Everyone remembers their first time, and earlier this year we asked you to tell us all about your first Explore holiday. We wanted to know the memories which have remained with you, regardless of whether that first adventure was thirty years ago or just earlier this year and in return we'd give the writer of our favourite anecdote £1000 in Explore vouchers.
The entries we received told tales of meeting future spouses, conquering mountains and life-changing experiences. Narrowing them down to one winner was tough. However, the judging panel eventually agreed that Katie Mace, with her tale of unexpected adventure in Egypt, was the deserving winner:
"My first Explore tour was a Nile Cruise in Egypt in May 2007; I’m fascinated by Ancient Egypt and I couldn’t wait to see the temples and monuments. What surprised me most about the trip was that it wasn’t the temples or monuments that took my breath away, but all the moments in-between that really captivated me, and then sharing these moments with a group of strangers, who I soon felt like I’d known for years, was incredible. One of my favourite memories was riding donkeys up to the Valley of the Kings; I’ve never laughed so much in my life. Donkeys are truly stubborn and you couldn’t help but enjoy the mayhem of the journey! The souks were also an experience like no other: chaotic, loud, busy and fantastic! One walk through and before I knew it I was in the middle of a souk with a belly dancing belt on and the stall seller excitedly playing an English pop song from his mobile phone and dancing with me. I wish I had that on camera! Nevertheless the memories of my first Explore trip have stayed with me for years; discovering that it’s the unexpected moments that remain unforgettable."
Katie wins £1000 in Explore vouchers which she can use to put towards creating more unforgettable adventures.
Thank you to everyone who submitted stories about your first Explore tour, we received some truly inspiring entries. Keep an eye out on the website, on our Facebook page and in brochures as you never know where we might feature them!