Born in what was then Tanganyika (East Africa), it seems I picked up the travel-bug early. My first memories are of lazy days playing on the beach interspersed with family safaris in our trusty Volkswagen Beetle across vast, thorn-tree covered plains - all of which seemed perfectly ordinary at the time.
Later, in the UK, I studied geography, followed by a brief and fairly dismal spell as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language, before joining the British Council in London. But SE Asia beckoned.
My first foray was back-packing round China, after which I went to live in Hong Kong with my future husband. Suddenly we were hopping on and off planes as if they were buses, exploring everything that the region had to offer - from trekking in the Himalayas to canoeing among deserted Indonesian islands.
It was wonderful, but eventually the superficial expat life of Hong Kong began to pall and we upped sticks for the far greater challenges of Japan. It wasn't an easy transition, but gradually this enigmatic, enthralling country began to get under my skin and, when my husband's job in Tokyo ended, I decided I had to go back - and thus fell into guidebook writing.
Since then I have written or co-authored four books for Rough Guides: Vietnam, an award-winning guide to Japan, a Tokyo city-guide and, my latest venture, a guide to the Dordogne and Lot region of SW France. In addition, I am a regular contributor to The Rough Guide to France.
I also work for a number of other travel publishers, such as Lonely Planet and Insight, and write for web sites, newspapers and journals, including National Geographic Traveler Magazine and the Independent on Sunday (UK).
info [at] jandodd.com