For most people travel seems impossible and simply just out of reach. Either because of the price of travel, responsibilities at home, some people may worry about feeling like older travellers or the time just doesn’t seem right.
For Australian couple Chris (57) and Janet Farrell (56), travelling is a newfound venture. “We love travelling now that the kids are off our hands and we can afford it.” Working as the Head of IT for a company, Chris wants to make the most of the time they have now to travel. “We want to do as much travelling overseas as we can whilst I am still working. So, we have a few years still, till I retire.”
They embarked on their first Expat Explore tour in 2018. Originally, Chris and Janet were planning on taking a trip themselves. “The key for us was the key sights we wanted to see. We wanted to see the Giant’s Causeway and Loch Ness. We had originally planned on a self-drive of the UK, Ireland and Scotland but there were issues with car hire in Ireland in particular. Expat Explore showed us all the sights and the price was equivalent to what it would have cost if we did a self-drive. You also get the commentary and everything handled without issues.”
It’s never too late to start travelling, for Chris and Janet the perks of travelling have just shifted. “Travelling gives alone time for my wife and me where we can enjoy things together away from day-to-day life at home.” Travelling has also meant that they get to experience more, “we get to see things you read about and watch on TV.”
One of Chris’ fondest memories of the Expat Explore tour through Ireland and Scotland was an unexpected experience. “We had a great experience with our visit to Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. I knew my great grandparents were buried there and I wanted to see if I could find their gravesite. Through Expat Explore it was one of the included excursions. In this short time, a genealogist working at the cemetery provided details on 12 different family members (many I never even knew about). I was escorted to the grave for photos, given extracts on the findings and also advised that my great-great-grandparents are also buried there in another plot. All the group on our bus were thrilled for us and we weren’t the only ones on this tour to experience this.”
Choosing between a trip by themselves and organised group travel required some research, “There are pros and cons for self-drive and going on a tour. Self-drive allows you to stay at places longer if you like them but you do miss a lot when you are the driver. You also have the stress of driving on foreign roads, (tolls and parking can be a real issue). Then there is all the organising of accommodation, and entertainment as well as learning the historical facts from tour guides that you miss out on when touring yourself.”
“On tours like these, you seem to become like a little family after a week and look out for each other. You just see so much history, experience things you never thought would be possible a few years ago. And you meet a lot of people doing exactly the same thing for different reasons. It’s great to share your experience with others.”
For Chris and Janet, a new phase of their lives has begun and it includes travel memories made together, to destinations they’ve only dreamed of.
Watch the video below and see the wonderful journey Chris and Janet had
in Ireland and the UK: