It was August 2008 with my 65th birthday fast approaching that I decided it was time to say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of business that had been my life for the previous 50 years. How quickly that time had gone. From now on there was going to a spare seat on the 7.12am to London. Retirement for many cannot come quick enough but the problem for most people is what to do after leading a very active life which in my case had involved travelling to various parts of the world.
I have always loved travel and my love in particular for some years had been cruise ships and cruising since being talked into going on my first cruise in the late 90’s. After just one cruise I was hooked by the wonderful food, choice and quality, the good old fashioned service that sadly has disappeared from many hotels and above all the idea of only having to unpack once despite waking up in a different port and sometimes a different country every day. I decided to put my time to good use and started writing articles on cruising, the various ships I had been on and the many countries I had visited.
It was on returning from a cruise in May 2011 that I received an email from www.SilverTravelAdvisor.com informing me that one of my articles had won 1st prize in their March competition. This was a 7 day luxury villa holiday courtesy of CV Travel. However on checking the dates on which it had to be taken I found that I was already committed and therefore could not accept the prize. This led me to speak with Debbie Marshall the Managing Director of Silver Travel Advisor. I explained my situation to her and showed an interest in becoming one of the Silver Travel advisors. This led to our meeting for lunch and my becoming one of their advisors specialising in cruise advice as well as other matters where it was thought I could assist.
It has to be said that since becoming an advisor my life has changed in many ways and they are all for the better. The questions that I have been asked and responded to over the last 6 months have been varied to say the least. From giving advice to a lady of mature years (70+) advice on driving routes and hotels from Denmark to the South of France to recommending cruises and ships for people who are confined to wheelchairs.
The first question I dealt with was from a person who was fed up with hiring cars in Mallorca, collecting them with a full tank of petrol and being charged for that petrol even if he didn’t use it. After researching the question I was able to recommend a car hire company in Mallorca that only charged for petrol used.
One gentleman wanted to do a fly/cruise to Australia so that he could spend some weeks with his brother who lived there. The problem was that he wasn’t keen to go when the cruise ships from the UK were either arriving or leaving. I finally solved the problem with finding a ‘Freighter Voyage’. These are becoming popular on freighters that carry up to 75 passengers and travel all over the world all year long.
One couple wanted to travel to the Maldives but wanted to arrange the holiday independently of a travel company. It took quite a long time to research and select flights, hotel accommodation and places of interest to visit as well as finding out details of exchange rates and credit card availability.
Every day is a different question and my reward is knowing that the travel experience I have gained over the years is helping others to choose a holiday that is right for them and which will become a memorable journey in their life.
More recently I have become a Moderator on www.silvertravelforum.com where any topic associated with travel as well as a few that aren’t, can be discussed. We have sections where people discuss everything from their latest cruise, what the weather is like and travel advice to the 5 and 8 letter word games which really can become quite addictive. It is here that our travel partners can post their latest offers and there are some great bargains listed. As a Forum Moderators I am kept busy making sure that the postings from members is of acceptable content and not derogatory to an individual or company. It is a great Forum and I look forward to welcoming you. www.silvertravelforum.com