Greetings everyone! My name is Katie, one (some might say the better - wink) half of Cornwall Discovered. When facing a task like this, one that makes you think about what you want to convey to an audience, it's always hard to know where to start! So, as the saying goes, let's start at the beginning.
From a young age, I was lucky enough to go on several UK holiday breaks with family and friends, places like ‘Haven Holiday Parks’ in Weymouth and then my first “holiday lodge” in Porthleven, and so on. That was it, from then on, Cornwall had a firm hold on me and one that has led me to more of a life here than I ever expected, but that’s for later. Now, where was I? Ah yes, more travelling. As it happened, my love of travel... holidays... tourism - whatever one might call it, led me to my first job in travel working for Thomas Cook, a company that ‘set me up’ with all the fundamentals, I feel, for a career in tourism.
From then to now, with a flow of opportunities to travel the globe for both work and leisure, I have been fortunate enough to visit some extraordinary and stunning places. Some completely blissful and unimaginably beautiful. Some made me feel riddled with unease and despair when I started to compare how many parts of the world live in such incomprehensible poverty. Sometimes we just don’t know we're born, do we eh? That being said, some of these places are where I found the most genuine smiles, kind hearted, warm and welcoming folk around. Having had many wonderful trips across Europe, North America, Caribbean and Australia, I ended my ‘jollies’ with a few months in South East Asia. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely had the best time, definitely times for the memory bank - but here is when I realised and/or learnt what social impact and sustainable tourism really is. It most certainly is not flooding beaches & bars with no care for what you leave behind. That goes for the hot spots like the Wonders of the world too! I was overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility. I thought to myself ‘how can I make this better? What can I do to contribute to a better way of tourism? Anyway, I’m waffling. Sharing my stories and experiences with my esteemed former colleague, but more importantly my dear friend Zoe - and vice versa, led us to where we are now. A brand new shiny adventure, combining what's important to us, and hopefully many of you - memorable holiday experiences that also help to support and sustain the communities you visit.
So, back to present time. After living and working in South East Asia for a couple of years, I returned to old Blighty ready to head back to my beloved Cornwall. How great that as it happened the other half of Cornwall Discovered was also back there, and staying for the foreseeable future. Based in beautiful Charlestown, with the harbour only a stone's throw away, I'm looking forward to exploring more of the South West Coastal Path, beaches and hidden coves (one of which I had to practically abseil down last time and to be quite honest, I'm all for adventure but not sure my blood pressure enjoyed that one!) It’s now time for us to set off on our next chapter, promoting and contributing to all things Cornish, bringing some positive impact and sustainability to a county that we both call home.
And I’m Zoe, the other half (I won’t make the joke again ;)) of Cornwall Discovered! Whenever I’m asked to sum myself up in a word, I like to say that I am a thalassophile. Deriving from the Greek words ‘thalassa’ meaning ‘sea’ and ‘phile’ meaning ‘lover of’, people don’t just discover that I am a lover of the sea, they also quickly understand that I’m a secret geek, with a real love for learning - whether it be words, cultures, history or languages. The Greek language being one of the many that I haven’t fully mastered yet!
But I really am a lover of the sea, a mermaid who is never happier than when I am at home, walking along the South West Coastal Path, out fishing off the rocks with my partner or just generally breathing in the fresh, Cornish sea air. Having grown up in a small village close to Fowey, I was always only a 10-minute drive away from the coast. My childhood was spent either climbing trees in the woods or making countless sandcastles on Polkerris beach. The love for the countryside and the coast hasn’t changed thirty years on…but now the tree climbing only tends to occur after one too many gin and tonics! Hic!
After moving away for studies, I embarked on my cruise career in early 2010 which started with a tour manager role aboard a ship and led to various land-based roles involving global cruise operations. Quite simply the past ten years have been amazing. I have been blessed to work within the small ship sector, focussing on the niche market of cultural and educational cruises. Which means not only have I travelled extensively around the world, I have been involved with projects that strive to enrich the experience of the conscious traveller. In more recent years, the cruise industry has, quite rightly, come under increasing pressure to become more green, and I have had the opportunity to deliver a number of leading initiatives, but I think it’s fair to say the industry still has a way to go.
From Bali to Bangkok, Damascus to Dar Es Salaam, Jerez to Jerusalem and Rhodes to Rome the list could go on. One of the most difficult questions people in the travel industry can be asked is ‘What’s your favourite place that you’ve visited?’. How can you ever settle on just one? That cliché expression about every place holding its own beauty springs to mind. I normally settle on my experience of riding a camel at sunrise in Palmyra, Syria very early on in my career, mainly because I credit it as the moment when I became addicted to travel, but also because that moment seems a lifetime ago considering the current situation there.
Of course, the reality is that every place does have its own beauty, but sometimes it takes travelling the world to appreciate the extent of the beauty on your own doorstep (I actually think this statement is true for a lot of people and places in the UK). Naturally I am biased, but I am now convinced that Cornwall has an unmatched charm – the colours, the hidden coves, the sweeping bays, the rugged landscape, the friendly people…and our aim is not only to help you discover this now, but in a way that will have a positive impact in the future as well. When I am strolling through some of the most beautiful gardens each weekend, sampling the delicious catch of the day in some of Cornwall’s local restaurants or visiting one of the rustic local wineries, I have a strong urge to boast about everything Cornwall has to offer.
So, I shall end by thanking you for taking the time to browse through our website. This has been in the pipeline for some time but we are very excited to finally do it!