“So many experiences. So many moments. So much fun along the way.
Thanks to all who share with me curiosity and a love for life.”
Remembering Ann Britton Campbell October 5, 1959 - January 11, 2022
Like many of us, the first time I met Ann it was her kindness that stood out. As a longtime member of TMAC she was always on the lookout for new members who might need an extra welcome and made an effort to help them feel included. Once you got to know her—that kindness only deepened. She was always quick to offer professional support and guidance, share a laugh or commiserate over a tough week.
Ann came to travel writing in a wonderful way. From 2000-2001 she and husband Kent took their sons Spencer and Shane (then 7 & 9) on a seven-month, 34,000 mile 10 country journey that took in the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, England, Egypt and the United States.
The inspiration for their seven months on the road had come from a travel article she’d clipped from the Oregonian about a U.S. couple who put their work on hold and traveled for a year. Ann stuck the article on her kitchen bulletin board, right beside a favourite quote: "A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are for." A whole lot of planning later—the family made their dream a reality.
Ann’s desire to pay the inspiration forward and tell others how they’d made their trip happen, and how it had changed them as a family, helped lead to her to a travel writing career. Over her more than two decades of writing for national and international publications she won numerous awards. But even with this success, she was always evolving as a writer. Ann took a deep interest in the issues of antiracism, inequality and environmental justice and began blending those themes into her work before it was commonplace.
As part of her commitment to equality, Ann always pushed herself to stand up for other people. One anecdote she was particularly proud of occurred at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Sweden. At a panel with some 500 people in attendance, a group of women presented their research findings. The male moderator called for questions from the audience and proceeded to answer them without engaging the female panelists. Indignant, Ann stood up and told the moderator she’d like to hear what the female panelists had to say.
Ann left us too soon. But my goodness, she lived deeply and well. She filled her years with the things that mattered most to her and shared her skills, her friendship and her laughter without hesitation. She will be deeply missed by the TMAC community. In her honour, please spread her kindness—if you are at the conference this year, keep an eye out for the new members who look lonely or lost and offer them a big smile and a warm welcome.
From Kent: "Thank you to the people asking about making a donation in Ann's name. We have chosen Inspire Health, an organization that helps families dealing with the emotional toll of cancer. They were a great help to Ann and continue to be to me."
Inspire Heath website is: https://www.inspirehealth.ca/donate/makeadonation/
Or, Ann would have been honoured by any donation made in her name to an organization that empowers women.
Condolence cards can be sent to the family: #606-1616 Columbia St., Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 0B7
TMAC is grateful to Diane Selkirk, Ann's colleague and friend, for so gracefully and beautifully, writing this for us.
Photo Credit: As published on Ann's website, Dear Ann Travels