Destinations: Inspirations

I’m ashamed to say I’ve neglected the blog for a couple of weeks now, I’ve wanted to write but every time I do it just seems to take too long to get the words out. I’ve lost my blogging mojo. Plus I’m a terrible procrastinator. But also I am slightly distracted by being in the midst of planning the next big adventure!

And in planning and getting some advice for the next adventure, this Sunday I made a visit to The Times Destinations Show. I have been before, but this time it was held at Olympia, London and the big feature of the show was the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival. Last time around I was all about the freebies and experiences… this time however, I didn’t feel there was as much to be had and not nearly enough interactive stalls and performances as I have seen the last two times I have been. The only saving grace was Stanfords.

The first talk we listened to was from Rob Forkan from Gandys. Rob told us his incredible, inspiring story of how he and his family were travelling and doing volunteer work in India and Sri Lanka, when the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami hit the town they were staying in and tragically killed both of his parents.

After returning home with his siblings, finishing his education and travelling some more, Rob and his brother Paul decided they wanted to do something to help other orphans. The idea of Gandys came about after Rob woke up at a festival one day with “a mouth like Gandhi’s flip flop”. And from there, Gandys flip flops was born. A percentage of the profits from Gandys flip flops goes into the Forkan brother’s mission – Orphans for orphans – to help children less fortunate than themselves, all in the memory of their parents.

Rob Forkan from Gandys
Rob Forkan from Gandys

The second talk we attended was Simon Reeve, TV presenter and author. His talk was in conversation with Paul Blezard and more in the form of a relaxed Q&A session. I’ve only watched a selection of Simon’s tv shows (Indian Ocean, The Coffee Trail) but I will definitely be tuning in to his new series ‘Caribbean’ this spring. He comes across on television as quite a friendly and optimistic person and he was exactly the same up on stage. And incase you’re wondering the favourite place of someone so well travelled, well his answer was Somaliland!

Simon Reeve in conversation with Paul Blezard
Simon Reeve in conversation with Paul Blezard

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