Since we last chatted…

by Friday, October 26, 2018

I often think that one of the joys of travel is the chance to meet interesting people, who may open your mind up in some shape or form. Certainly, the joy of my job on “Getaway”, and here at JTC, is that I am often able to interview people who are living life on their own terms.

I may meet them as a successful chef, or gifted concierge, maybe a loquacious tour guide, but so often they’ve reached that point of success after various challenges, or choosing to throw in the towel on a job (or life) they loathed and finally pursue something that makes their heart sing. I love that! In my experience, the choice is never led by money, often the opposite, but a determination to follow an instinct as to what makes them genuinely happy.

Since we last chatted, I’ve met a couple of people who are doing just that. Yes, I pulled out my phone and recorded a couple of podcasts of their journeys, and I’ll share these with you when I get a mo’ to record an intro. However, you may be interested to follow on Instagram the story of Huw and Rossella Beaugié of The Thinking Traveller, two total brainiacs. Rossella was a cell biologist from Sicily (just saying her job title makes me feel smart), and her partner, Huw, an engineer from the UK.

Rossella and Huw decided to go to the volcano on Stromboli, one of the Aeolian Islands of Sicily, for a holiday. They camped on top of the volcano one perfect evening (is that even possible?) and, by morning, they’d decided to change their whole lives. They went back to Paris where they both worked and thought, “We are going to take walking tours through Sicily and share this beauty with the world!”. It was so popular that local friends soon said, “Hey, you’ve got a lot of people coming through, would you like to rent my villa?”.

Cut to today and this beautiful couple are now at the helm of the most successful Villa Rental Company in the world. Backed up by Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards which they’ve won for the last three years!

Great story, don’t you think? Yes, what they offer is extraordinary: everything from Europe’s most amazing villas, 24/7 service, to enriching activities called ‘Think Experiences’… they’ve thought of everything.

But it’s the kernel of The Thinking Traveller’s story that I love: follow your passion, make it your profession.  Let’s raise a glass to that. Promise to share the podcasts with you this week, on Journeys To Come.


When I started out in TV, I saved enough money to fulfil my dream of going to Iguazu Falls and Rio, in Brazil. I was all set to go with my friend Sibby, when… READ MORE

GUEST TRAVELLER: Whizzing around wonderful Japan 

“In Tokyo, I enjoyed the shopping district, Ginza. Lots of expensive stores like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Swarovski… There was also a Yamaha store with a ‘free to play’ piano inside, so of course I had to bring Australia to Japan by playing, “I still call Australia Home”. READ MORE

ASK THE CONCIERGE: 1,000 ways of doing nothing in the Maldives

“If you are staying in one of our over-water villas, you could go snorkelling … underneath your villa.  We could also organise an amazing Maldivian cooking class conducted by our very own Maldivian Head Chef, to learn about the local cuisine.”  READ MORE


P.S. Catriona’s Scoopon Deal o’ the Week – Astagina Resort Villa and Spa Bali
Legian, Bali
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