Checking Out Sue Luker

Jan 11 2016.

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A Premium Manager of Customer Service for British Airways based at Heathrow Airport, Sue Luker is, to coin a phrase, a fully confirmed Sri Lankaphile. Visiting Sri Lanka as often as she can, Sue’s love for Sri Lanka knows no bounds. She loves travelling, family and films. An avid reader Sue is currently in Sri Lanka for the Fairway Galle Literary Festival. 
 
 
Why do you love travel? 
 
Travel does not necessarily mean travelling thousands of miles... sometimes visiting the next town gives you a new and interesting experience. When our children were young we often went camping 50 miles away. You can step out of the normality of your hometown and dip into a few days of another neighbourhood with all it has to offer, in our case ‘New Forest National Park’ nature! Travelling overseas opens one's eyes to other perspectives on life! It's an opportunity to embrace other cultures, history and customs! 
 
 
How does travel inspire you? 
 
I remember adventurous family holidays with my parents, brother and sister back in the 1960’s. We would load up the car to bursting with a frame tent and camping gear and head off for the Dover to Calais ferry. Once on French soil with my dad driving the old Austin and my mother navigating, it was destination Italy. I remember the thrill as an 8 year old of gazing through the car window to a moving panorama of unfamiliar buildings, people and places. This for me was the start of an innate desire to travel and stretch my horizons. There is much to be learned from travel: I believe it is fundamental in opening the eyes of children and young people to accepting and embracing global cultures and differences, whilst cherishing their own. 
 
 
 
Your favourite travel destination and why? 
 
You may have guessed .... it is Sri Lanka! So many reasons.. the warm and friendly people, food, fantastic landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, history and heritage... need I go on? 
 
Where do you love to stay? 
 
Helga’s Folly in Kandy is my favourite place to stay. It is inspirational and unique and I love stepping over the threshold into its whimsical wonderland for an all encompassing feast of the senses. The Folly’s gracious grande dame: Madame Helga De Silva Blow Perera offers guests the warmest welcome to her ancestral home. 
 
What do you need for a perfect holiday? 
 
An open mind and a realistic expectation.. let the adventure begin! 
 
 
 
Most unusual souvenir you have brought home? 
 
300 pottery oil lamps and a 2 foot by 50 foot roll of carpet bought from a door to door vendor up a hillside in Akuressa. 
 
Best piece of travel advice? 
 
Ditch the 5 star hotel and AC car for a truly authentic travel experience – try a home-stay and 2nd class train ticket. 
 
 
Your top five travel destinations? 
 
Sri Lanka, Normandy in France, the Egyptian pyramids, London and Riviera Maya in Mexico. 
 
What has travel taught you? 
 
Viva la difference! 
 
 
Which country did you taste the best ever cuisine? 
 
I loved the freshness of the food tasted whilst on a street food tour in Hanoi, Vietnam. 
 
 
What has been your biggest travel adventure so far? 
 
Camping in the Masai Mara, visiting the rainforest and orangutangs of Borneo and a 2 night train ride from Hanoi to Beijing were all big adventures. However, taking my dad to visit his cousin in Florida was the biggest, as I saw the trip through his eyes. He had never visited the USA or travelled on a ‘Jumbo Jet’. 
 
Next travel destination? 
 
Most probably back to Sri Lanka as soon as I can! 
 
By Tina Edward Gunawardhana


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