I tend to go for experiences rather than material items because I remember those experiences over and above anything else. It also takes me away from everyday life.
As I get older, those experiences are a lot more interesting and they take me out of my comfort zone. I really want to experience life at its fullest and see things that I have never seen before.
That means, high on my list of travels is Moscow, Argentina, Africa, Cambodia and South America.
Recently, the lovely Sophie from 303 Travel and Cruise made contact with me and what impressed me most is her broad range of knowledge on these destinations. She has invited me to an evening where I can hear first hand all the information I need to know to travel to these destinations. The speakers are people who have been there, done that, and they know where to stay, how to ensure you have a safe and happy trip and the places you would never hear about from a normal travel agent.
So, with her permission, here is the details you may be interested in, for her upcoming luxury destination event. Note: This is no normal holiday event evening - it is a once only opportunity to hear the stories you have always wanted to know about these destinations.
When: Tuesday 18 October 2011 at 6pm sharp
Where: Ormond Hall, 557 St Kilda Road, Melbournew (enter via Moubray Street)
Russia and Eastern Europe
Russia for me is very much about being a tourist. That means viewing European Art, seeing the Moscow Circus and going to the Russian Ballet or a cruise on the waterways of the Czars. Unique locations such as the Winter Palace, Peterhof Palace and Gardens, the picturesque Ladoga, Onega and Kizhi lakes, tranquil lakeside villages and the splendour of the Volga-Baltic Waterway - are just a few of the sights I have always wanted to see.
Eastern Europe is home to many hidden gems, with its architecture amongst Europe’s most majestic. The Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, the urban appeal of Berlin and the ornamental art nouveau architecture of Riga, a city also known as the “Paris of the East”. I can just picture myself in photos outside these very famous and historic destinations.
Luxury Mediterranean Cruising
Indulge in the natural beauty and historical significance of Greece and Turkey, savor the Tuscan cuisine of Italy, rejoice in the radiant French Riviera or celebrate Spain’s passion for art. Onboard the upper-premium vessels, absorb the magnificence of your surroundings and have your senses tantalised with a unique combination of exceptional cuisine, luxurious accommodation and personalised service, all at extraordinary value.
Rocky Mountaineer whisks you across plunging gorges, over memorable mountain passes, through Jasper and Banff National Parks - both in a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rocky Mountaineer carries you in luxury on a relaxing train journey of superior service and jaw-dropping scenery through the renowned landscapes of British Columbia and Alberta. Travel between Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies, and only during daylight hours, so you’ll never miss a single breathtaking sight along the way.
The luxury Orient-Express Hiram Bingham train operating between Machu Picchu and Cusco, recently voted the world’s best specialist train experience by Condé Nast Traveller readers, includes many lifetime experiences. Relax while sipping Pisco Sours in the observation bar car before a sumptuous four-course Andean-inspired dinner as the train makes its way down to Cusco, delight in a fun introductory Spanish lesson over coffee and croissants at Cafe Tortoni, a famous literati coffeehouse in Buenos Aires, explore Uruguay’s Colonia del Sacramento – the country’s oldest and arguably most charming town or relish Argentina’s ultimate tango show, fine dining and quality local wine at the Rojo Lounge – an exclusive Buenos Aires’ cabaret.
Africa, a destination for kings and queens. You might come to Tanzania for the wildlife, but leave just as enchanted by your time spent with the Hadzabe Bushmen, their ways of life and fascinating language. You may wish to explore Namibia’s towering sand dunes but find yourself with equally unforgettable memories of the remote, mysterious ancient rock art in the country’s north, or arrive in South Africa for its peerless whale watching, only to be captivated by Cape Town’s cosmopolitan vibe. Yet the simple pleasures often win out: sunset over the endless Serengeti; your first lion sighting; the countless folds of Ethiopia’s lush Simien Mountains; Kilimanjaro’s summit; a waterhole at dusk; the roar of Victoria Falls. Each experience stirs the soul, and Africa’s essence enters all who spend time here.
Cambodia and Laos
When you think of Cambodia, you will conjure images of the mystical Angkor, renowned as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. However, there is much more to Cambodia than the enchanted ruins of its temples. Siem Reap is known as the gateway to the temples of Angkor, a destination in its own right, it is home to an abundance of stylish, comfortable accommodation, delectable restaurants and trendy watering holes. Peaceful Laos is one of Asia’s most beautiful countries and is a true highlight for the traveller in search of the Asia of yesteryear. The former royal capital of the ‘Kingdom of a Thousand Elephants,’ Luang Prabang is the gem of Laos and one of the most inspiring destinations in Indochina. Set amongst lush mountain scenery, Luang Prabang is best known as being home to one of Asia’s most incredible sights; every morning thousands of local monks rise at dawn and walk the streets of town.
Julie Schoneveld who runs Marketing Eye went to Cambodia last year for a month to volunteer in an orphanage. I always think of this photo at the top of the page that was taken of her when the image of Cambodia comes to mind. Another friend has her sister living in Cambodia and their pictures are always of the most beautiful beaches and waterways. I am completely jealous of both of their experiences in Cambodia. Definately a place I have to visit next year.
A visit to Vietnam stands to be an unforgettable one; Halong Bay provides a memorable sailing experience on board a private junk and Quy Nhon is a charming seaside town untouched by mass tourism. Phan Thiet is remarkable and Hoi An is a must see, from the first glimpse you will notice the charming French colonial architecture and the natural beauty of its surrounds. Mui Ne is a hidden treasure, a charming coastal town located in the Binh Thuan Provence. Vietnam offers the perfect combination of culture, beach relaxation, fascinating scenery and crystal clear waters.
I am going to go as I am dying to know the in's and out's of travelling to these destinations. If you do go, don't forget to RSVP and make sure you come over and say hello.