- Jacquelyn Armour lives in Broomhill. The IT contractor published her first travel memoir – Follow Your Joy - in Oct 2021. Gillian Welsh spoke to her about her book, travels, and Glasgow
Describe your book in a sentence. Follow Your Joy shares stories of the world through my eyes, someone who has wandered the streets of 90 countries.
What made you write the book? As a lover of travelling, I'm constantly inspired by stories shared on my travels and live by the philosophy 'you get from the world what you put into it'. I believe each country visited is the stepping stone to the next, and by following the feeling of joy the universe will reward you with some fascinating experiences. My mantra is 'life is a playground waiting for us to have an adventure'.
Are you reminded of Glasgow on your travels? When you travel you quickly realise the world is actually more connected than we probably appreciate. I always love hearing what people from the other side of the world think of Glasgow when I bump into them on my travels. They usually proclaim, ‘Ah, Glasgow, the people, so friendly’.
Have you stumbled across any surprising Glasgow links? The Riverside Museum has connections with Baku which I visited back in 2018. The late Zaha Hadid, a British architect, designed both The Heydar Aliyev Center in the Azerbaijan capital and the Glasgow building. When I spot the transport museum on my runs, I see the waves from the curves of the building and memories from Baku pop into my mind.
Are you able to see Glasgow as visitors see it? 100%. This is my life. I believe when your eyes and mind are open you receive more from the world. I’m a runner and cyclist, and I love a wee wander. I am constantly exploring this city and finding new spots to light me up. My current favourite is the canal on a Sunday, enjoying the nature vibes on my long run.
How would you rate Glasgow from a visitor’s perspective? It is definitely a fun and vibrant city, with lots of depth. From the cone placed on the Duke of Wellington, to the inspiring Kelvingrove museum, and the Necropolis. We really are spoiled for culture and experiences. And of course, as cliché as it sounds, the city lives up to its tagline ‘People Make Glasgow’.
When you travel you quickly realise the world is actually more connected than we probably appreciate. I always love hearing what people from the other side of the world think of Glasgow when I bump into them on my travels.
What do you like about the West End? The area has a charm and warmth that radiates from the stunning architecture, quirky independent shops, lively brunch scene, endless parks and, of course, the vibrancy of Byres Road. It has a trendy village vibe about it. We are spoiled.
Any favourite places to read a book? I love Roots Fruits & Flowers on Great Western Road where I usually pop in for a coffee and cake, with the latest book I am reading. Both Hillhead and Partick libraries are my go-to for a ‘give me all the books’ haul.
What book are you reading now? Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It is breath-taking and allowed me to escape when I first found it during the pandemic. I love how a book can take you away, into the mind of another author – filled with love and loss.
What’s next for you? Lots. I am training for my 14th half marathon so will no doubt be spotted at the Victoria Park Parkrun. In October I am off to explore Central Asia for my birthday, and I will do lots more writing from my yellow desk.