A MAD KEEN TRAVELLER
I am an Aussie baby boomer. Inspired by my father’s travel stories, I decided at a very young age to explore the world as much as possible. I resolved I would visit 25 countries by the age of 25 – a country counted only if I had spent a minimum of two nights there. No airport stopovers included!
I achieved that goal by working hard and focusing on my goal, putting all my spare money into my travel fund! Fortunately, as a young person my career as a News Journalist paid well, and provided six weeks of holidays a year because of shift work. My first priority was to explore my own country, taking my one and only ever bus tour to visit Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia. My employer also granted me 12 months leave of absence when I was 23 – experiencing other cultures was regarded as beneficial for my career.
I took off to the U.K and Europe, returning home the long way via the Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Thailand.I very early on realised through experience that group organised travel – cruises, bus tours etc – were not for me. A lot of my travel joy comes from researching and planning my own trips.
Fortunately, I married a partner who also enjoys travelling, so travel has become a lifelong enjoyment. Together, we’ve also lived for extended times in Canada and New Zealand, both fabulous countries for natural beauty.
I am a keen amateur photographer, snapping thousands of travel pics over the years. Don’t ask me for photography tips! I take photos on automatic settings. I rely on my eye and the light for a good pic. I have, however, always invested in a good camera – starting off with a Pentax film camera and these days using a Sony 7iii. I’ve recently bought an iPhone, but only use it for foodie pics.
Favourite places? So hard to choose. In my youth, Greece, India, even Afghanistan. I am particularly drawn to cultures vastly different to my own.
New Zealand is in a special category of its own – its natural beauty and ease of travel is definitely something to be experienced.
However, my all time passion is Japan, a late life love. I did not visit until my 40’s, a trip planned in about three weeks when I was searching for somewhere to take my sons as an end of year celebration marking one’s Year 12 graduation and the other’s University graduation. I’ve now visited three times – all self planned and self guided trips (so easy to do via the internet these days). A fourth visit was planned for 2020, but Covid intervened. I like to think it wasn’t cancelled – just postponed!
Meanwhile, during Covid, I’ve continued my exploration of Japan with online virtual tours! They are a great travel innovation in these Covid times. 😊