Hi, I’m Mary Murphy

My first holiday abroad was a long weekend in the UK capital many, many years ago. That was followed by two weeks in the Canaries, three weeks in the USA, and then a month-long solo trip inter-railing around Europe. I had the bug.

I’ve had the privilege to live and work in different cities and countries, to immerse myself in different cultures, and build strong, lasting friendships all over the world.

Now based in rural Hungary, much of my travel these days is work-related and catching up with those friends. But between workshops and visits, I make sure I have time to see something of the city and country I’m in. I’m also spending more time exploring Hungary and venturing across the borders into neighbouring Croatia, Slovenia, and Slovakia. Living in the heart of Europe has its advantanges.

A couple of years back, my blog www.unpackingmybottomdrawer.com became a little unwieldy. When I wrote my 1000th post, we thought it might be time to split things up. A keen taphophile, www.dyingtogetin.com is now where I write about cemeteries I’ve visited. Unpacking is still home to my general musings and the Grateful series. And this blog, www.anyexcusetotravel.com, focuses on travel.

Partly written with friends in mind who, for various reasons, can no longer travel as much as they’d like to, but still enjoy going places, it’s very much based on personal experience and insights. You won’t find lists of the top 10 things to do in Xity or how to spend 24 hours in Yity. But you will find stories and impressions of places that might not feature in the guide books. I’m always open to suggestions, so if there’s some place you’d like me to visit for you, just let me know.

Hi, I’m Steve Jacobs

Like Mary, I’ve lived in several different countries. Born in mid-western USA, I spent 10 years in Alaska, 6 in the Philippines, one each in Germany and Hawaii, and over 20 in Ireland. I love to travel, and have been around the world three times.

Since meeting Mary a few years ago, I’ve had the privilege of traveling to many more places, often with her, and just as often vicariously through her writing. I’ve never been to India or Costa Rica or South Africa, but I feel I know them because of Mary’s writing and her photos.

I’ve contributed a few photographs and written the odd post for this site, but my role in this partnership is to build and maintain the websites (for my sins, this is what I do for a living) and to try to promote them so that more people can enjoy her writing. We’ve had some really inspiring feedback, telling us how useful people find the site. Those who, for whatever reason cannot travel, enjoy accompanying Mary virtually on her trips. I hope you enjoy this site, too. Be inspired. Come back often, because there is always something new. And if you already have plans made, scroll through the many countries and cities already visited. You might just find something you didn’t know about.

Time is a valuable commodity in today’s hectic world. Weekend city breaks are never long enough to do everything listed in the guidebooks. But if what you’re after is something quirky or off the beaten path, read on. Mary has long since realised that there’s never enough time to do it all, so lately, more I suspect as an aide-memoire for herself, she has added things she missed first time around and would like to see if and when she ever goes back.

Your comments and feedback are always welcome. If you enjoy what you read, let us know. If you have any questions, just ask.

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