Travel broadens the mind and the friendship circle!
A suggestion made four years ago by Living Gems Caboolture Riverfront resort managers has seen homeowner Norman Pressey spending his retirement as busy as ever.
“I’ve been in the travel industry for about 45 years now,” he said. “When I moved into the resort, Mark and Michelle suggested that I might like to start a travel club.
“I put up a notice in the Country Club for anyone who might be interested in taking part in group travel and between 60 and 70 people showed up!”
Norman’s experience as a travel agent has enabled him to put together tailored travel packages for groups of between 20 and 30.
And as a result, lots of friendships have been formed at the resort and shared experiences have created lasting memories.
“One of the great things about group travel is that the single ladies in our resort can enjoy travelling too where they may not have wished to do so on their own,” he said.
Going as a group of friends, with a seasoned traveller as a guide, ensures you are never on your own – that means lots of laughter and good times are guaranteed.
“We were in Singapore in February and one couple asked if they could join my wife and I sightseeing because it was their first time and they weren’t sure where to go,” said Norman.
“We arranged to meet in the foyer at 9am the next day but when we arrived there were 14 people waiting, then 16 and then 18! Afterwards, everyone said that they would never have discovered these places on their own.”
The Living Gems Caboolture Riverfront travel club has visited quite a few must-see places around Australia including three weeks in Tasmania, a river cruise in South Australia, incorporating a visit to Kangaroo Island. Closer to home, Norman has arranged a group trip down to the Brisbane Festival for Riverfire as well as other local day trips.
“Cruises are also popular,” said Norman. “That’s no surprise, because everything is included, and the destinations come to you.”
He’s also open to requests.
“I had one chap come up to me and tell me that he saw an interesting trip to Japan,” he said. “Before long we had ten couples who wanted to come along.
“And there are eight or nine couples who are going to Alaska and Canada in September next year.”
Norman reveals that his favourite travel destinations put him on top of the world.
“I’ve been to the Arctic and around Norway and Iceland,” he said. “But I think one of my favourite destinations has been Antarctica.”
Norman shares his top travel tips
Taking a large case can make travel difficult especially where you might have to move the case yourself, where steps are involved, or getting the case onto a train.
Dress in layers
“I always pack a shirt, jumper and jacket,” said Norman.
“When it is cool, I can add a layer, and when it is warm, I can take one off.”
Get travel insurance
Even when travelling within Australia. “Not a lot of people know that if you hire a car for more than three days, travel insurance will cover your vehicle hire excess.”