Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Bound for Britain

One week from today I will embark on my first ever trip to Europe. This trip is exciting for me on several levels. In April I agreed to represent NoteWorthy Events, a travel services and destination management company that specializes in luxury travel. Along with another travel professional, Christy Campbell, we are opening up the US incentive travel market for this distinctive British company. While I’ve had a research trip to Britain in mind for a couple of years, my association with NoteWorthy Events led me to put the trip on the calendar and learn everything I could about the nation and company I now represent.

I will spend several days in London, one of them working in the NoteWorthy Events office and getting to know the staff, the operations, and the business culture that has made this company one of the top in its class. While in London, I’ll stay one fabulous night at the famous Dorchester Hotel, a five-star property where NWE often books its groups. How can I promote such service until I’ve enjoyed it myself? The remaining days in London will find me sightseeing and researching for The Muse, the sequel to my novel The Nexus.

The Nexus is set in the twelfth century in a fictional setting on the Kent coast. Having not been to England when I wrote The Nexus, I relied on travel videos, books and online research for the setting. Even though it’s a fictional burgh set eight hundred years ago, the geography, weather, history and culture must ring true. I would love to spend weeks on the coast, exploring from the New Forest up to the Thames Estuary, alas, I have only two days.

Bronte Country is next on my itinerary. The novel I’m currently writing, Whispering Nights, is set in the Yorkshire Dales, where Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights was set. I’ll be touring around the moors, visiting with residents and learning more about the history of that rich area.

Of course, I hope for some side trips to the home of Shakespeare, the haunts of Dickens, the Bath of Jane Austen, and the Oxford community of CS Lewis.

As I’ve planned this trip, I’m reminded of my mother’s dream of visiting England. She had corresponded with several English women for more than 35 years, sharing stories of their children, then their grandchildren. Over the last three years each of these ladies has passed; my mother’s been gone two years now and the remaining friend only a month ago. For years, my mother and I had talked about visiting England together. I may be traveling by myself, but I know I won’t be alone.

No comments: