After 40 years working in Australian embassies around the world, I retired back to Perth four and a half years ago. As a single woman, I was footloose and fancy free and wanted to explore those countries and cultures I had not visited during my career. I had a yearning to visit Vietnam, but was a little anxious about going there on my own. I came across an article in the newspaper about Travel With Me and thought the tours that Annette was putting together suited me perfectly. And so began my new adventures as a retiree explorer.
Although I have travelled extensively, it can still be a little daunting as a solo traveller. With Annette, I can relax knowing that she has taken care of all the details – where are the hidden surprises in each city, the most comfortable and well located hotels, the best museums, shopping etc. One of the drawbacks of travelling alone is having to dine alone in a restaurant. Travelling with a group of like-minded solo travellers there is always someone to share a coffee with, or to take in that pretty little restaurant with the gorgeous view. And at the end of the day you can swap stories with fellow travellers over a drink.
Since then I have toured through Provence in the South of France, cruised the Rhône and Saône Rivers in France, investigated corners of Switzerland I hadn’t seen before, and this year I cruised the Rhine River with Annette and a group of happy travellers. Closer to home I fulfilled a long held wish of taking the Ghan from Darwin to Adelaide via Coober Pedy – and what an extraordinary place that is! Next year I shall join Annette on a tour of South America that she is putting together.
To anyone who would like to travel but is a little nervous about heading off in their own, I would recommend joining a small happy band of travellers with Annette. She has some fabulous tours coming up. I don’t know how she does it, but she seems to be able to negotiate very favourable rates. I am already dreaming of where I shall go in 2021!