Welcome to Part 2 of my interview with Jacqueline Wigglesworth. If you missed Part 1 yesterday you can find it here. Each week I’ll be interviewing some of the inspirational people who I meet on my travels and those who I’m yet to meet but admire from afar. I’ll be featuring everyone from travel bloggers, writers, digital nomads, explorers to those just living the dream and local heroes who are making a contribution to the world be live in. Ready for some more jealousy inducing, wanderlust provoking (or I should say Wonderlust) reading? ENJOY!
11) Any travel regrets?
No. Maybe only that I might not get the chance to go everywhere!
12) Where to next?
Mongolia! I’m excited about it. It’s a riding trip in August and we’ll be staying in the traditional Yurts (or Gers) as well as camping. I’m running it for VentureCo in association with the BHS (British Horse Society) and it’s raising money for animal welfare. I love riding, and I’ve always wanted to go there. It appeals to the nomad in me. J
Otherwise I’m planning another ‘Inti World’ Yoga/ Adventure trip later in the year, either in India or the Galapagos and am in talks with the company Elevate Destinations based in America about working with them on a new concept of trips led by me. Watch this space.
13) What are your remaining ultimate bucket list items?
Antarctica. (I nearly made it there once before.) I was just finishing leading a 12-week expedition called ‘Patagonia Venture’ and found myself in Ushuaia- Argentina, the southernmost town in the world and therefore the closest I’ve been to Antarctica. I couldn’t resist going to the port. I got talking to the crew of an Icebreaker ship and offered to work onboard. There was still one cabin space available too, but alas, it was leaving for the white continent the very next day! I was still officially in charge of my group for 3 more days to get them safely to Buenos Aires and couldn’t leave them but now have a better idea of how to make it happen someday!
I could easily add places to my list like Bhutan, Bora Bora-Tahiti, Kerala-India, Mt Kailash-Tibet and Petra-Jordan…. But Antarctica is the last place left on my original, lengthy bucket list! Another item is to have a base somewhere, settle and focus on love. What a radical idea! Probably with someone who also suffers from wanderlust as it’s most likely incurable and might require lots of further travelling. I recently felt like I might be able to leave travelling behind me and stay in one place but it wasn’t long before I got itchy feet again.
I’d quite like to be able to host my ultimate dinner party with the likes of Nelson Mandela, Leonardo da Vinci, Audrey Hepburn, Anita Roddick, Buddha, Einstein, Nefertiti, Whitman, Indigenous elders, Gandhi, Boudicea, Mozart etc. Could you arrange that for me? J
It might sound crazy but a part of me is up for a flight on Virgin Galactic. Yes, to space! I’ve done lots of the earthbound adrenalin activities like skydiving, sandboarding, freediving, hanging out with lions, microlighting, surfing and intrepid travels to remote corners of this planet so why not take it to another level and explore experiences beyond earth? Just a thought.
14) What are you most proud of?
Currently, probably The Book Bus.
15) Who will you never forget from your travels?
Many people spring to mind but a couple in particular; a young boy called Choklate! He lived in a refugee camp where I worked and over time became a close friend. He’d walk for 2 hours to come and visit me around sunset frequently. His life story was off the scale astonishing, terrifying and inspiring. He’d seen and experienced things nobody should have to, particularly children, but he had a smile that lit up a room and just wanted to be a kid and play football and go to school. I learnt a lot from him about how every day is a new start and a bonus not to be taken for granted, and I will simply never forget him.
Also a man I met in Ethiopia, who allegedly is considered to be the one and only guardian of the original Ark of the Covenant, which all Ethiopians believe is there in Axum. Whether you believe the story or not (there’s a detailed retelling of it in the Kebra Negast involving the Queen of Sheba meeting King Solomon and having a child by him called Menelik whose entourage later took the Ark when he went to visit his father in Jerusalem.) True or not it makes a great story and since no one else knows where it is, why not? Anyway, regardless of all that, that man and his ancient wise eyes had a profound effect on me. He summoned me over to him and spoke to me in Ge’ez, the ancient language, and blessed me which I was later informed was a rare privilege. His name as I recall it was Abba Tekla Mariam.
One more person is Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, a teacher of the Dalai Lama who I auspiciously came across in Lumbini (Buddha’s birthplace) in Nepal in 2004 during the annual Sakya monlam festival for world peace. (I didn’t know it was happening but fortuitously showed up on the day.) His multi-coloured string bracelet that he gave me stayed on for 5 years! There was a week years later while I was living in Primrose Hill when I suddenly kept thinking of him, so I got in touch with a monk from that monastery to discover that he’d just passed away and allegedly his blessings spread to those he was connected to strongly at that time. It was amazing. Shortly afterwards the bracelet fell off. I still have it.
16) You’ve visited many of the world’s sacred sites. Was that deliberate?
I have yes. For whatever reason, fate or life has led me to many of the most sacred places on this planet like Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, Tiahuanaco in Bolivia, Table mountain-South Africa, Haleakala crater-Hawaii, Rapa Nui, pyramids in different countries including Egypt, Central America and Peru, Stonehenge, Lourdes, Tikal- Guatemala, Borobudur-Indonesia and so many more both well known and more hidden for which I am very grateful. I always have amazing experiences and synchronicities at them, most recently with an Aboriginal woman at Uluru, and believe them to be very special places energetically. I have never been religious but always of a spiritual bent and going to them has simply reinforced that. Whilst living in Tulum I was invited to attend a monthly Mayan ceremony at the temple there before opening time, which was powerful and magical. Everything is energy/ light and interconnected and at these places I somehow feel more in tune with that truth.
17) What’s your favourite foreign word or phrase?
Swahili for ‘roundabout’ is ‘kipilefti’! Keepy lefty. Love it!
18) What’s most important in life?
Kindness. Love. Positivity.
19) What’s your overall message?
That’s simple and has always been the same: That we are all one and should look after each other and this precious Earth, and enjoy life!
20) Is there anything you’re currently working on that we should look out for?
Actually yes. I have started work on creating a book of sorts which I hope will inspire people about this ‘World of Wonder’ and I’m hoping to continue work on a documentary that I started with a friend during the Earth Summit in Rio. I love documentaries and TV series on this world or travel and adventure and hope to present one someday.
Ultimately I’m grateful for everything, and hope I can spread some good while I’m here, and that when my time comes to leave this earth I can agree with the Zen saying: “Thank you for everything, I have no complaints whatsoever.” That’s the ideal.
Wow! Living the dream! I’ll be the first to let you know when Jacqueline’s book is out! I can’t wait to read it!