Hi, I'm Dianne an experienced freelance journalist specialising in people, places and travel. Since 1988 I've written for local and national newspapers and magazines including Traveller, Wanderlust, Sunday Telegraph, My Weekly, The People's Friend, Manchester Evening News and The Review.
I have travelled the world from Alaska to Africa and Australia, from Singapore to Stockholm and Shanghai. I travelled around Eastern Europe when it was first opening up from communism and Africa with my children when they were small. I’ve lived on boats in the Mediterranean and travelled by train through Asia. I live in the High Peaks of Derbyshire with my husband and daughters, where I work for a local newspaper as well as for many National publications. My second home is at my sister’s house in California where a room and warm hospitality is always ready. My hobbies have included learning to pilot a balloon and a light aircraft, sailing, photography and walking anywhere from city streets to beaches and mountains. I am a yoga enthusiast and an avid reader so am never bored. I love to research and learn languages and discover new places, experiences and foods, and share these both physically with friends and family and through words and photographs with readers.
My love of travel comes from my father who was a teacher and when I was a child our family spent the long summers travelling and camping around Europe. He would research the history of the places we visited and recount it to us as we went along. I always kept a diary of our holidays and included this information in detail as it added so much to my enjoyment of the trip. When I grew up I carried on researching and recording the places I visited in my notebook. After school I trained as a secretary and then a journalist and went freelance when my eldest daughter was born.
I have had scary moments – when a child was ill in Africa, when I was on a small boat in a Force 7 gale and the time that a huge brown bear suddenly appeared out of the undergrowth on the path next to us on a guided rainforest walk in Alaska. He had a salmon in his mouth and I think he was just as surprised to see us and quickly headed off in the other direction as we put our ‘Bear Encounter Training’ into action. But I’ve also seen some amazing sights – sunset over the Nile from an Hot Air Balloon, waking up to Thai paddy fields flash by the window of the Eastern Orient Express, eating stingray grilled over a can on a beach and a one-pot stew around a campfire in the Sahara desert, walking on remote Greek Islands and discovering buried frescos, soaking up the sun on tropical islands and travelling around Umbria by train to sample the food and wine of the region.
I love to find something different or unusual about a well-known place or to stumble across somewhere that no-one seems to explore except the locals. I like to stay awhile and meet the people and feel the essence of the area and discover the best places to eat or alternative views, a resort’s alter-ego or hidden secret. I share many of these finds on my blog ‘Dianne’s Discoveries’ and also in my published articles. I am always open to a new experience in the pursuit of a good story and happy to tailor my words to the publication commissioning me by putting myself in their readers’ attitudes and desires for a while, to basically follow the old adage of walking in another man’s moccasins.