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Episode Info: What would you do if you only had a short time to live? Most people have some kind of travel on their bucket list, and when Susi Holliday had a near-miss in the London terror attacks, she decided to head off on a round-the-world trip. Her experience on the Trans-Siberian Express resulted in a crime novel years later, and in this interview, we talk about what she learned along the way. We also talk about why reflection on mortality makes us want to travel, the importance of getting out of your comfort zone, why spiritual places draw us in other countries, and why we might have more in common with travelers from other countries than we think. SJI Holliday is a scientist, writing coach, and the bestselling author of five crime novels, including the Bankstoun trilogy set in a fictional town in Scotland. Susi was born and raised in Scotland, but today we’re talking about her novel Violet, which is set on the Trans-Siberian Express Railway. Making travel and life choices after frightening world events Using different modes of travel, including railways Why getting out of your comfort zone when traveling is important Visiting holy places in different parts of the world Food challenges in Mongolia and Russia Following the river in a city to find hidden gems Thoughts on being safe while traveling Tips for what to take to be comfortable on a long train journey You can find SJI Holliday at SJIHolliday.com. Transcript of the interview Joanna Penn: SJI Holliday is a scientist, writing coach, and the bestselling author of five crime novels, including the Bankstoun trilogy set in a fictional town in Scotland. Susi was born and raised in Scotland, but today we’re talking about her novel Violet, which is set on the Trans-Siberian Express Railway. Welcome Susi. Susi Holliday: Hello. Thanks for having me. Joanna Penn: It’s great to have you on the show. I think the Trans-Siberian Express has this romance about it. Now, you went on the railway in 2006 so take us back to that time. Why did you decide to take that trip? Susi Holliday: Well, it was actually part of a much bigger trip and it came from actually something that happened in 2005, which was the London bombings. What happened was that weekend, my husband and I were supposed to go to a gig, and it was canceled because of this. And it just made us both think about what we were doing. We were both working full time and we were just living a normal life. SJI Holliday with her husband, Jamie, by the TransSiberian train. Photo by SJI HollidayAnd we felt, you know what? We should go off and do some traveling because you never know what’s going to happen to you. So we basically spent about five months planning a trip and we then left in January 2006 and went on a six month round the world trip. There were lots of different places. We traveled on lots of different modes of transport. And one of those was the Trans-Siberian. Joanna Penn: Wow. That is a big thing. So you weren’t actually in the London bombi...
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