With a successful conclusion to the 1987 Top Deck training trip Malcolm, Frank, Wayne a.k.a Wags, and I headed out on a road trip of our own design to test our mettle as tour guides.
We would drive from London to Aviemore Scotland and back; taking in all the sights along the way while being pleasant citizens full of youth and exuberance.
One stop was Annan; a quaint English country village. The FA Cup was on that day so we headed into the first pub we encountered in order to watch the action. We were oblivious to the fact that we had already crossed from England into Scotland and the Scots had little interest in the English soccer match. Annan turned out to be more of a quaint “Scottish” country village. Tour guides, all of us.
Another stop was the Johnny Walker factory in Kilmarnock. Birth place of the whiskey label; Red, Blue, Black, Double Black, Green, and Gold. Like the Heineken brewery in Amsterdam the whiskey distiller offered tours and we wanted in on that. We arrived on the one day they were closed. Continue reading Scottish Television
Top Deck Travel began in the 1970’s; a tour company that revealed a world to budget minded travelers via the confines of a double-decker bus where you would eat, sleep, drink, and enjoy life in what was, for most, their first taste of an unfamiliar reality. It was a wild ride.
Becoming a member of Top Deck Travel’s double-decker road crew in the mid 80’s had only two prerequisites. Number one was curiosity about the world that surrounded you. Today we refer to it often as a “Passion for Travel” but it all boils down to the same thing; you have to be curious.
It’s easy to find yourself in Paris, take the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower, climb the steps of Montmartre, stroll the promenade overlooking the Seine, or feast yourself through a series of crepes prepared by beret wearing street vendors.
It is the curious however who not only want to see and experience but also ask why and how. It is the curious who find beauty and fascination no matter what the weather or set of circumstances. A rainy day does not lessen the magnificence of the Notre Dame Cathedral or the surety of its famous flying buttresses.
Travel is all about broadening the scope of your outlook to a global scale, understanding that cultures, traditions, beliefs, can differ from your own, and realizing the good fortune that is bestowed upon all who have the privilege and luxury to see this for themselves. Continue reading Training to Travel
I arrived in London on a direct flight from New York in the summer of 1986; sometime in early June. I had spent the previous few months traveling across America from west to east; coming to terms with a sense of euphoria that is so often the companion of travel and relishing every moment. It was new to me.
A complete and utter feeling of freedom that provided a natural high; one that will be chased forever…like a rainbow. I am sure comparing a passion for travel to drug usage is a little over the top but there are definitely some parallels.
Travel can become all-consuming and in my early years I sacrificed more than one relationship or job opportunity in order to satisfy the craving. To chase the sun over multiple seasons, to seek out unusual destinations, and experience things most would never.
It was a thrill ride and I was not looking for it to end any time soon. In fact my arrival in England was the start of an amazing chapter I feel lucky to have had the good fortune to be a part of. A chapter I knew was extra-ordinary from the very beginning. Continue reading A Double Decker Life