Hi there, I’m Rebecca!
I’m a freelance travel journalist and regularly write for the Telegraph, the Independent and easyJet Traveller. After graduating from City University’s post grad magazine journalism course, I landed a job as staff writer on the Daily Mail Ski & Snowboard magazine – where I got to write, and ski, for a living – I haven’t looked back.
Combining my love of adventure with a nose for a good story, I’ve written features on mountain-top yoga in Verbier, women’s snowboard camps in the French Alps and cycling and spas in the Scottish Borders. I know have a young daughter in tow so family travel is my focus – I want to inspire the next generation to explore the world and see what’s round the corner.
We’re an adventurous family – my husband is a scientist and recently returned from surveying the seas around the world’s most remote permanently inhabited island, Tristan da Cunha in the south Atlantic; my sister is a pilot with British Airways; my brother is an action sports photographer; and I’m a travel journalist. So between us, we get about.
Before having a child I enjoyed cycling up mountains. Now, I prefer to cycle around them, preferably alongside rivers and lakes – always following the contours, not crossing them!
I don’t tan particularly well but god I love a beach. My favourite is a cove on an uninhabited island in the Maddalena archipelago off the north east coast of Sardinia. It took us 45 minutes to walk down to, and we weren’t entirely sure what we’d find when we got there, but we followed our noses and came across the most perfect white sand, rocky outcrops and clear blue sea – which we had to ourselves for the day. Our picnic lunch of cold meats, fresh tomatoes and little bottles of ready-mixed Aperol Spritz topped it off perfectly.
Japan is top of my bucket list – the food, the skiing, the culture, I want it all! Closely followed by Sri Lanka. Going to wait until our daughter is a little bit older, but am already planning dream itineraries and must-sees.
I’ve had some interesting sauna and spa experiences through work (an Austrian spa with colleagues wearing nothing but modesty towels brought out the blushes, to say the least), but the best one was in northern Finland, where saunas are revered. The sauna was a large, wood-fired hut filled with the scent of birch branches – which we were encouraged to waft against our limbs. Once we’d reached peak heat, it was outside for a sprint across the snow – wrapped only in a towel – to a hole cut in the thick ice of the neighbouring lake and a plunge into the bracing water. It was the most invigorating experience, and highly addictive – I ended up doing five laps of sauna and icy plunge, before retiring to another hut for a dinner of Loimulohi, salmon smoked on a wooden plank, and vodka.
Travelling with a child has its moments but we try to do it as much as possible so it’s just part of normal life. A variety of sticker books, snacks and stories work for us most of the time, but I’m also a fan of just encouraging her to look out the window and watch the world go by.
Worst travel experience? Arriving at Chicago airport for a connecting flight to Denver for a Colorado ski feature and having a stomach bug as we came into land. Trying to hold it together through US Customs was terrifying – they very nearly put me back on the plane as they didn’t want me bringing in diseases! I had to spend 24 hours in Chicago airport recovering – felt like I was in my own hellish version of Tom Hanks’ film Terminal.
Family holidays have always been really important – I remember dad would eek out every last hour of his holiday allowance so we could pack in as much as possible, making sure bank holidays were used to the max, travelling overnight, that sort of thing. He travelled for work so whenever possible we’d join him for a holiday – we were really lucky as it meant we got to visit such places as South Africa, California and Australia (relatively) reasonably.
Also on the bucket list is to spend a winter in the Alps as a family – enroll our daughter in the local school, get totally immersed in the mountain life and ski everyday. It’ll need some planning but we’ll do it – I’ve had the skiing bug since little and some of my happiest memories are from working two ski seasons in the French Alps.
Backpacking around the world after uni was mainly fantastic fun with one of my best friends. We came unstuck though when we landed in Pape’ete on the French Polynesian island of Tahiti. It wasn’t our first choice of destination but was the only option that worked with the flights we needed home from New Zealand. Despite its beauty (lagoons, palm-fringed beaches, laid-back islands), it wasn’t our first choice because it’s notoriously expensive. And coming at the end our trip meant our budget was tight. This was made worse by arriving late on a Saturday night with just $10 between us. The banks didn’t open on Sundays, of course, our credit cards didn’t work in the ATMs, and everyone had recommended spending as little time as possible in Pape’ete, escaping to one of the islands – Moorea in our case – as soon as possible. But with no cash we couldn’t eat or buy ferry tickets, so we spent a pretty miserable day in hot, dirty, central Pape’ete stretching out a large bottle of water from a café between us for much of it. Thankfully our hostel accepted cards, and the following day we got a ferry out to a beach hut in Moorea. Trouble in paradise, eh?
I hope you enjoy my weekly contribution to Girl About Travel.
Brands We Love
I’m a primary school teacher and I’m a mum to a beautiful, bright and bubbly six-year-old. I witness the ups and downs of wellbeing in children every day. Every parent faces the same dilemma – how to ensure the wellbeing of our children – particularly from a mental health perspective in a world that is more pressured than ever in more ways than one.
It was a great way to see parts of Leeds you might otherwise miss on your daily commute. We had some delicious and varied food choices accompanied by some nice drinks along the way. I’d genuinely be so happy to get this as a Christmas present. I always imagined food tours might be a bit pretentious and maybe not the kind of thing my other half would enjoy, but this wasn’t at all. The type of food offed, as well as the beers, sampled definitely kept him happy!
GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR HIM | He’ll love this immersive Crime Scene Investigation Experience in Yorkshire
Anyone who fancies themselves a bit of a sleuth. If you’re an armchair detective and work out “whodunnit” before Poirot even twiddled his moustache or love watching real crime documentaries then this CSI Experience in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire is for you. Vouchers don’t have to be bought in pairs but I would say that to get the most out of the experience you’d be best off going with likeminded, crime-fighting friend.
If you love food and don’t know Sheffield very well then the Kelham Island Food Tour could be the one for you. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, filled with many tasty delights whilst discovering new places around the much loved industrial part of town. The first time I ventured away from my city-centre haunts was shortly after finishing uni, when we discovered the Fat Cat pub and (more importantly) £2 pints of ale. It dumbfounded us that we’d never even heard of this part of town, so finding such an amazing place to drink after four years living in Sheffield was quite a late discovery!
I am a pub girl through and through and a glutton for a good, hearty menu. Forever hunting out new locations to catch up with my friends or to go for lunch with the family, so was super excited to discover this little gem situated in the beautiful Sutton.
I had already heard good things about Elements. Despite only just celebrating their first birthday, they’ve been nominated for two awards in Marketing Derby’s food and drink awards (Best Newcomer and Best Customer Service). Thanks to their beautifully curated Instagram feed they were firmly on my Girl About radar.
So when Elements got in touch to invite us to try their teddy bear’s picnic themed children’s menu I jumped at the opportunity. I can’t tell you the last time I enjoyed a delicious lunch out with my toddler. We have loads of fun but I’d pretty much resigned myself that civilised lunches at nice places were largely a thing of the past. I was intrigued to see whether this was the answer. In the week or so before, Lily was bubbling with excitement. I remained somewhat sceptical.
Thursday night a couple of weeks ago and my Dad was in town. My step-mum had gone to an ABBA event at the O2 and he didn’t really fancy getting all dressed up like a Super Trooper, so we decided to go out for a bite to eat. I’d been to The Stratford once before when it first opened in the summer and was impressed with their Stratford burger, so thought it was worth having another look.
Girls Afternoon Glamour is an experience unique to Charles Worthington, who is one of the most prestigious and renowned hairdressing names in the U.K.
Charles has won many of the industry’s most prestigious accolades, developed an award-winning portfolio of products sold worldwide, styled A-list celebrities, and collaborated with some of the best names in the fashion and beauty industry. All this whilst seamlessly remaining a family business.