A Journey of Rediscovery
Have you had the pleasure of traveling lately? After a couple of years of global lockdown due to the pandemic, it was incredibly exciting to see people venturing overseas again last year.
While my family was a little late to hit the road, we finally embarked on the trip of a lifetime in January 2023. Our destination? The stunning Whistler in Canada and the beautiful Waikiki in Hawaii.
After experiencing the disappointment of cancelled trips due to Covid, the anticipation of finally leaving Australia after more than three years was indescribable. Travel has always been a part of who I am. I can still vividly recall being a wide-eyed little girl, dreaming of exploring the world one day. And when I turned 21, those dreams became a reality.
That first trip abroad was an exhilarating experience, as it was the first time, I’d ventured beyond my home country, except for some hazy memories from my toddler years that have unfortunately escaped my recollection. I boarded a KLM flight, a fitting choice considering my Dutch heritage from my mother's side.
For nearly two years, I travelled and worked, savouring every moment until my funds ran dry. It all began with a solo Contiki bus tour of Europe, starting in the UK. I then found work in banking in London, and soon my boyfriend, who is now my husband, joined me. Together, we journeyed as far as Turkey, Romania, and Hungary in a rented car. Those were truly the best of times, from partying in Ibiza and Greece to cherishing family moments in Devon and the Netherlands.
Our next adventure took us to Whistler in Canada, where we secured working holiday visas and swiftly found employment. We spent the winter learning to snowboard and saved enough money to purchase a campervan. Our journey continued along the East coast of North America, driving and surfing from Canada to Mexico. Instead of returning home broke, we made a detour to London and resumed our careers in the lucrative banking industry.
On our way back to Australia, we even had the opportunity to visit South Africa, where I stayed with a dear friend, I met on that Contiki tour at the start of my grand adventure. Exploring Kruger National Park and marvelling at the "Big Five" animals and the stunning city of Cape Town were unforgettable highlights.
Winter Wonderland Revisited
Those were truly incredible days, and ever since, travel has been ingrained in my soul. It felt only fitting to share some of those cherished memories with our own children by visiting the places that held a special place in our hearts.
To be honest, I had some apprehensions about how my aging body would handle the physical demands of snowboarding in Canada. And while I've been nursing some sore joints since then, every ache was worth it.
Whistler was even more breathtaking than I remembered through the eyes of my 22-year-old self. The Canadian mountains stood majestically, and the fir trees adorned the landscape with enchanting beauty. The snow felt more forgiving compared to Australia, and the resort facilities were nothing short of luxurious. We all had the time of our lives, spending up to eight hours a day on the slopes.
I appreciated each moment, taking in the awe-inspiring views and relishing the exhilarating speed. While I must admit I'm not the fastest snowboarder out there, it was the fastest I’d moved in quite some time, and I felt a sense of pride in pushing my limits.
The trip also turned out to be an extraordinary family holiday. With teenage kids in tow, we enjoyed more quality time together than we had in ages. It was a joy to see our children looking up to us for guidance and leadership, rather than locking themselves behind closed bedroom doors. We shared unforgettable moments, laughing at each other's antics, reminiscing about our past adventures, and genuinely enjoying one another's company.
Sun, Surf, and Bliss
As if that wasn't enough, our journey home included a blissful stopover in Hawaii. Going from freezing temperatures to the balmy climate of Waikiki was an absolute treat.
The newfound confidence gained from snowboarding motivated me to hop on a surfboard and even swim in breathtaking waterfalls. I felt younger and more alive than I had in a very long time. Travel truly reignited my mojo and rekindled my zest for life.
I understand that in these challenging economic times, a holiday may seem like a distant dream for many. That's precisely why I wanted to share the Holiday Hero Budget Planner with you. It's the exact tool I used to plan this unforgettable trip and many others in the past.
The Holiday Hero Budget Planner is a comprehensive and user-friendly resource that can help you determine where you can afford to go for your next vacation. It takes the guesswork out of budgeting and empowers you to make informed decisions. You can learn more about it and get started on your dream getaway here.
Traveling and holidaying with loved ones and friends creates lasting memories, opens our eyes to new ways of living, relieves stress, and brings immeasurable joy to our lives.
Download the Holiday Hero Budget Planner today and let me know where you're planning to vacation! I absolutely love hearing about exciting holiday plans and adventures.
Remember, with careful planning and the right tools, your dream vacation is within reach. Let's make it happen together!