As an expert in travel, Travel Advisor Gillian Woodley, of Travel Associates Sandy Bay in Hobart, has seen and experienced a large part of the world. Here she describes her dream holiday: a world cruise on Sea Princess, an epic voyage through the most coveted sights of the world.
In travel it is always hard to put your finger on the perfect holiday. With so much to choose from around the world I never get tired of researching and adding destinations, hotels and cruises to my ever-growing bucket list. My need to travel is not a hobby, it’s an obsession!
After visiting 84 countries, I am still spellbound by the simplicity of getting on a plane and sometime later getting off in a foreign country, with an unknown language and the buzz that you get from a good espresso.
And it hasn’t just been planes that have fascinated me, but also the idea of seeing the world from a cruise ship.
Having booked world cruises for lots of clients over the years, I became envious of the journeys, the people, the places and the exhilaration of a storybook unfolding. That's how I got hooked into a bucket list of huge proportion, but one I intend to make a reality.
Setting off from Sydney, the first ports of call offer up the sights and smells of Asia, then its the wonders of the Middle East. I'm looking forward to the ancient Treasury at Petra and crossing the Suez canal.
After a brief taste of the Mediterranean, it's on to the Baltic Capitals, where an overnight stop in St Petersburg, allows time to explore the city's incredible palaces and museums.
Then it's new destinations that have opened up to the world, such as Iceland with its dramatic landscape of geysers, volcanoes and hot springs, Canada's East Coast and New York City. Linking the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, I'll get to experience another iconic crossing, this time the Panama Canal.
Passing through South America, I'll wander the ruins of Machu Picchu, then visit some of the world's most remote and beautiful destinations: Easter Island, Tahiti and Bora Bora before heading homeward via New Zealand to spectacular Sydney Harbour.
The privilege of travel never escapes me, the knowledge that travel changes you, gives you things you never knew you needed. That final sense that if you have not amassed great fortune or fame, that friendship and experiences can nurture even the most ambitious of travellers.
In May this year, I will embark on this journey with gusto and gain a new appreciation of how amazing the world truly is, mixed with gratitude that it will let me experience it.