Every now and then you hear a story that reminds you why travelling is so important. This is one of those stories.
On a trip to Myanmar, Paul had the privilege of visiting the home of one of the local families. They were so proud to show Paul and his colleague, Briony, around their tiny bamboo house and generously offered them tea, before sitting and talking. At one point, one of the local ladies gestured towards her sister in law and explained that the reason her hair was so short is because she was sick with cancer. The sister in law opened up to Paul and Briony about her battle with cancer, and even showed them the scars from her recent mastectomy. She explained she had started skipping some of the ongoing chemo treatment, as she could not afford to pay $60 USD for each round.
Paul remembers being rendered speechless and Briony reaching into her purse to pull out all of her remaining money – some $200 or so – and insisting the woman take it. Paul recalls the moment very vividly and says this kind of compassion is unique to travelling and meeting people from different walks of life. “Get out there and see the world,” he says. “It will make you appreciate all that you have.”
From meaningful encounters in Myanmar to trekking through Nepal; sipping cocktails in the Caribbean and seeing the sights of Scandinavia, Paul has covered a lot of territory during his 18 years in the industry.
If you’re planning a getaway to Bali, you might like to pick Paul’s brain first, as he’s been there 25 times! You’d be forgiven for thinking that’s his favourite destination, and yet, he says it’s probably Peru that takes the cake. “I love the stunning mountains – it’s one of the few things we just don’t have here in Australia,” says Paul. “I also love the Latin America culture.”
Paul says it’s impossible for him to settle on just one favourite; he is forever curious and loves every new place he experiences. To rediscover your fervent love for travelling, you know whom you need to speak to.