A FORMER Ilkley woman has published a travel memoir packed full of humour as her first book.

Pringles, Visas and a Glow in the Dark Jesus, by Sharon Cracknell, whose family still live in the town, was published on Wednesday (September 30).

Sharon caught the travel bug and her desire to see the world whisks her off on some unusual adventures. Her voyage begins in Indonesia where she is flung headfirst into a full time teaching job and finds herself caught up between the corrupt police force and the shady school owner, facing the prospect of five years in an Indonesian prison.

Escaping by the skin of her teeth, her enthusiasm is not dampened as she goes on to climb Kilimanjaro, explore several of the seven ‘Stans and climb to Everest base camp.

But the journey which led to write her book began in early 2013, when she flew to West Africa. She and joined an overland truck that travelled from Senegal to Ghana, where she met couple Lynn and David, from Australia, and became firm friends with them.

Sharon had been unable to contact her parents for quite some time on this particular journey. Upon reaching Accra in Ghana, she was able to see her inbox for the first time in nearly two months - and the news was shocking.

"My Mum, who had been battling cancer for four years, had now been diagnosed with numerous brain tumours and her mental health had deteriorated rapidly," she said.

"I booked the next flight out of Accra which was the next morning and flew home. The next six months my Dad and I nursed my Mum, who, being such a strong woman, battled on through the most horrible things the cancer was doing to her body and mind. Sadly, she passed away on the 14th October 2013."

Lynn and David had kept in constant contact with Sharon via e-mail, and shortly afterwards they asked if I would like to house and cat sit for them while they go travelling again for another six months in January 2014.

Being a prolific traveller for the last 16 years, and in between work contracts, Sharon says it did not take much convincing for her to accept their offer.

She was on a flight to Sydney on December 28 did not return home until October 2014.

"I spent six of those months sat in Lynn and David's garden in the Blue Mountains writing my new book “Pringles, Visas and a Glow in the Dark Jesus” which is a humorous take on my experiences travelling and working overseas," she says.

She added: "I believe readers will connect with me throughout the book as I reveal snippets of my childhood and the typical behaviour of concerned parents. It has universal appeal; there is no love angle or baring of my soul that could possibly alienate a large proportion of male readership.

"It is a travel memoir filled with humorous observations and light-hearted recollections of my adventures overseas."

Pringles, Visas and a Glow in the Dark Jesus amazon.com and all good bookshops.