Hall of Fame: Meet Lesley Spencer
We love hearing from our loyal customers which is why we created our Hall of Fame to feature some of Titan's most epic explorers. This time, we chat to Lesley Spencer, who is a huge fan of travelling in Europe. She has been on a staggering 23 European escorted tours with us, and it set to travel again in 2021. Discover why Lesley loves Europe so much and what has been her favourite holiday so far...
What do you love most about travelling across Europe.?I love travelling in Europe! It is a continent so rich in history, culture and architecture and it has such a wonderful variety of scenery from great rivers and mountains to coastlines and islands. I enjoy the opportunity to meet the local people, sample a range of tempting dishes and cuisines and of course the local wines and beers! Over the years I have been on city breaks, river cruises and coach tours in many countries and enjoyed nice relaxing breaks on islands in the Aegean and the Mediterranean. I have particularly enjoyed travelling in Eastern Europe as countries became more open to travel from the West and it has been interesting revisiting some recently and seeing how much they have changed.
What has been your favourite Titan European tour and why?I really enjoyed the Timeless Beauty of the Balkans tour which visits parts of Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, taking in Zagreb, Belgrade and Dubrovnik. The itinerary gives a fascinating insight into the complex nature of the history and relationships between those countries. We were lucky enough to have a fellow traveller on that trip who had been involved in diplomatic negotiations during the Yugoslav wars and who added some personal insight.The tour included a stay in Sarajevo which was a highlight for me, and a chance to have a swim on the coast in the lovely, mountainous country of Montenegro.
What is your most memorable holiday moment from your European holiday adventures?
As a child of the 1950s, I grew up watching grey images of military parades in a drab-looking Red Square. When I visited Moscow on a waterways cruise and visited the square I was stunned by how colourful and beautiful it is! It was so vastly different from what I expected. Memorable in a completely different way was my visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau on a tour of Poland. We drove back to the hotel in silence, all of us alone with our thoughts.
Which destination are you hoping to visit next?I am booked to go Costa Rica in November, but I am increasingly resigned to that not happening. In Europe, I am booked to go on the Little Boats of Catalonia tour in June 2021
Has the pandemic affected the way you see your travel in the future?
It has made me more cautious, particularly about long-haul travel. I would be happy to do shorter trips and Europe is ideal for that. I would be more concerned about going somewhere and getting stuck because of a sudden outbreak than the travelling itself which I think will be fine. Unfortunately, COVID is a tricky virus to second guess!
What do you look for most in a holiday?
Usually I look for somewhere I have not been before so that I can experience a different culture, cuisine and learn about the people and their history in the country I am visiting. Time is always limited, so a well-thought out itinerary is good, as is a nice hotel at the end of the day. Ideally there will be a little down time somewhere relaxing, preferably on a beach! I have a list of places I would like to visit, but sometimes I just spot something in the brochure that looks different and a bit off the beaten track. I visited the Azores a couple of years ago and had a very relaxing fortnight visiting four of the beautiful peaceful and unspoiled islands.
Why do you choose to travel with Titan?I enjoy the company of like-minded travellers on my trips, and the Tour Managers and local guides are usually excellent. The itineraries are well-planned and there are usually quite a few excursions and meals included depending on the locations. The home pickup and return service is such a bonus, especially when returning on a long-haul flight! I always book directly with the company as the sales team are always extremely helpful and knowledgeable.
If you would like to be featured in our Hall of Fame, do get in touch with us.
Article published on: 20th July, 2020
Ting has a serious case of wanderlust. Having travelled to over 40 countries, it’s her mission in life to make her way through her ever-growing list. Her two young sons have also caught the travel bug, and recent trips have seen them making snow angels in Iceland while watching the Northern Lights, as well as walking alongside elephants in South Africa.