Titan Traveller Stories: Susan Lumb
‘The diversity of Australia and its attractions was mind-blowing; sunrise and sunset over Uluru – just wow!’
Titan traveller Sue Lumb didn’t really grow to love travelling until after she retired. Today, she frequently travels solo and likes to see a new destination every time. Read on to find out more about her globe-trotting adventures and her first look at the mind-blowing sunset over Uluru…
Hi Sue, what’s your story?
I'm originally from the north of England, but have lived in South Wales for many years. I worked as an IT manager for a long time, and although I used to have to travel abroad as part of my job, I didn't enjoy the travelling at all! I'm now retired and in my mid-sixties, with a variety of interests – from playing Bridge to art classes, writing and of course, travel.
What started your love affair with travel?
It's difficult to say exactly what started it. The very first experience I can remember was a camping holiday in France with my husband and children. We toured around and it was wonderful to see Paris, the Loire River and all the other sights.
Once the children flew the nest, my late husband and I travelled a lot – to the USA, Canada, the Far East and the Middle East – and we made many trips to France. We got the real travel bug on our first “big holiday” to Thailand.
How has your experience with travel changed as you’ve grown older?
Travelling is much more challenging than it was; the increased security at airports has made the journey more stressful. I'm also much more aware of environmental issues now; I love watching wildlife and I’m fearful of what we are doing to our planet. I think the travel industry has a huge part to play in helping to manage climate change and ensuring that (for example) the airlines they choose to use are ecologically sound as well, with more fuel-efficient aircraft.
As I now travel solo since my husband died, Titan has become one of my favourite travel companies. It's mainly because they offer a door-to-door travel service, good quality hotels (and decent rooms that aren't like a broom cupboard!), a lot of excursions included on tours, and a high standard of tour managers. I feel that they look after me better than some other companies that I have travelled with. I have lots of happy memories but I think the Titan holiday that stood out was the one to Botswana, which involved a stay in a camp on safari. To me, that was absolutely magical. The wildlife on that tour was incredible.
What’s your favourite place so far?
It's hard to determine my favourite destination – I've enjoyed every holiday I've ever been on. For wildlife nothing can beat Botswana, and for scenery it has to be the Canadian Rockies and Alaska. But, for the most outstanding holiday with Titan, it must be Australia. The diversity of the country and its attractions was mind-blowing; sunrise and sunset over Uluru – just wow!
Have you been back to the same place twice?
I tend not to go back to previous destinations (so much else to see), but one country I would love to revisit is Iceland, and I have my eye on a Titan holiday there! I've been with Titan to Russia, Australia, Canada and Alaska, Botswana and Zambia, New Zealand and Costa Rica.
What’s your experience of travelling with a guide?
The Titan tour guides are the best I've come across. I've encountered one or two not-so-good ones when travelling with other companies, but I find the Titan ones well-informed, experienced and reliable. And yes, I have come across the same tour manager twice!
Do you travel alone or with others? Which do you prefer?
I travel alone, mainly because I like to make my own decisions about where to go and what to do. That way I don't spoil anyone else's plans or my own. However, the security of group touring makes solo travel easier.
Do you socialise with the tour group?
Yes, I do socialise. It's been a lot of fun to meet other people and hear their travel stories, and I find that if there are other ladies travelling solo we can meet up in the evenings for dinner. I've also been very fortunate that couples have taken me under their wings as well and kept an eye on me. I am still in touch with several people I've met on holidays.
I'm off to New York with Titan in two weeks’ time. I could have done a less expensive New York trip, but Titan offered the door-to-door service, a good centrally-located hotel and the backup from a tour manager just in case anything goes amiss, although I am planning to do my own sightseeing. I’ve had New York on my list for ages; it’s just been a case of finding the right time.
I have also booked with Titan to go to the Chilean Fjords and Antarctica next year – I’ve always wanted to see penguins in Antarctica! I have also just booked the Southern Sights and Sounds tour next spring as I love music.
I don't travel exclusively with Titan, but it is certainly the first website I visit when I'm thinking of making travel plans.
Thanks Susan, we hope you enjoy New York!
We'd love to hear about your favourite travel destinations - be sure to tell us all about it on our Facebook page.
Nicola considers herself very lucky to have had the opportunity to visit a number of places around the world and these experiences usually involve searching for as many kinds of wildlife as possible. Recent highlights include penguins in Antarctica, bears and whales in Canada and Alaska and sea otters in California - but there are always more animals to search for.
Why choose a Titan Travel tour or cruise?
Our award-winning collection of holidays covers all seven continents, with carefully planned itineraries ranging from rail journeys and river cruises, to small-group adventures and trips exclusively for solo travellers.