So who are the ‘Wanderlust Junkies’ when they’re at home?
Well, they’re Maroulla Paul and Nigel Warrington and – the honorary Wanderlust Junkie – his partner, Lau Thorbjørn. Nigel and Lau met Maroulla on 2 March 2017 in a restaurant in Seville, Spain (see the article ‘How It All Began’). The rest is – is going to be – history. (Lau won’t be a direct contributor to the blog, but will constantly be on the sidelines – the odd creative suggestion or two – and providing diplomatic intervention and peacekeeping skills when necessary – he’s Scandinavian, after all!)
Maroulla is a Writer/Creative Director/Strategist/Storyteller. She studied law at LSE, but a legal career was never in her stars. She soon found herself in the wonderful world of advertising, which was to lead to all manner of creative enterprises – including her own design and branding company – and working with top global corporate clients. For the past four years she has been creating, writing and editing a foremost legal magazine read by 18,000 lawyers. Her passions are opera, theatre, books, words, art, cooking, food, wine, talking, travel and hot yoga.
Nigel is a (former) Opera-Theatre Director/Teacher of Acting/Translator. He read English at Oxford and studied directing at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He enjoyed a 31-year career in the theatre – including running a chamber opera company in Denmark, an unemployed youth theatre in Scotland and a year on Starlight Express. His career also fed his wanderlust and took him to many a world corner – from Wexford to Christchurch, New Zealand. In 2008 he and Lau ‘fled’ to Turkey, where they lived for 5+ years and where Nigel reinvented himself and became a Danish-to-English translator. His passions are opera and music, reading, food, dogs – and travel.
Maroulla and Nigel answered a handful of questions…
What is your earliest and most colourful travel memory?
We never travelled when I was a child. We were too poor. So it was only St Leonards. I remember my dad always treating all the hotel staff with such respect (he owned a restaurant himself so treated them as he would have wanted to be treated) and them giving us super treats in gratitude.
A mountain outside Kitzbuhel in the Austrian Tyrol. Age 11 and budding drama queen. I’d just seen The Sound Of Music and wanted to be Maria. So, singing at the top of my lungs, off I tripped – and TRIPPED – and went rolling down the mountainside. Dad thought I was a gonner.
What was the very first foreign country you visited – and how – what context?
Spain. My Mum took me as a treat after my “O” levels (if anyone remembers what they are). It was an amazing adventure. All the Spanish boys loved me so that made my holiday. Mum and I (for some crazy, inexplicable reason) went to a bullfight and we walked out!
I guess it was Belgium (sorry – yawn). 1966. On a Wallace Arnold package tour starting at Southend airport and culminating in a week in Kitzbuhel and the near-death experience (see above).
When did your ‘Wanderlust’ begin?
Probably backlash from years of never having done it as a child. Making up for lost time. For sure!
Ingrained or genetic, I think. Mum from Scotland, Dad from Yorkshire, Brother born in Surrey, Sister born in Cumberland, Me in East Tilbury, Essex. It says it all. Destined never to be still – and I never have been.I
Do you have a favourite country of all the ones you have travelled to?
India and Bhutan.
Tough. Maybe Sri Lanka. Maybe Laos.
What is the most cherished/loved possession you have that you bought on a holiday? Describe briefly.
An amber necklace from Udaipur. It was my 50th and my mum gave my travelling companion, Alan, money to buy me something special. I treasure it.
Tough too. The flat’s a cabinet of curiosities. Either the off-the-wall, phantasmagorically coloured ‘monster’ sculpture made from camel hair and card and wood (bought in Morocco) or the 4 coloured resin Buddhas (bought in Laos).
What countries are on your ‘What Now?’ list?
Burma. Iceland. South America. Finland.
Namibia. Peru. The fjords of Norway.