I am thrilled to have a guest post from Paul Ian Cross to share with you today. Thank you so much Paul for taking the time to tell us all about your favourite places.
Thank you for inviting me onto you blog! After I finished university I went straight into work. I really regretted not taking some time out to travel, so now I’m making up for it! My partner Adrian and I have travelled a lot in the last five years and we have been to some amazing places. We’ve been to Scotland (especially the Isle of Skye), Spain, Canada, Greece, The Philippines, New York, Ireland and Japan. I loved Japan, especially Tokyo. We arrived in the city, then travelled around the country for a few weeks but returned to Tokyo early so we could spend more time there. It’s such an incredible city! We were worried it would be a little overwhelming, but we were surprised to discover lots of relatively quiet and relaxing areas amongst the metropolis. Pretty cool for a city of that size. My favourite place in Tokyo was Asakusa.
We are currently away on a long-term trip as I write. We took two months off to visit Los Angeles, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia and the Cook Islands. I was able to finish my novel while I was away (mainly working on the final edits) and it has been an inspiring time to work. In fact, we travelled around so much during the last few weeks of edits that we moved through space (places) and time (several time zones – including moving across the international date line). I think moving through space and time was the perfect end to completing a book about space-time travel!
During our current trip, I have loved so many places but French Polynesia and New Zealand really stood out to me. New Zealand has so many different landscapes from mountains and rivers to wonderful coasts and volcanic landscapes with geysers and sulphur lakes! We also did a helicopter trip above the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers which was amazing.
As I write I am sitting on an island called Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. It’s an ‘almost atoll’ and we can see the sea from our veranda, but the area in front of our cottage is a lagoon. We’ve been watching fish jump around during sunset and it has been incredibly relaxing.
In French Polynesia, we visited an island near Tahiti called Mo’orea which was teeming with wildlife. We swam with stingrays and reef sharks before we received news that a humpback whale was singing in the bay near us. We quickly returned to the boat and moved to the area. The lead biologist running the tour told us to get into the water fast, so we did. I placed my head under the water and my ears popped. I thought how strange and tried again. It then dawned on me… the pressure in my ears was whale song. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Not only could you hear the whale song, but you could feel the sound waves reverberate through your body. At one point, I felt a roar of sound through me and it turned out the whale had passed right underneath us. This experience was definitely my number one. I’ve always had a love for whales and this has only enhanced my love for these incredible animals!
My passion for travel has also influenced my writing and some of the places I’ve visited have made it into my story – as Engella, the main protagonist, travels through time and space during her adventures. You can see the photographs from my previous and current trips (some of which have made it into the novel) on Instagram. My handle is @pauliancross.author.
Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog and I hope you enjoy reading The Lights of Time! It won’t be long before Engella’s journey continues. Perhaps she’ll make it to French Polynesia in the next book! 😊
Paul’s book, The Lights of Time can be purchased through the links below. Head over to the book review section of my blog to read my thoughts on the book.