The first time I kissed my husband was in Phoenix Sky Harbor’s arrivals hall. We’d never met before. How’s that for a passion for travel?
I fell in love with him there, and there’s certainly a little bit of my romantic soul left behind in the southern States. If you go looking amongst the red rocks of Sedona, or the soaring organ pipe cactus close to the Mexican border, you might just find it. But I think I’ve hidden it well. It’s a tribute to that magical time of my life that it’s kept there in suspended animation under those spectacular Arizona sunsets.
Why these musings now? Well, Virgin Atlantic are after a Red Hot Reporter to cover their 25th birthday celebrations in Miami. They want me to tell them why they should choose me.
Knowing Virgin as I do from my days as the BBC’s Transport Producer, they’ll be impressed, but not bowled over by my knowledge of the world of travel, my training and my ability to write a script that packs a punch in 30 seconds. Nope, what they want is passion, and what my Grandma has always called “It”, that certain something you can’t study or perfect with practice.
Luckily for them, my Grandma always asserts that the women in my family have “It” – and who am I to argue with a 94 year old great-grandmother?
My husband wouldn’t disagree. He proposed to me four days after I arrived in Phoenix. We were looking out at an astounding sunset, all reds, yellows and fluffy cirrus criss-crossed with the contrails left by transatlantic jets, those carriers of dreams – in my case, the dreams of a woman madly in love with someone she’d yet to meet.
So, Virgin, if you send me back to the States to work for you, I promise to reclaim that little bit of soul I left behind. That way, you’ll get the very best I have to offer, heart and (complete) soul. Just for this visit, mind. I’m putting it back for safe keeping…