Robert Fear

I was born in Leicester, UK in 1955. My family moved south to a village in Surrey called South Nutfield when I was 11 years old. I attended Reigate Grammar School, which was a five mile journey (mostly by train and bus). It was here that I picked up the nickname of Fred. During the summer of 1976 I went on a two week holiday with three mates to the Spanish island of Ibiza. We had a fantastic time and all of us vowed to go back for the summer in the following year. Come the next April I went out there on my own, although two of my mates joined me later on. I ended up working in a bar called ‘Grannies’. I then returned to the UK for the winter and worked at a plastics factory to get some more money together for the following summer. In the spring of 1977 I set off again, this time to hitch-hike around Europe. For 4 months I made my way through Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece and several islands, Italy, France, Spain and back to Ibiza again for the last couple of months of the summer. When I left the Balearic Islands it was to head for Frankfurt in Germany. Initially I got some work on a building site and then in a Coca Cola factory. By the spring of 1979 there was enough money in the coffers to fund a trip to the States and Canada. I started in New York where I spent a week or so before travelling on a 3 month Greyhound bus pass up the east coast, across Canada, and down the west coast where I stayed in LA for a couple of weeks. Back in Germany I got a job as a messenger at the First National Bank of Chicago. Within 6 months I had been promoted to the accounts department as I picked up the language and proved my worth. The travel bug didn’t go away though. I stayed at the bank for 15 months before heading off again, this time to Asia. Upon my return from Asia I lived in Sachsenhausen, the bar and restaurant area of Frankfurt near the Main, often staying out late and enjoying life. Holiday allowance was generous in Germany and I was able to take 4-5 weeks travelling time off each year. I enjoyed trips to the Canary Islands, Scandanavia and Turkey. After returning from Turkey in November 1985 my life changed as I got together with the love of my life and in July 1986 I moved back to Eastbourne in the UK to be with her. Lynn and I are still together nearly 30 years later and have lived in the same house since 1988 (the mortgage is almost paid off!). We got married in Kenya in 1994 and are cat lovers, having had a succession of rescues. The travel bug has never completely gone away. We’ve had great holidays in Portugal, Crete, Germany, Australia and the Seychelles. I had to start from scratch with my career in the UK, but found my niche in accountancy and later computer software. I have had the opportunity in the last few years to travel with work and have been all over Europe as well as Singapore, Australia (for a week!), Ghana (at a Guinness brewery) and Suriname (in the middle of the rain forest).