When retirement comes closer, many think about doing something special to mark this important stage in their lives.

For Rotarian Colin Strachan and his wife Elizabeth, the choice was to fulfill a lifelong ambition to travel widely, stopping off at various places in some of which they had relatives or friends.

On Thursday, July 28, Colin recaptured some of the highlights of their journey, and shared them with his fellow Rotarians.

As he explained, the key travel decisions were helped by being made over a glass (or two) of wine, and he thoroughly recommended this for all significant travel decisions. Initially, their thoughts were to cruise the Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam, but to this was quickly added the idea of meeting relations in Australia.

Having gone (effectively) half-way round the world, it didn’t take long to think about returning by the other half. And so, to the early travel plans were added America, Canada, New Zealand, Kuala Lumpur and Cambodia.

The only remaining question then was which way to go round the world. In the end, they decided to go by way of America to Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia, returning by Cambodia, Hong Kong and Dubai.

That decided, the next step was to negotiate the terms of a round-the-world airfare with the necessary flexibility to allow for different times to be spent at the various stop-offs.

As it turned out, despite the allure of some of the larger agencies, the best option was found through the local Barrhead Travel. Then there was planning of accommodation, some of which was planned in advance, but some when in the country.

Inevitably, although the overall trip was a hugely successful experience, there were some particular highlights including a wonderful time spent in New Zealand and, in another sense, being diverted 250km to avoid a bushfire in Australia.

But the most memorable part was, perhaps, a nine-day riverboat cruise from Cambodia ending near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, which included being offered such culinary delights as deep-fried spiders, silkworms and locusts in honey.

Altogether, Colin and Elizabeth travelled for 88 days, flying 29,904 miles, with 4,000 miles by car and 353 miles by boat.

Colin said: "All told, the journey was a tremendous success; getting home was not the welcome return that we had expected.

"We were quite sad to have reached the end of our adventure.

“Everywhere, we were welcomed, with genuine friendliness. We did see poverty, but, generally, people seemed happy.”

Speaker’s host, Rod Jones, said that Colin had given a memorable account of their travels and asked members to join in expressing thanks.

There will be a meeting on Thursday, August 4 in the Westlands Hotel, Doune Road, at 6pm for 6.30pm.

The speaker will be Sally Brown, formerly vice-principal of the University of Stirling.

She will speak about the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence.

Visitors are always very welcome to meetings.

Anyone interested in attending should contact the club secretary, Iain Fraser at secretary@dunblanerotary.org or 01786 822751.

More information can be found on the club website: dunblanerotary.org.uk