Travel Planner

Travel Planner

Catherine Foxon

Travel Planner

I think I must have been born with a love of travel embedded within me. As a little girl, I longed to travel to far-off lands. I finally got my chance on my gap year, when I worked in Zimbabwe for 6 months. It was an amazingly immersive experience, living with a Zimbabwean family and teaching in an orphanage, then an open-jeep road trip to explore national parks and camp under the stars.

Fortunately, I met a fellow travelling soul in my husband. Before we married, we lived and worked in New York, then after our wedding we took the big trip – a honeymoon circumnavigating the world. We went to almost every continent, but I particularly remember the sensational beaches and laid-back culture of South East Asia. On my return to the UK, now truly travel obsessed, I pursued a job in the travel industry.

Explore Catherine's world

From the wide-open landscapes of Australia to the bracing air of the Himalayas, I found travel inspiration in every corner of the globe. Below are a few of my favourite destinations:

  • Australia

    Australia is simply huge, but so varied with its expansive wilderness, unique wildlife, wild beaches, mountain ranges, the Great Barrier Reef and laid-back surf towns. I spent four months on an epic road trip covering over 25,000kms in a 4x4, camping most of the way.

    The sense of freedom you get from the open road and being able to discover secret beaches and seemingly empty National Parks was unforgettable. Western Australia, often overlooked, was a particular highlight – I loved the colours of the Indian Ocean and the rusty red coastline at Ningaloo Reef.

  • Nepal

    The mountain vistas, trekking to remote villages, beautiful temples, prayer flags fluttering in the breeze; I fell absolutely head over heels for Nepal. Combining simple tea houses in spectacular locations in the Annapurna Mountains with some very luxurious but characterful hotels at either end was the perfect trip for me.

    Often, it’s the chance occurrences that create standout memories and, in this case, watching a funeral procession take place on the bank of the river was a real eye opener to another culture. Atmospheric Nepal had a true sense of place which I was completely enthralled by.

  • Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka is the perfect family holiday destination – it’s adventurous and exotic but not intimidating with beauty at every turn. Children are well provided for, Sri Lankans fuss over little ones wherever they go.

    It has a little something for everyone – hill country brimming with tea plantations, intriguing temples and fortresses, herds of elephants and monkeys swinging from the trees and, of course, its golden beaches. I loved the food too – It was amazing to sit down to a meal with about 15 different curries – and finish it!

Catherine's inspirations

I loved drifting around Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, on a houseboat, spotting hippos and elephants. At night, we bedded down on the roof of the boat to sleep, listening to the noises of animals and watching stars pinprick the sky. I remember staying at a special hotel called Ellerton in the hill county of Sri Lanka. We’d just arrived after a long day driving and our room had a beautiful view of the lush green tea plantations. Suddenly we saw dark clouds gathering and an amazing storm rolled over the green hills. We sat snugly on our terrace with tea and cake and watched it unfold in front of us.

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