Can you imagine my surprise and joy when I received an email from easyJet Holidays letting me know that I had won their Inspiration Initiative?

“I beg your pardon. Me?”

re-read email

“Yes, ME!”

read email a third time and fall backwards off chair

Picking myself up off the metaphorical floor while grinning from ear to ear, I felt so happy I could pop. Not only is it a wonderful prize, I am also truly delighted to receive such a compliment to my writing.

The Competition

The challenge was to write about ‘who, what, where and when’ had inspired you to travel. I’d like to thank everyone who commented on my entry In my grandmother’s footsteps in which I cite my grandmother, who journeyed to China in 1927, as one of my great travel inspirations, among others.

EasyJet’s competition attracted a lot of interest from travel bloggers and there were some great entries. Heather on her Travels has written a round-up so do check it out. I haven’t read them all yet but Emma’s entry on her blog Sparky Sees the World made me laugh and I found Toni’s post on Reclaiming my future very moving but there were so many inspiring stories.

Egypt!

Me in Egypt many years ago

Later this year, as part of my prize, I will be flying off to Egypt which I haven’t been to for over twenty years. How much has it changed? How much have I changed? Memories of pyramids, camels, a jostling overnight train, ancient underground tombs and haggling in the market all come flooding back. I visited Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast, Cairo and Luxor. It was an amazing experience and I am really looking forward to returning.

Sharm el Sheik on the Red Sea

This visit, however, I will be staying in a completely different region of Egypt, the resort of Sharm el Sheik on the Red Sea which I have never been to before. I had always thought of this as a diving resort with not much else to do there. How wrong was I! As well as diving and snorkeling you can ride a camel or a quad bike into the desert, spend an evening under the stars having a feast with the Bedouins, visit St Catherine’s Monastery and Moses’ Mountain at sunrise, explore the Ras Mohammed National Park or cruise in a glass bottomed boat. You can even visit Cairo and Luxor from here. There’s so much to do and having snorkeled in the Red Sea once before in Eilat in Israel, I am particularly looking forward to seeing all those beautiful corals and fish once again.

Thank you Lucy, from On the Luce, and Suzanne, from The Travel Bunny, for nominating me to enter this competition. I loved both your entries. The ‘popping’ feeling has subsided a little but I’m still grinning from ear to ear with a far away look on my face (and no doubt looking slightly deranged) as I day-dream about swimming with parrot fish in the Red Sea once again and dining in the desert under an Egyptian night sky.

I am so lucky! Thank you to easyJet Holidays, the judges (Heather on her Travels, Matt from Travel with a Mate and Melvin from Travel Dudes) and of course, everyone who has inspired me and helped me along my journey.

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