I love to travel, and I often dream about where my next travel adventures will take me. Recently, I have found myself dreaming a little bigger, and expanding my travel horizons beyond what I already know…
The first time I ever set foot on a plane was when I was 15 years old. Up until that time, our family holidays had just been road trips around WA – down south to Busselton, Dunsborough and Margaret River, or even longer drives up to Geraldton or Coral Bay. I still remember opening my 15th birthday present to find that mum and dad had purchased the whole family airfares to Broome (my mum, brother and I all have birthdays within 10 days of each other). I was excited and nervous at the same time… What was a plane like? How long would it take us to get there? Is Broome even fun for a child of 15?
I have to commend my parents on their choices for that holiday as we got to see a lot more than just the picturesque, tourist hotspots that Broome is known for. Of course, we spent time down at the glorious cable beach and went on a tour of a pearl farm, but we also hired a car and took a road trip further north where we spent 2 days exploring Fitzroy Crossing. At that time, Fitzroy Crossing was the town my uncle was calling home. As a 15-year-old, being in such a remote town was quite an eye opener. It was stark and barren, yet incredibly beautiful. It was my first introduction to the very different life that our Indigenous people lead in these more rural towns, and it was the first step in my understanding of how fortunate we were in comparison to a lot of other people.
After my family trip to Broome, there was the family holiday to Mauritius in 2007, my first solo flight to Europe (to visit my boyfriend at the time) in 2008, a second trip to Europe in 2011 to visit my brother… you get the gist. I have watched the New Year fireworks on the banks of the Thames and from Clark Quay in Singapore. I have twice sat at the bow of a vessel as we sailed through the waters of Thailand, wandered the food markets in Kuala Lumpur, almost had our room ransacked by curious monkeys in Langkawi, caught many beautiful sunsets in Bali, and explored the streets of many of our capital cities back here in Australia. I have been incredibly fortunate to see some amazing places around the world.
Despite there being many crazy, mind boggling experiences, my holidays have never seen me focus solely on the luxurious aspect of holidaying. Just as our holiday in Broome introduced me to a very different side of north west Australia, each of my ensuing trips had a very real element to them. My family has invited a group of local Mauritians that we met on the bus, back to our beach house to join us for a barbecue; my mother, brother and I spent some time giving a distressed elephant calf some love in Thailand; and my friend and I trawled the local markets in Malaysia, chatting to the grocers and eating local food. This is the side of travel I love the most – seeing the real side of the country or town that I am visiting.
As I get older, my big travel dreams have started to go in a slightly different direction. Sure, the idea of relaxing by a pool in a gorgeous resort is still appealing, but more and more, I have been entertaining the idea of travelling to give back. My very first taste of travel, and the rest thereafter, opened my eyes to the world and our different ways of life. I travel to learn about, experience and understand the rest of the world.
I dream about if I were to win the Lotto, there is no doubt that I would head off to travel the world, but I wouldn’t just travel for myself. Being able to help others achieve a better way of life would be the least I could do with my good fortune, and I would love to take my friends, family and partner away to volunteer around the world with me. Since I was a little girl, my Mum and I have discussed going to Borneo to volunteer at the orangutan sanctuary, and I know my dad would love to drive through the remote communities around Australia again. There are even locally based charities working between Perth and Bali that I would love to get involved with in a more meaningful way.
There are a million and one ways in which I could travel and give back, and my dreams only keep getting bigger and bigger.
What are you dreaming about as the $20 million Saturday Lotto Superdraw approaches this weekend? To play online click here