FAYE DAY LONDON SUNDAY TIMES MARCH 19
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Faye’s Ongoing Adventures to Exotic Locations Becomes a Book BY JOSEPHINE ALLISON
Faye’s Ongoing Adventures to
Exotic Locations Becomes a Book
by Josephine Allison
FAYE DAY is an intrepid traveller who has visited most parts of the world, seen beautiful sights and made many friends along the way. The sprightly 78-year-old, who has just released her first autobiographical book on her travels, is busy planning a big overseas trip later this year.
Why does she do it? Faye is quick to answer: “Because I have a passion for travel and I like doing it solo. Many women love shopping, I don’t. I will move on quite quickly once I have seen something and I won’t just sit inside a hotel room.”
Faye’s first taste for travel started after her two children, Celine, an editor for AAP in Sydney, and Michael, a veterinary surgeon in Britain, were grown. In 1979 she started as a tour leader, taking various tour groups from Perth to Asia including Korea which was not generally open to Western visitors then.
“In 1983 I started taking tours for American Express and was offered Ladakh a region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. But it didn’t sell so I went as a solo traveller.
Unfortunately I suffered altitude sickness because Ladakh is the second highest capital in the world. One year I took four tour groups to India which was not a destination then.
“I spent 12 years organising and operating international group tours into countries as varied as China and Sulawesi but I couldn’t compete with the big travel companies.”
Faye was supported by the then travel editor of The Sunday Times and ran her company from home. But times and rules changed and she decided to write and travel on her own, something she has been doing for more than a decade.
Despite a few health issues and the rigours of producing five travel books (the second Every Nook and Cranny: A World Travel Guide is about to be released and a third has been submitted) Faye is planning a two-month trip later this year, visiting Dubai’s fabulous gardens, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan and Lebanon.
Faye recalls an occasion a few years ago when she visited Myanmar . She was taken around the city for two weeks by two young men in a vehicle. In Vietnam she was a pillion passenger on a motor cycle, paying $US5 a day to see the sights. In Papua New Guinea in the 1980s she got caught up in tribal warfare. She visited the Trobiand Islands where the single hotel run by a European had only a dirt floor.
Faye has some timely tips for the keen traveller: wear a lot of black, travel light because in countries like China men won’t come to a woman’s rescue if she has a heavy suitcase and wear comfortable sneakers. She lists her three favourite countries scenically as Canada, Norway and New Zealand. If you should become ill on a trip, there is always a pharmacy not far away.
Her first book is a wealth of stories about many countries less travelled with invaluable advice for the first-time traveller and lots of pictures.
“Everywhere is different, I have done some wonderful things,” she says. There have been some scary moments too such as when she was held up by five armed men in Guatemala. But somehow she survived and got out of the country. She estimates she has been mugged five times but that doesn’t faze her.
Faye visited the Karni Mata rat temple in Rajasthan, India which she saw barefoot with hundreds of rats revered by the locals running across the floor. A quick trip with her scarf to a street tap to wash her feet saved the day. She has made three big truck trips across Africa and, on one occasion, had video equipment stolen from her bag.
In Benin, West Africa, it was arranged for her to attend a voodoo ceremonywith an English speaking guide to assist spirits depart the world.
“We arrived early and joined a circle in the roadway where a “costume” supposedly inhabited by a spirit and accompanied by a man with a stick, moved around soliciting donations. The belief was that if a contribution was refused and the person was touched by the “spirit” they died, so the stick was used to fend off the colourful figure as it approached each group who ran off screaming in genuine fear.
“I was happy to leave after an hour because more “spirits” appeared on the scene and it was difficult to know why way to run.”
An animal lover, Faye has seen the polar bears in Churchill, Canada fishing for salmon and taken part in a gorilla trek in Rwanda.
Typically modest, Faye says she never thought she would write a book, let alone five. But she swapped stories and photos with backpackers and her daughter convinced her to write a series. She gets up at 4am each day to write.
“Travel has become an obsession,” she says. “It’s so enlightening and you see wonderful things; it broadens the mind. “
Faye Day’s first book, Every Nook and Cranny: A World Travel Guide Book 1 (XLibris Publishing), costs $40 softcover and $60 hardcover. It is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Ingram or contact Faye Day on 9341 5652 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also available as an ebook.
Where To Next For Intrepid Traveller Faye Day
Solo Travel Full ABC