A North West travel writer has won a prestigious award for sharing her adventures online.
Zoë Dawes, who writes as The Quirky Traveller, is the winner of the “Best Culture and History Blogger” category in a national award organised by DFDS Seaways, one of the world’s leading ferry operators.
Zoë, who lives at Carnforth on the Cumbria and North Lancs border, has won a mini cruise to Amsterdam.
Her winning blog posts included a tour of Il Duomo, Milan’s cathedral in Italy, reflections on a spring day among the ruins of Whalley Abbey in Lancashire, and the many faces of Quito in Ecuador, South America. Her portfolio also includes written top tips for coping with airports, hints for camping in Europe, and “What is cultural tourism?”
Zoë, who is also a business coach, has won thousands of admiring readers with her unusual take on life and travel. She regularly contributes articles and blog posts for tourism organisations in the UK, the USA and around the world, including Visit Britain and Laterooms.com. In 2011 she won the title ‘Britain’s Best Travel Blogger’ with a piece about a little known-area of Cumbria, and was recently awarded ‘Best blog feature 2014’ by Caribbean Tourism.
She has appeared on TV and radio and gives talks on her travels both locally and internationally, providing a captivating mix of entertainment, information and fun. She also delivers seminars and workshops, and coaches individuals in business development. She’s passionate about culture, history, literature, good food, red wine and lemon meringue pie.
She has worked in many countries including Greece, Spain, France, Hong Kong and Singapore and visited every continent except Antarctica, which, she says, is high up on her bucketlist.
She said: “I love culture and history. Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by both subjects. It’s fascinating how culture fits into our rural and urban landscape, how history impacts on us today.”
But what’s her favourite place, after all this travelling? “Nepal is top of my list because of the wonderful architecture, friendly people and spiritual influence within the world’s most impressive landscape. However, I went to the Galapagos Islands and that competes with Nepal because of the natural harmony of animals and man.”
Zoë, who is 60, is thrilled to win an award in a field dominated by young writers: “Hopefully, as an older woman from the north of England it shows that you can blog and inspire others at any age, wherever you live. It’s brilliant to be able to share my enthusiasm for it all via my writing, photography, videos, talks and social media. I think this is the very first award specifically for culture and history travel blogger which makes it extra-special.”