It’s been some time since we’ve spoken and frankly in regards to travel there’s not been a lot to chat about.
I tend to view all predictions about the resumption of international travel as just that, predictions. But I do believe that by mid 2021 we will be packing our (big) suitcases once again. Albeit travel will look totally different, we will operate in a ‘new normal’ way and the world will roll on. This is just my instinct and I look forward to hearing your thoughts too. Once again, there is no crystal ball, so let’s rally each other and look towards a positive 2021.
Why my optimism? Well, on a personal note, I’m filming once again. Not for Getaway sadly, although the show thankfully remains on air. I have a new show filming around Victoria…Country House Hunters. It’s a theme that resembles my real life. A city chick, who moved to the country. I’m thrilled to not only showcase our regional towns, but guide from experience, those looking to make the leap to the land.
As a result, I have new stories to share with you, accommodation options, insights into how people are feeling and tips aplenty. So, let’s keep the conversations flowing and feel free to contribute your own tips. You know at Journeys to Come we love to share.
Journeys to Come during the pandemic
My colleagues Jack, Karyn and I have been busy doing all we can to stay in touch with you since March, when virtually all travel shut down, albeit in a different form. Each week, we’ve tried to interview different people within our industry, people who share our love of travel in all its many forms and you can listen to these interviews via our Facebook site, our podcasts and links on our insta page. We’ve also put out into the world travel quizzes, offered prizes, shared your tips and really just tried to stay connected during this crazy time. Thank you for supporting us.
Warrnambool: where penguins roam
When I spotted the outdoor pétanque court, in the glorious afternoon sun, filled with grandparents going gangbusters, I knew that this town well and truly deserved its title of ‘Australia’s Most Liveable City’. We filmed between here and Port Fairy recently and I was just blown away by the bustling town that lies both sides of the ‘Great Ocean Road’ freeway as you head towards the coast. Yes, this is Oddball territory. You can play on the beach where the penguins roam, pick one of several golf courses to tee off, or sample the many restaurants that offer amazing local produce. I loved driving around the backstreets to check out the beautiful houses. I felt quite spoilt seeing it in Spring and people were just so lovely to me. I stayed (and paid) at Quest and was thrilled to spot a full carpark…simple pleasures.
An absolute highlight for me whilst filming in our regional areas, has been to learn about ‘Aboriginal Tourism Victoria’. From the streets of Melbourne to, in my case, standing within a 30,000 year old dormant volcano along the Great Ocean Road, the perspective of Aboriginal culture is riveting. We feel compelled at Journeys to Come to promote all the positive stories about our Aboriginal culture within Australia, of which we are so proud. I have met so many dynamic people and covered so many stories involving Aboriginal creativity in all its forms and feel almost a duty to share those stories with as many people as I possibly can. Recently, I was blessed to meet Jackie Spencer, a tour guide at Tower Hill, a heavenly park just outside of Warrnambool. I was spellbound by Jackie’s stories and a line she said has stuck with me (which I often repeat to my sons) ‘I’ve never seen a kid happy in front of screen, but you can’t get stressed over a blade of grass, or watching a tree grow. Here, the kids scream with joy!’. If you’d like to learn more about Tower Hill and indeed other ‘Aboriginal Tourism’ locations, I strongly urge you to check out Visit Victoria for more sites and Inspo.
Harts Farm, stay among the Apple Orchard
This week had me taking the back roads of a part of a region called Shorham (Mornington Peninsula). I tell you what, if I win Lotto, I’d like to buy a farm somewhere around here, it was gobsmackingly beautiful. Harts Farm is a family run business where they believe passionately about restoring the land and also farming it for fabulous apple cider and olive oil. I shopped up big in the store and you can too online (I had a permit for my interview). But best of all was seeing that you can also stay on the farm. There is a massive kitchen where classes take place, events when allowed too, but I thought ‘what a beautiful place to hide out with a good book for a weekend’. Just snuggle up, maybe wander down to the famous Merricks General Store for a feed, take a bushwalk or a swim at the nearby beaches. This place is heaven!
It’s been interesting staying in the odd hotel for work, during a pandemic. Whilst I love the clean sheets, the quiet and my own space, room service seems a distant memory. You really want to find a place that offers a kitchenette, take your own favourite supplies like preferred tea and coffee and scope out restaurants that deliver. Often I’d order online and they’d deliver to your door. It just got me to thinking, that this really is a boom time for more personalised service, smaller, boutique style accommodation. As always service reigns supreme.
Just spent a weekend reading Monica McInerney’s The Godmothers. So good, I’m just upset it’s over so soon! From the streets of Melbourne, to Edinburgh, over to Ireland with an Aussie country region or two thrown in, you’ll revel in this story of friendship, hotels, mothering and love. Thumbs up!
Just whipped this simple Italian pasta dish up for my family, Cacio e Pepe, after being inspired by the new cook book from Jo Jo Gaines. I love Chip and Jo Jo. There’s nothing this couple can’t do and naturally Joanna is brilliant at whipping up yummy meals ‘perfect for gathering’. Also recommend the Hassleback Potatoes and the honeyed carrots…just saying.