Rather than asking her to write about her life as an Explore leader as we often do, we thought we'd get her to tell us what the view from her 'office' is, and we're glad we did as her answer really bring to life what being an Explore leader can be like!
What is the view from your office?
Could be a glittering turquoise sea, a burnt red sand dune shimmering in the heat haze, a cow in a phone box, a grid-lock of rickshaws, a train of camels, 30,000 pilgrim people gathered to worship in one place or simply one person worshipping silently under a dome of 100,000 mosaic tiles...whatever it is it's always worth the view.
We also asked Hannah the questions we ask all our leaders...
If you were given a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
There are many but one is Alaska
Have you got any packing tips for a travelling life?
Take a smaller bag than you think you will need - you will only use half the contents of your bag otherwise.
What do you never leave home without?
Ear plugs! Oh and a note book.
What in your opinion is the best thing about the job?
Meeting people, learning customs and languages, tasting weird and wonderful food - as weird as a veggie can get anyway - and generally having my horizons broadened.
On tour what has made you stop in your tracks and go “Wow!”?
A Namibian sunset
What’s your top tip for travelling responsibly?
Respect the local environment even if local people don't seem to, you can pass on good practice. People don't litter or pollute for fun, often it is just because they aren't aware of alternative action.
If you had to eat just one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hummous - weird but true, people know this about me...also olives...mmmmm...
If you had the chance to start a new country with your own rules, what would be your first rule?
All olives and hummous must be free, erm, and wine.
What was your proudest moment as an Explore leader?
Managing to stop a train in India that was picking up speed out of the station but still had one of my passenger's backpacks on it. I sprinted off down the platform and out of the station screaming like a madwoman trying catch up with the front of the train. I gradually gathered a crowd, running with me, who shouted to the passengers on board who passed the message forward and the train driver stopped. My passenger got her bag and everyone cheered..it was like a film..hilarious! Then there were a few minutes of high fives all round as we (about 40 locals and me) congratulated ourselves!
Any funny or embarrassing stories you'd be willing to share?
There's a couple! Firstly, as I got out of a train in Bokhara, authoritatively giving instructions to my group in front of me to watch their step, I didn't look where I was putting my foot and fell between the train and the platform. It was such a long drop that all my group could see was my head. It took two of the men to pull me out. They laughed for the rest of the tour, which on the Silk Route is a very long time. The second one was on an overnight train between Sofia and Istanbul. After throwing a huge 'in train' party on what was election night in the UK, we all tottered of to bed warmed with Bulgarian wine and Slivovic. I was lying on my back chatting to my cabin mate. At some point I decided to turn over at which point my bunk promptly snapped shut against the wall with me in it. All that was visible was my head poking out the top and all I could think of to say between the tears of laughter and shrieks of hilarity from my room mate was "Get a camera!"