Diana's school geography teacher came from Dublin. Miss Gifford made the world seem an exciting and magical place and had a huge influence on Diana's interest in travel and curiosity about people from other countries.
Diana's eldest son lived in Kenya for 20 years and she has explored most of this beautiful country along with Uganda. She has also travelled with family to Papua New Guinea.
In 1992 she sailed with four friends on a 40 foot yacht from Thailand, via Sri Lanka, the Red Sea ports to Malta and Gibraltar.
However, it has been with her childhood friend Elise Coburn that she has done most of her travelling. From skiing holidays in Switzerland and trekking in the Himalayas, they have been several times to South America - Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile and a river trip in Guyana. They have travelled together on the Trans Mongolian Railway, taking time to go camping in the Hentii Mountains.
Diana's account of two Irish ladies "d'un certain age" experiencing volcanoes, vodka and "vildlife" in Kamchatka in Russia's Far East, developed into her travel book "Kamchatka. A Journal and Guide to Russia's Land of Ice and Fire". Published by Odyssey Books. 2007.
Central Asia was one of Diana's longest trips. Starting in Pakistan and travelling northwards via the Karakorum Highway into western China, north again into Kyrgistan and then west into Uzbekistan ending up taking "The Golden Road to Samarkand". In 2009 the pair travelled to Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. The accounts of these travels in Central Asia reveal one of their most memorable journeys related in her latest book - "Our Fiery Hearts" published by Austin & Macauley. 2011.
They hope and expect to continue their adventurous travels for as long as they can cope with the strictures and formalities of the airports of today!
Details of this year's festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.