Who would have thought, thirty years after I was born in Rochdale to loving parents Lynn and Gordon that I would end up being VisitEngland’s Fan in a Van? I guess with a Mum and Dad that don’t even possess passports I was destined to grow up loving England because we always holidayed at home!
My early childhood memories consist of wonderful days out in the beautiful Lancashire and Yorkshire countryside, feasting on homemade picnics and learning how to tickle trout. We also holidayed at caravan parks in Blackpool, Skegness, Scarborough and Filey where there was never a dull moment!
Eventually my sense of adventure and love of all things media saw me take up a place at the University of Sunderland. I threw myself in to every opportunity from student radio and amateur dramatics to the Duke of Edinburgh award. I had an incredible four years in Sunderland but it was Newcastle upon Tyne that became my adopted homeland.
I fell in love with a Geordie called James and landed a job at local radio station Metro Radio. Life was sweet. Then in 2008, something happened that would change my life forever…
I was 27 when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and it came as a complete and utter shock! A radical hysterectomy and several weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy saved my life and I promised that I would live it to the full from that moment on!
As soon as I heard about VisitEngland’s Fan in a Van I knew this was the challenge and opportunity I’d been waiting for! The thought of exploring England in a vintage camper van filled me with excitement and I immediately set to work on my entry.
I was absolutely thrilled to be chosen as the winner and I know my passion for all things English will help me make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime experience! I love the great outdoors and am absolutely up for whatever England has to throw at me, which is handy because I’m already hearing rumours of hot-air balloon rides and gravy wrestling, hopefully not together?!
Whatever happens over the next 70 days, one thing is for sure, I will be updating you every step of the way with blog posts, tweets, photos and video. I hope you will be inspired by what you see and get out there to experience England for yourself!