Tuesday 26 March 2019


Back in November I went on one of the most exciting voyages I have ever been on - an expedition cruise to Antarctica. My children were so jealous I was going. Not only would I be able to see penguins in their natural habitat, I would also be visiting a continent very few people ever get to see.
Stepping foot on land in Antarctica was a surreal moment and I've documented it in many videos I've recently posted to my YouTube channel Go with Jo: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1Q28t30k-o99Ijzoiox11Q

Some of the videos are about the penguins I saw:

Other videos are about my mad attempt to try the polar plunge - yikes, that was COLD AND HURT!: 
And some videos are general about the whole expedition cruise and Antarctic experience - I travelled with a Norwegian cruise liner called Hurtigruten which was awesome and the expedition team was awesome too: 

When I came back I wrote a few articles for various worldwide publications about my trip. But I'd also written a diary whilst I was away and when I looked at the diary I realised that I had some great material which I didn't want to put to waste. And I saw a gap in the market. There are generic travel guides to Antarctica (like a Lonely Planet etc) but there isn't a guide which tells readers exactly what it's like, with top tips for what to do/what to pack/what to wear/how long to go for etc.
And so I set about writing a unique travel guide, chronicling my expedition from beginning to end, including the highs (penguins/icebergs/extreme hiking/extreme kayaking) and the lows (sea sickness!) And at the end of each chapter are top tips for people about to go to Antarctica themselves or interested in either going or in the polar regions.
I'm so proud of the book which is available from Amazon sites worldwide in kindle as well as in paperback  - here's the cover:
So, if you're interested in adventure travel or polar regions or penguins, this book is a must-read - inspired by early explorer Ernest Shackleton's diary - Shackleton attempted to cross Antarctica from one side to the other in the early 1900s.
It's available worldwide from Amazon, but here are the US and UK links:
US: amzn.to/2TfTox3
UK: amzn.to/2Y4X1K1

Happy exploring the world - at least you won't get as cold as I did in Antarctica just by looking at this book! And if you don't think you'll ever be able to make it to Antarctica yourself, you'll feel as if you have been there after you've read this...

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Wednesday 13 March 2019



I don't like politicising my blog, but I'm so deeply incensed and embarrassed by this whole Brexit debacle that I've been thinking what I'd like to say to Theresa May if I had her in my living room over a cup of tea...and this is it...

Theresa: I don't dislike you - even though I've never voted Tory in my life - in fact, when you were elected leader of the Conservative party I was pleased for you. You felt safe; like a nice kind woman who would look after her country.
However, you have no idea how to negotiate. Like you, I never wanted to leave the EU in the first place. I still don't. And I suspect you don't either. But a word of advice. If you're going to try to get a good deal for our country, your 'softly, softly' approach was never going to work. I don't like Boris Johnson particularly, but the one thing he got right in terms of Brexit was his bulldozing attitude. "They can whistle for it," he said, regarding the billions of pounds the EU expected us to give them for nothing in return.
But look at your deal. I know you're in an impossible situation, but this deal can't possibly be good for us. It involves us as a country giving billions and billions to the EU for very little in return. How is that a good deal? How is that good negotiating? The EU must be laughing in our faces.
It's complicated, I know. As I said before, you're in an impossible situation.
The world might be laughing at you at this very moment, thinking what a poor job you're doing. I'm not laughing. I feel sorry for you. You've worked very hard and done you're very best...but whatever you do, you hit a brick wall. And I fear that's not going to change.
The world might be laughing at you now, thinking that you're a weak leader and can't control your party or country. But you can change that. You could go down in history as doing something really wonderful - and something great for your country. And this is how:
Have a press conference. Be strong. Admit something that you know, deep down, is the truth. Brexit cannot be done and it can't be done because of Ireland. And as long as we want peace in Ireland this will not change. Say this to the country and you can go down in history as somebody special, rather than a weak, but tenacious woman.
Your speech can be short and sweet and say this:
"Brexit is a bad idea, so for the sake of our country and our people I think we should stay in the EU. And if you don't want me to be the person to do this then I'll step down and hand over to somebody else who can..."

Do this, Theresa, and history might remember you as a strong woman who did what was best for her country and did what she truly believed in.

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