Itchy Feet is a family-run shop which we set up a year ago. Before that I worked in Africa organising safari expeditions.
What does a typical
We open the shop at 10am, and the mornings are usually pretty quiet, but we tend to get busier at lunch time. People usually come in for specific things like buying clothes for a forthcoming trekking expedition to Nepal, or they come in with ideas and want advice about where they should go. Then they can sit in the book room and discuss their ideas with us.
What do you like and dislike about your job?
I love talking to the people who come into the shop; discussing travel plans; recommending places to visit; discussing temperatures, and giving advice.
I find that people are really appreciative if you take time to talk to them. I don't enjoy the routine jobs - the pricing and all the paperwork.
If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I would travel to Central Asia, to go trekking in the remote valleys and the mountains, but also to visit the cities. There is so much ancient history associated with the place, and there is so much imperial intrigue. It is culturally absolutely fascinating.
If you weren't running the shop, what would you be doing?
I have no idea. It took me a long time to realise what I wanted to do - although I always knew that I wanted to be self-employed - but now I have the shop I'm very happy. I can see that this business has a future, so I'm working towards expansion, and am hoping to open another shop in the second half of next year.
Now the party question: you are at a party and someone finds out what you do for a living. What question do they invariably ask - and how do you respond?
People always ask me what my favourite country is, and my answer depends on what I think they want to hear.
I usually say one of three - either Nepal for trekking; Africa for safaris; or, to be even more general, just pottering around Europe. It is very difficult to pick one place in particular.
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