John’s story begins in the year 1971. On 10th February that year, Britain said goodbye to pounds, shillings and pence and heralded in its new decimal currency. At least the monetary mental arithmetic was now based on multiples of 10 rather than the more awkward 12’s and 20’s.
As if that wasn’t enough, Britain was in the grips of a postal strike. That strike hit hard, In 1971, bills were not paid over a bank counter, nor, of course, online. No, the ‘cheque was in the post’ was the norm. Except that there was no post. No taken-for-granted method of sending out thousands of statements each day and receiving thousands of payments in return.
This was a hard time for the pioneer credit card company in the UK. But that’s not what this story is about.
Towards the end of that year, a young man was offered his first promotion in his career in the credit card sector. It was a career that would span almost 2 decades. But at the start of 1972, a young man started to dream. You see, that new position involved handling sales vouchers to and from all corners of the world. Well, pockets rather than all corners – we’d still not seen any credit card usage in Australia, or China, or, closer to home, France or Spain. Hard to imagine in today’s world where plastic has all but replaced cash and cheque.
It is to be remembered that Barclays was the only truly worldwide bank with its headquarters here in the UK. Its offices were spread far and wide across the planet. Where British explorers had ventured, Barclays soon followed. And these offices were the means through which credit card transactions were handled on their route to Barclaycard’s HQ in Northampton.
And so, back to the young man and his dream. Like all young boys, he had been a stamp collector as a child, and often swapping stamps through the club at school. But a true philatelist he was not. His interest had waned through adolescence.
But that interest was rekindled in those days of handling envelopes coming from offices around the world. Addresses such as Merchant Street, Valletta, Malta and Main Street, Gibraltar. Even more excitingly, envelopes arrived from those countries where the West Indies played cricket. From Bridgetown, Barbados and from St. John’s in Antigua. From Port of Spain, Trinidad and from Kingston, Jamaica. All these credit card vouchers arrived with their vast array of exciting stamps on their envelopes.
That was the start of a dream. What were these places really like?
Little did this young man realise that he would get the chance to find out – and how!!
Jenny’s love of travel and her intrigue with different cultures started at a very early age. When she was just 6 years of age her paternal Grandparents set off by boat for a 6-month trip to visit her aunt in Zimbabwe. A map of the world adorned Jenny’s parents dining room and every day they marked off where her Grandparents had travelled to.
On their return, there were locally made gifts from every country they had visited for Jenny and her sister. The rest of Jenny’s childhood included caravan holidays, most summer weekends and school holidays, around the UK and across in France, Germany, Belgium and Holland. This led to a lifelong love of travel or what Jenny calls ‘itchy foot syndrome’!
After teaching PE in the UK for a few years Jenny headed off to work overseas. She spent 15 years teaching in Malawi, Bophuthatswana, South Africa, Thailand and Togo. Whilst working overseas Jenny took full advantage of the holiday periods and spent much time on safari in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana – an activity she still pursues.
On returning to the UK she quickly became a Headteacher, and took advantage of her holidays by visiting places like Egypt, Ireland, Canary Islands, Morocco, Italy, Portugal, most Islands in the Caribbean, Canada, Alaska to name but a few.
When Jenny and John met it soon became apparent that they shared a love for learning about these different cultures and travelling on a variety of different forms of transport.
Fast forward to 2012 when John met Jenny. And ‘2J’s’ was born. The 2 lovebirds quickly embarked on their world of adventure.
By then, John already had a passion for all things Caribbean, having visited almost all the islands that could be accessed by cruise ship.
Jenny had spent 15 years living and working in Africa and developed a passion for wildlife and, in particularly, going on safari there.
They soon realised that they shared a passion for wildlife and travel and soon embarked on plans to tackle their combined ‘bucket list’ in ernest. As an aside, Jenny was at least tolerant of John’s closer to home passion, the UK’s railways.
When not escaping to far flung places, they could regularly be found sitting on a railway platform or parked up by a railway line. In fact, their 2014 wedding was planned in the amorous surroundings of a waiting room on Bristol’s Temple Meads station.
So, welcome to ‘2J’s world of adventure’. Of course, it is a ‘work in progress’. Places such as China and New Zealand still feature on the bucket list.
Nevertheless, their travels have already taken them across the globe. From the Taj Mahal to the tomb of Tutankhamen, from Vancouver to Victoria Falls. This then is their selection of highlights. They hope you, too, enjoy their journey.add another page.

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