Fresh faced in search of adventures and pastures new, I picked working in Danmark as ‘pige i huset’ as my first overseas job. Keen to see me off properly with clean underwear plus a small reminder of home, mum waved farewell with tears in her eyes and a parting gift of a knitted penguin. Pingu came complete with a ‘JH’ embroidered backpack (filled with a miniature bottle, natch). There was no turning back……. for my wanderlust or liver.
Travels to far flung countries and stints working in some great (and let’s be honest, not-so-great places) followed. With countries to visit, people to catch up with, I turned my hand to anything legal to fund the next leg of my travels. From ‘farm-hand’ in Israel, construction worker in Canada to numerous stints as a waitress/cocktail bartender and cook along the way. One thing never changed tho’, Pingu was a constant travelling companion and picked up a fair few bus and air miles along the way.
Along came a kindred spirit, seasoned traveller and damn good chef…although we have yet to agree when we officially became a couple (!), one thing Matt and I both agree on is that he didn’t get given his very own Pingu, until he made an honest woman out of me!
Thirteen and a bit years later, the penguins, Pingu and Pingu II are now well seasoned travellers in their own rights, having crossed the Thorung La (Nepal), tackled the Tangariro Crossing (NZ) , kayaked in the Marlborough Sound, sailed the Caribbean (several times), walked the West Highland Way plus Coast to Coast, skied a fair few runs in Europe….to name but a few of their trips abroad.
Matt [ AKA the travel agent ] being a bit of a ‘Mountain Man’ fancied the idea of going to Antarctica to mark his half century (like we need an excuse!). With research done and Stamfords on speed dial for any latest editions, we are booked and good to go. Our Penguins are heading home, in a fairytale sense. This is the trip of a lifetime for both of us and we look look forward to sharing our adventure with you.