Speaker and D&D u3a member Pat Smith made her first journey when less than six weeks old, travelling in a ship’s drawer from Gibraltar to the UK. That set the pattern!
Among other adventures, she led an international expedition of sixth formers to help rebuild homes damaged by an earthquake in the remote Himalayas. They were the first Westerners the villagers had ever seen.
She ventured into Romania shortly after Ceauşescu was deposed, cycling from the Danube to the Russian border, then drove a truck from Dorking to a tiny orphanage in rural Romania.
When 52, she decided ‘enough was enough’, turned her back on teaching and took a truck from Dover to Cape Town. She ended up teaching in Ethiopia for three years, then Serbia and Thailand.
Retirement at 61 was a golden chance to travel so she set off backpacking around the world. Since then she cycled around the UK – 8,000 miles – and has done a fair bit of walking, most recently along Offa’s Dyke.
Next? Watch this space – a four-month adventure awaits…
• During Pat’s 2016 cycle ride around the UK she shared her daily diary with this website. You can read it here.