Travel tales from the expert

He is the founder and managing director of Brisbane-based company Travel Team and has visited about 30 countries. So, if anyone can tell us a thing or two about travel it’s Perry Morcombe. He shares his personal view of travel today.

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You’ve travelled more extensively than most people on the planet, so what is your favourite city?
Paris. It’s the whole ‘French’ thing, the relaxed lifestyle, the architecture, the casual dining on the wide footpaths, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Champs Elysees. And how about crusty baguettes, baked fresh twice daily, beautiful with ham and cheese, and the boulangeries and patisseries where they create the most amazing tarts and cakes? I’m starting to salivate just talking about it.

And your favourite country?
Well, France, for the same reason as Paris. But having said that, I’m suddenly realising just how little of France I’ve actually experienced, so far. I’ll have to solve this dilemma over the next few years.

You have Antarctica on your bucket list. For such an experienced traveller, why haven’t you been there already?
I guess that until recently, my personal holidays have been with my wife and twin daughters, who are now 24 and work full-time. We usually went to the US or Europe. I’ve always had Antarctica on my personal bucket list, so it’s going to be one of my ‘Live Y♥ur Life’ holidays, early in 2021.

What is your preferred mode of land travel – bus, train, bicycle, walk, drive?
In the travel industry, we refer to ‘buses’ as ‘coaches’, with the distinction being that a ‘bus’ is local public transport, okay for half an hour or so, whereas a ‘coach’ is a comfortable long-distance machine, capable of being sat in day after day for two or three weeks. I enjoy coach travel, I love train travel, and probably my preferred mode of travel in Europe is river cruising, where your ‘hotel’ moves at night, so in the morning, after your leisurely breakfast, you are at your dock, ready to join your expert local guide for a tour of their town or village.

I guess that’s one reason why I’ve been on eight river cruises in Europe – so far!

I personally missed out on having a bicycle when I was a child, so can’t ride a bicycle, but I guess that is on the horizon, as so many older travellers are enjoying bike holidays in Europe, whether that is cycling the whole day or cycling alongside a river cruise ship for a few hours.

What is your favourite place in Australia?
I haven’t done all that much travel in Australia. It’s probably Tasmania at the moment, but Kakadu and the Northern Territory generally are on my bucket list. Broome and the Kimberley are also up there. I haven’t been to the Red Centre since 1976, so it’s about time for a refresh.

International travel for Australians is long-haul. What are your tips?
It is one of the factors that we always consider, just how far we are from Europe, North America, South America or Africa. Long flights are not ‘seniors-friendly’, so it’s certainly well worthwhile booking the full service airlines. You can have stopovers in either or both directions if you wish, or consider premium economy or business class flights. Or you can have the better class on the long-haul sectors, and the cheaper ones on the short-haul sectors. Or you can pay a fairly nominal fee to gain entry to business class lounges en route, where you can relax, maybe have a shower and generally refresh.

The silliest question you’ve been asked?
This is a tough one. There have been quite a few, but here’s one that comes to mind: “What will the weather be like on Norfolk Island in July next year?” Climate, for a particular time of the year, I can predict (well, Google can), but weather for a particular week, I can’t.

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Written by Janelle Ward

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