A TEACHER who has dedicated his time to teaching abroad has published his first travel book in a bid to help others follow their dreams.

Vernon Lacey, who grew up in Penketh, has lived and taught in Maghull, London, Barcelona and now Munich, inspiring him to share his experiences with those wanting to take the plunge.

The dad-of-three, said: "I have always loved travel writing.

"The inspiration to write my own travel book comes from having lived in a truly remarkable city, Barcelona, as well as hoping to inspire others who might be thinking of moving abroad.

"The motto of the school I attended, Penketh High School, is 'perseverance' and this is so true of moving overseas.

"There is a new language to learn, accommodation and employment to find, as well as meeting people.

"It is no small thing to do, but I have learned to take things one step at a time, and follow your goals. Never give up."

Vernon completed his teacher training in Warrington, first at Bridgewater High School and then Boteler Grammar School.

He recalled: "I found Boteler Grammar School an especially welcoming place where dedicated and innovative teachers did their best for the pupils.

"During my placement, I cycled every day from Penketh with my pannier bags laden with corrected exercise books and files containing all my lesson plans.

"It was a bleak winter in 1992 when my teaching practice came to an end and I will always remember my class sending me a card saying 'please come back and teach at our school.'

"After a hard slog to learn the ropes, not quite sure if I would even pass my inspection visit, it was just what I needed."

After qualifying as a teacher, Vernon made the important decision to leave Warrington and teach in an international school in Barcelona in 1997.

The travel book follows this journey and his perseverance as he arrives in the city speaking very little Spanish but soon ends up transforming his life.

Vernon has recently become a winner in the Bradt Travel Writer's of the Year Competition on the theme of Travelling With Kids.

His winning entry The Best Medicine is an account of a visit to the Eden Project in Cornwall with his daughter.

It will appear in an anthology of stories published by Bradt Travel Guides in October.

South to Barcelona: A New Life in Spain can be viewed here.