How lovely of you to drop by.
Meraid’s the name, sounds like Mermaid (auto corrects to Mermaid too). It’s Irish, though the spelling’s a bit weird. Mr and Mrs Griffin are responsible for the error and I love it. I’m a freelance travel writer, journalist and public speaker. On this blog, I write about bikes, boats and bites. I’ve been bikepacking for a number of years and been described in the Sunday Times as a ‘modest explorer’. I smile a lot, drink way too much tea and have a weakness for chips and cake.
I was brought up on the West coast of Ireland, then moved to Northern Ireland where I worked as a software engineer, magician’s assistant and manager of a Citizens Advice Bureau.
In 2010, I quit my job, gave everything I owned away, waved a tearful goodbye to my twin daughters and grandson, then went off cruising on a small wooden sailing boat, with a seventy something Alaskan physicist. I started to live a simpler, slower life doing things I enjoy. I spent over a year travelling from Arctic Norway to Brazil and began to write professionally.
I met my partner Dan at the Monte Real Club de Yates in Bayona, Galicia, Spain. He couldn’t get me out of his mind and sailed alone to meet me in again in Portimao, Portugal. It’s a long story, so I’ll give you the short version: We met, teamed up to sail together and fell in love. Now we live in Hampshire on the South Coast of England where we sail, cycle and travel together regularly. I’m fascinated by his beard, moustache and of course, his mind.
Slow travel is a shared passion, as is caring for the environment and growing organic vegetables and fruit on our allotment. Dan is a vegetarian and cooks most of the main meals, so I find myself eating veggie food most of the time. I share little stories about life on the allotment on my facebook page Nearby Veggies. I love to bake bread, make jams chutneys and pickles and create desserts.
I’ve been on many adventures, some small and some huge. I’ve slept under five billion stars and in five star hotels. I’ve climbed volcanoes – both active and dead. I’ve gone twenty one days without a shower and I’ve washed in some of the most weird and wonderful ways you can imagine. I’ve cupped river water to quench my thirst, drunk hooch from a plastic drum in a Mayan elder’s smoke filled home, and I’ve sipped champagne on a yacht. I’ve eaten simple food provided by strangers and I’ve dined in Michelin star restaurants. Wherever I go and whatever I do I find adventure.
Everything is possible as long as you believe.
For regular updates, you can subscribe for the Newsletter at the top of the page, follow my Faraway Visions Facebook page (It’s lovely to put a face to a name) or check out my tweets on Twitter. I enjoy reading your comments so please feel free to scribble your thoughts.
And, if you have any questions or would like me to write for you, then please drop me a note. I read all queries and answer as many as possible.
Sail away, sail away to a faraway shore
Pull up your anchor, you know there is more
Sail away, see the world, live without care
There’ll be highlights and lowlights, not just in your hair
Bare your soul, bare your body
You can be anybody
Open your mind, always be kind
Love, hope and joy I promise you’ll find
Leave crumpled baggage at the door
Sail away, sail away to a faraway shore.
by Meraid Griffin