Wish you were here?
Hayley Beaudelaire, activities co-ordinator of the Hartford Court care home in Portsmouth, was asked to write about her experiences in Cambodia. Her tale was collated with a number of others into a book, The Trip That Changed My Life, which documents the stories of 70 different wanderers from around the world.
‘I’m a natural-born traveller,’ said Hayley.
‘I went around the world for the first time when I was 19.’
On her various trips Hayley has visited many countries, including Malaysia, Egypt, Australia and Dubai.
Upon returning, she was asked to submit a story from her travels for the book. Proceeds from sales go to the charity Unbound, which aids poverty-stricken families across the globe to become self-sufficient.
The inspiration for Hayley’s story came from her time in Cambodia:
She said: ‘During the rainy season, I noticed that there was a homeless woman living not far from the guest house where I was staying.
‘When it was torrential she would wrap all her belongings and sit under a nearby shelter, with a bag of stripey dresses for company.
‘She made her living by trading in recyclable refuse for a fee, so I collected a big bag of litter for her.
‘She was so grateful that it reminded me how much there is in life that I take for granted.’
Hayley, 33, now reads the story to the patients in her care home.
She said: ‘Many residents are visually impaired and being read to brings them great joy. Hearing about all the exotic locations in the book makes them feel liberated.’
Hayley plans to travel again in the future, but cannot imagine being away from her current job for too long:
‘I feel like I have found my calling.
‘Sometimes I feel so lucky that I have to make sure that I’m not dreaming.
‘A vacation is never out of the question, but I couldn’t imagine being away for too long. Giving comfort to people who would otherwise be alone gives me the same sense of fulfilment that travelling did.’
The book is available on Amazon for £10.24.