Looking back on my life, my love for exciting adventures, including travelling to new places, has always given me a deep love for exploring the world. I remember my parents taking my siblings and myself on countless interstate road trips, which at the time, I probably didn’t appreciate. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, though, and I now look back on our Yardin Family road trips and subsequent overseas trips to my parent’s homeland Mauritius & to Singapore as youngsters as experiences which definitely, sparked my love of travel.
In my teens and early adulthood, my life as a footballer, presented many opportunities to travel within Australia to compete in tournaments and to countries like New Zealand, Canada, USA and Italy. As a footballer, your primary reason to travel is to travel with your football family, to play football, and then if you have a scheduled “rest day” you may have the opportunity to do a little sightseeing. Spoiler alert for aspiring athletes, you do end up spending a whole lot of time in your hotel room, resting & fuelling for your competitions.For me, being immersed in a new place is all about sampling their culinary delights, meeting new people, swimming at fabulous beaches and being introduced to the culture & history of the country I’m visiting.
So when I decided to take a hiatus from football in my early twenties, my girlfriends and I spent a year saving up our money, handed in our resignations to our employers and decided to backpack around Europe, which was quite a popular trend at the time. Our plan was for my girlfriends to meet me in Austria after I finished my Italian football tour with my soccer club Marconi. I played some football matches in Milan, Florence and Rome, then bid farewell to my teammates, and travelled with another girlfriend up through Bologna and Venice, making my way to our meeting point in Vienna, Austria. We had purchased a Euro Train Pass and spent the next 6 months eating & drinking our way through Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy and Malta. Travelling in this way, opened up my eyes to life in a way that no other experience has ever been able to. I grew up so much in my time overseas, and also learnt to appreciate my upbringing here in Australia and how fortunate I was to have the amazing opportunities I’d been given already at 23yrs young, as well as the beautiful support of my family.
My husband Charles and I both love to travel, and Charles had travelled even more extensively than myself before we met - In fact, he spent most of his twenties travelling around the world, flying home to Australia in between holidays, to work hard, save enough money for his next trip and then jet off to his next destination. He also has the most amazing travel stories, including the time, that he was nearly being killed in a high speed bus crash, whilst he was on his way to visit the Gorillas in Rwanda - True Story! We often joke in our house, that there aren’t many places left for us to visit in the World as a family, because Charles isn’t interested in going to the same place twice, when there are places on his bucket list like Cuba, which he’d prefer to visit instead.
Travelling recharges my soul, expands my consciousness and reminds me how exciting life can be, if I choose to explore the world outside of my comfort zone. Charles and I, of course have passed on our love of travel to our daughters Gigi & Bronte, who now have their own wish list of places around the world they’d like to visit, including Jamaica and the Maldives. We’ve never let, having two young children in tow, stop us from seeing the world, and so our daughters have had many exciting adventures already, including holidays with our extended family & friends in Greece, Hungary, Mauritius, UAE, Thailand, Japan, New Zealand & Fiji. They were even gifted a special Hawaiian holiday with their grandparents last year, leaving us at home, to create special memories with their grandparents.
Closer to home, we enjoy mini breaks in places like Byron Bay, Coolangatta and camping with friends on the beach or at camp grounds. The more we get out into nature, the happier, we all seem to be, and I like to plan our holidays to include the kind of activities each of us likes to do, so we all enjoy our time together - We tend to sandwich winter skiing adventures into our much loved summer holidays, because we’d love to gift our daughters the opportunity to ski or snowboard and it is an activity that we are learning how to do together. Travel has taught me, that it doesn’t matter how busy you are in life, it’s vital to make time to play with your loved ones and delaying your dreams for retirement, is robbing you of the joy that you could be experiencing right now.
Life doesn’t promise us tomorrow, yet, what I do know for sure, is how we show up today, shapes our tomorrow. I do hope that there are many many tomorrows, for my family and I, because we have many more adventures to look forward to in the future. I believe our soul continues to grow when we experience new things in life, and for me, travel, is an integral part of my soul expansion - So, how about you? Do you love to travel? If so, what are some of your favourite place to visit in the world to travel to?