Pardon me boy. Is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?

On the second day of my recent holiday, touring ‘The Deep South’ of the USA, I finally remembered that I was meant to be hiding postcards on my travels…oops!

When we stopped in Chattanooga to visit the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo, I left the coach, postcard in hand determined not to forget & to find a suitable hiding place. I found a hiding spot & finally remembered to make my hide.



This is where I chose, in the drivers cabin of the train

Well as it goes, I chose the perfect spot as later that day William and his friend Jennifer stopped off at the Choo Choo for an overnight pit stop on their road trip home from Iowa to Jacksonville, FL. They’d been in Iowa as William’s daughter Sarah was marrying Peter there.

Whilst exploring the grounds of the hotel, William climbed into the drivers cabin & found my postcard:

William said that the message he read touched his heart so he made contact to find out more about Mum & the project

Here’s a picture of the proud dad William & blushing bride Sarah

The happy couple – Sarah & Peter

Wishing Sarah & Peter a lifetime of happiness & a special thank you to William for being a part of Inspiredtravels71.

Sarah & Anne xx

(Photo’s courtesy of Jennifer seen here with William)

Six hens & a postcard find!

When commuting chum Vikki said she was heading to Thorpe Park with her son Jordan I cheekily asked if she’d take a couple of postcards along to hide for me. She agreed, so I quickly wrote a couple out on our morning train journey in readiness for her trip. 

Before she went, Vikki had carefully planned where to hide the cards, & quickly went about her task when she arrived there on Sat 16th April 2016. 

In the early hours of Sun 17th April I awoke & checked my phone (as you do!) only to find an email entitled ‘your postcard…‘that was it, I was a member of the wide awake club!

Tina had been at Thorpe park on Saturday also ,with her sister Leah, for their friend Katie’s hen party. During their day Tina had found Vikki’s card & replied that very night.  

 Tina (in Khaki), Katie (well, I think you can guess who’s the bride to be…) and Leah to Katie’s right.
Vikki remembers seeing the girls having fun during their day around Thorpe Park. 

Tina lives in Hastings with her two children Ciara & Bertie. When asked where here favourite place to travel to was she said ‘my favourite place is my hometown of hastings, i love to go to the beach with my babies and enjoy the sun when its out lol.. ‘ How lovely is that to be so content with your life that you live in your very own paradise?

Since hearing more about my project Tina is keen to get more involved by sending me cards from her hometown Hastings & hiding a few with her sister & daughter. 

Katie is due to marry Mark at the end of April 2016. I thank them for letting Inspiredtravels71 encroach on their celebrations & wish them a very long & happy life together. 

Thanks to all of you involved in this hide/find & for your continued support/ involvement in Inspiredtravels71 project. We really do appreciate it. Anne & Sarah xx

What a difference a year makes – Inspiredtravels71 1st Birthday post

Inspiredtravels71 is a year old today! Wow, where did that year go? And how things have evolved beyond my initial vision! 

  So what started as an idea to buy a postcard & hide it at the next location I travelled to, has now evolved to people all around the world hiding and donating cards to the project.  
 There are now over 200 cards hidden, in hidey holes far & wide. From just around the corner from my home to right across the other side of the world. I’m planning to plot a map of the hides (by country) if anyone can recommend an app/website…

Hidden by friends, family & complete strangers who are now friends. What a whirlwind of a trip the last year has been.   

  Bring on April 2016/7. I can’t wait to see where the next leg of this adventure goes!

Thanks again for all the support, hides,donations and ideas given.  I hope some of you recognise your pictures/cards above. Keep them coming… Anne & Sarah xxx  

A helping hand from a family favourite!

When I read on her Twitter feed that the lovely Fern Britton, Sunday Times Bestselling Author, was getting ready to publish her new novel ‘The Postcard‘, I decided to send her a tweet telling her about my Inspiredtravels71 postcard project.   Fern retweeted my message telling her 600+ followers that my project sounded ‘wonderful & rather magical! And to please check it out!’

As my project seemed to have grabbed Fern’s attention, I sent a cheeky message asking if she’d agree to hide a few cards for me. To my delight she said yes!

I hastily wrote some cards out and sent them onto Fern.  It’ll be exciting waiting to see if we get another finder from these! I’m overwhelmed by Fern’s generosity to hide the cards for me at what must be an extremely busy time in her publishing schedule.

When I told Mum the good news, she was delighted. She’s always enjoyed watching Fern on the tv at every opportunity & now enjoys listening to her novels via Audible. Mum’s looking forward to listening to ‘The Postcard’ when it’s released and watching how our story of these hides unfolds!

If you’re reading Fern, thank you again. Sx

Finder number 2!!

Yippee!!  I have myself a second finder!

Following Inspiredtravels71‘s appeal for help at Christmas (more details here), I received lots of generous donations of postcards from friends & family far & wide.

One cold, dark December evening, I returned home from work to find a bulky brown envelope with my name on it laying on the doormat. I eagerly ripped open the envelope & found this …

 A collection of 70+ postcards from Mum & my friend Carole, who we knew through craft classes we all attended some 25+ years ago.  They are pictures taken by Datford Photographic Club & collected from the Ellenor Hospice annual calendars & BBC Homes & Antiques magazines. 

When looking through the collection that Carole had donated, one card jumped out at me & took my attention.  I instantly knew where this card had to be hidden.  It was a picture of a Southeastern train travelling through the pretty Kent countryside & a local viaduct.

 Using their services to commute to & from work each day, I instantly knew that I had to hide that card on one of their trains.  I wrote the card out & carried it in my bag for a few days waiting for a trip where my carriage was quiet enough for me to hide the card.

On Friday 12th Feb 2016 on my train journey from Cannon Street I struck gold.  There were only 2 other commuters in my carriage, both engrossed in their own worlds, so as I stood to get off the train, I hid my card.

    The following morning, there was an email in my inbox entitled travels, asking for more information about the project.  After confirming that the find was genuine I sent more information about Inspiredtravels71 and asked Bob (Finder No.2) for more information.  I’m delighted to have a second Finder but particularly as this card was one of my own hides, & found so quickly. I’m waiting to hear back from Bob, I’ll update this post if & when I do.

So it’s true, you really can hide them snywhere and get results, even in clear view! Any wannabe hiders out there? You know you want to!

Who will be Finder No.3?  Come on ladies it must be your turn next!

A generous response to a Christmas plea for help!

At the beginning of November 2015, I posted a message on my Facebook page asking friends and family if they were able to send me a postcard instead of a Christmas card so that I could then use it for my Inspiredtravels71 project.   My Facebook plea for help. 

I didn’t know what sort of response I’d get really, nor did I mind as I love getting Christmas cards and display them as part of my decorations.   Donated postcards displayed as part of my Christmas decorations. 

I know a few people read about my project as we’ve discussed it, but didn’t know how many people had clicked on my blog post links to read more about the project. It seems more people do than I thought!

I’ve received 150+ postcards as a result of my plea for help.  Wow, thank you all so much to those that helped me. A result way beyond my wildest dreams! I received postcards from friends and family both here in the uk & from all around the world (Canada, Australia, Iceland, Poland, India & Mexico to name a few). Such a wide range of pictures & slogans which make it all the more interesting when I’m writing the cards out. Friends from work traveling home for the holidays took cards to hide & collected cards for me in New York, Kenya, Tokyo, Russia, Budapest & Madagascar. 

What a lucky girl I am to have got all this help from one plea for help. 

Thank you all so much, I truly do appreciate everything that you’re all doing to support my project, Mum does too. She’s loving all the stories I have to tell her about the wonderful things happening. 

I’m looking forward to seeing how the project grows in 2016 & if I get more finders. Here are a few pictures of the donated postcards I’ve received…


A helping hand – Paying it forward.

Following my guest post on the 60 Postcards blog, I received an email entitled ‘Wow’ from Jo Easton.   Jo said she was travelling to the Las Vegas & San Francisco in the USA later in the year for her daughters wedding & would like to get involved in my project & hide a couple of cards while there.  Mum, Dad & I had a wonderful holiday traveling around that region a few years before Mum had her stroke, so I jumped at the chance of having some cards hidden in these areas. Here is Jo’s story:

A bit about me and mine…

I’m originally from Welling in Kent (another coincidence, so did we!) but moved to Wimborne in Dorset in 1989 with my Husband and two children and that’s been our home ever since, we love it.
My Daughters name is Emily and she met her partner Nic ( now husband) in the Wynn hotel Las Vegas, 5 years ago. They didn’t actually start seeing each other at that point, just sending the odd text when they returned home, however she met him again a couple of months later quite by accident on a night out in London, the rest is history. Having met in Vegas they decided that they should get married there, so on the 28 October 2015 in a lovely ceremony at the Wynn hotel, they tied the knot.

I first came across your story on the 60 postcards blog. I have been following Rachel’s blog since it started and as you may know, she regularly features inspirational stories from other people and that’s how I came across your story. I’m not sure why, but there was something about your story that I found truly inspiring. I love that you have found a way to share memories, adventures and more importantly precious time with your mum through a common love of travel. It’s also great that you did so much travelling together before she had her stroke.

As I mentioned in my original email, I was fortunate to have my postcard (dedicated to my late brother John) hidden in the Grand Central Station in New York as part of Rachel’s 60 Postcards Stateside project. Your story gave me an opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ so to speak and help someone else with their quest.
It’s not easy deciding where to leave such an important message, particularly in Las Vegas! I decided on the Yardbird restaurant for two reasons, firstly our family and friends spent many happy hours eating, drinking and more importantly, chatting there. It was a really lively place with a real buzz about it. The little hooks under the bar seemed to cry out for a postcard.    

The second one in San Francisco was easier. We were out walking on a bright sunny day and got to union square. The ice rink had just been set up and a few brave people were showing off their skills (or lack of them!). There was a little coffee shop just at the edge and from there I could see the railings with a few people standing by them watching. It seemed a really good place to hang a card with a hope of it being found.    I’m glad you liked the ribbon idea, not original I’m afraid, Rachel tied a couple of hers to things, including my card in NY.

I’m so pleased you have had a response from someone, it must be so exciting for you and your mum. Fingers crossed you will get more responses in the future too.

Wishing you all the very best with the project.’

Congratulations to Emily & Nic, may you have many happy & prosperous years ahead of you.  Thank you so much for getting in touch to volunteer to hid the cards for me Jo, especially at such a busy time for you and your family.  Mum & I feel privileged to have been thought of at such an important time in your lives.  Anne & Sarah xx