Now that we’ve returned from the second stage of our little trip I thought it was time to try and get an interview with someone special. We’ve met hundreds of incredibly amazing people over the past 18 months who all deserve the JWalking spotlight but there is one person without whom none of this could ever have happened.
I managed to persuade Jo from JWalking to give me an exclusive interview. She was hard to track down and even harder to negotiate with, you wouldn’t believe the complicated over-the-top demands that she threw at me. Incredible stuff that I just can’t reveal at this stage. Suffice it to say that you would be shocked!
So, in a secret location under the most intense security and with the lights dimmed here’s what I found out.
Who are you?
I’m Joanna but most people call me Jo. Experienced JWalker and land-sailor.
Which country are you from?
How did this JWalking start?
After raising our three wonderful sons, we didn’t want to coast to retirement. We knew we needed a shake up to mark the change and before we knew it the planning had begun. New sofa or fly to Australia…ummm let me think!
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Tricky. Sometimes a place just feels special for no reason even though it is not one of the must see places. But to give a more specific answer, it has to be with Jon in New Zealand or Canada on the top of a mountain, edge of a lake or ocean, with a view.
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
Montreal – definitely in the shadow of Quebec but the whole place felt somewhat neglected.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Two Airbnb let downs (Scumbag Lily and Slippery Luc) and one disrupted long haul flight (Peril on Flight 433) but these are all part of the experience and good blog material of course.
What do you do to stay healthy when you travel?
Overall being happy makes you healthier but we do take a vitamin tablet each day, do a few daily exercises, walk a huge amount and eat as healthily as the local supplies allow.
How do you feel about writing the blog?
Always too self critical and trying to tone down the historical content. A result of alternating posts with the blogmeister himself who has such a brilliant writing style. Really wish more people commented.
What is your favourite mode of transport?
Favourite is walking but if we are talking motorised, I do love a ferry or boat but I think the Amtrak California Zephyr train takes the prize.
What’s the most overrated city you have visited?
Las Vegas – it’s just not “me”
Do you have a favourite JWalking photo?
No not really each one conjures up a set of memories behind the picture to make me smile. There is one close to my heart though that comes to mind of all the family together when we had a jwalking diversion to Lake Bled in Slovenia for our son’s fiarytale wedding.
Quick and Snappy: Just answer the question ……..
Best airline? South West Airlines in the US
Favourite country? New Zealand
Greatest JWalking meal? Breakfast with Chris and Ray in the Red Apple, Carol Stream, Chicago
Favourite city? Auckland
Favourite beach? Oneroa, Waihiki Island
Best Museum visited? Wellington War Museum
Most memorable plaque? Plains of Abraham, Quebec
Favourite JWalking partner? Jonno (obviously)
Favourite Christmas song? Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea
Have you got a bucket list? If not, why not?
It’s a stoopid term so no.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met on your travels?
Peter from Port Dalhousie Ontario. Artist, author in the making, historian and generally laid back easy going guy.
Has it been difficult being together for 18 months for 24 hours a day?
Never. Not sure if Jon has the same answer!
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Plan ahead a bit even if you tweak it. Travel light – if you don’t need it then bin it. Say “yes” as much as possible. Do a blog.
What things did you miss most whilst you were travelling?
Chatting in person to family. Baking. Bacon sandwiches.
Have you learnt anything about yourself from travel?
I can do this.
Where in the world would you still like to visit?
Scandinavia, Iceland and more of the UK.
What’s next then?
A long overdue haircut. House-sitting and volunteering for a few months in the UK and generally putting off returning to 9-5 for as long as possible. Do you need a house-sitter?