – especially at night in the Son et Lumière performance
The Treasury, Petra, Jordan – could anyone forget their first sight?
Macchu Pichu, Peru – we didn’t trek there but we still marvelled at the sight
The Registan, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Tikal, Guatemala – another unforgettable location

More top fives


Hot air balloon over the Namib Desert – well worth the pre-dawn wake-up call
Meeting the penguins in Antarctica – so cute and so friendly
Whale watching anywhere, but especially Tofino, British Columbia – I have never been closer to a whale than we were there
Taking a flight over the Grand Canyon – the only way to really appreciate the scale of this place
A helicopter ride over Niagara Falls when on a school trip – one day I will fish out the old photos and upload them here


Places I have stayed

Huab Lodge, Namibia – a special place run by special people
The Blue House, Ocho Rios, Jamaica – living like family in a welcoming bed & breakfast
Okonjima, Namibia again – where the rescued cheetahs are as important as the guests
Lamanai, Belize – an all-inclusive with a difference
A yurt in the Uzbek desert – seeing the stars more brightly than ever before and waking at sunrise to the chill of the desert


The train journey from Krakow to Lviv – travelling with a great bunch of VTers
On the road in California – our first of our many US road trips
Another train journey, this time from Puno to Cusco in Peru – although the food on board did give me a nasty few hours of sickness the following day
Driving the gravel roads of Namibia – occasionally hairy but for the most part an exciting adventure
A cruise on the Rhine – not for my own pleasure, but seeing the delight it gave my late mother-in-law who had dreamed all her life of taking such a trip

Me and VT

Like most of you I discovered VT while researching a trip (Namibia), and used the website for a while before taking the plunge and joining in.

Since then I’ve had great fun creating pages and tips, and meeting other VT-ers, both virtually and for real. I’ve made some great friends along the way, and found especial pleasure in attending many of the Euromeetings - Karlsruhe, Cascais and Krakow.

Recently I was honoured to be asked to help run the new London chapter – London Calling. That will mean lots more fun meetings with other London-based VTers and visitors to our city! I’ve put some records of VT meetings in London in some travelogues on my London page.

But I should warn you that I'm not here looking for love. If you read just a little bit about my travels you'll soon realise that, as my husband Chris features in all my travels and has contributed some of his great photos to my pages. So please don't email me to tell me how handsome you are! I'm also not in the least bit naive and I won't be convinced that I'll make my fortune by helping you with dodgy bank account scams, so that's another email you needn't send!

My travel motto

Joni Mitchell:
"I pulled into the Cactus Tree Motel
To shower off the dust
And I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust
I dreamed of 747s
Over geometric farms
Dreams, Amelia, dreams and false alarms"

"Amelia" (from "Hejira")

I love Joni Mitchell, and I really like these lines! They always make me think of travelling, especially on a road trip in the US, one of our favourite types of holiday

My travel pages

I’ve found it really helpful when visiting other people’s home pages to have an introduction to their VT pages, but I've recently decided that my attempt at the same was getting out of hand! In future, my newest pages will be flagged up above, while I've moved the complete list to an album (below). While this does duplicate the standard VT list, I've included additional info about the date of travel and the main highlight feature(s) of the destination.

If you visit any of my pages please do leave a comment!

  • Intro Updated Mar 20, 2014
  • Report Abuse

Comments (744)

Share your travels with the world!

Join Now!
toonsarah's Profile Photo


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 1 0
Forum Rank:
0 0 1 1 7
Real Name
Ealing, United Kingdom
Member Since
Jul 30, 2005

Badges & Stats

  • 3,363 Reviews
  • 10,645 Photos
  • 715,220PageViews
  • 31 Countries
  • 186 Cities

Latest Activity

See All Activity

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (12)