French adventure in memory of beloved Pat

Many of us have spent lockdown time dreaming of future travel and holidays, but for writer Sally Ann Voak a 10-destination journey has a different motive – to honour her late husband by completing trips they had planned to do together one day

Friends have told me that when you lose a beloved partner, travelling back to the special places you visited together rekindles poignant memories and can ease the grieving process.

I’m sure that is true, but my own soulmate, my wonderful husband Pat, had a different idea. After his death, he wanted me to visit new places and build up a store of fresh memories.

Pat passed away last Christmas Day, so now I am going to fulfil his dream, equipped with bold, floral-patterned suitcase, camera, laptop and sensible walking boots. I will be joined by family and friends, old and new, on the way. It will be an odyssey of exploration, surprises and fun.

Pat’s “wish list” of destinations took shape in March 2014 during our 50th wedding anniversary celebrations. As we sipped champagne in a Paris café, we talked about our lives so far (hectic – two super kids, a gorgeous grandson, demanding careers: ...

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