Traveller’s Tales: Steven & Theresa

Steven Fraser is an ex-high school science teacher and now a newly retired OHS Manager. He has been married to Theresa; a newly retired commerce teacher, for 39 years. Both have been very keen travellers for many years, with Steven being the chief organiser. Steven loves doing reams of research and is always booking multiple trips on a rolling 12-month cycle. Steven is also a super keen amateur photographer who loves to chase the magic light.

Number of countries visited: 45 I think, with a few more to be added in the next 6-12+ months. We have also visited most parts of Australia too.

Aisle or window: My spouse usually grabs the window seat, so aisle for me. With 3-4-3 seating though we now go for the middle zone. Seatguru.com is very helpful as is Matrix-ita.com, but we are Economy seating passengers. We were once upgraded to Business flying home from Santiago via Auckland – very nice.  We try to use the in-transit airport hotel in Dubai these days when travelling home from Europe. Singapore airport has a similar hotel too; that makes multiple long-haul flights more bearable.

Plane, train, boat or car: Love small ship, expedition style adventures such as Patagonia, Antarctica, Galapagos, Glacier Bay, Norwegian Fiords and the Kimberley Coast. Have self-driven around many countries too, where the independence to loiter for a special landscape photo has given me some great images.

My last travel destination was: Just back from Egypt but also visited India and Sri Lanka recently and we did a big road trip in the Canadian Rockies including Yellowstone NP, since retiring.

My next travel destination is: Scotland, Faroes and Svalbard; the latter being another small ship and Peregrine adventure.

Other than the basics (passport, bank card, etc), I never forget to pack: Noise cancelling headphones to enjoy long haul flights. GPS for driving overseas. Records of my travel research. Good grace to be so healthy and lucky to travel.

I love to travel because: It makes us appreciate how wonderful Australia is and it allows me fresh photographic opportunities. I also enjoy the planning. Theresa likes her comfort increasingly these days and with more 2-3-night hotel stops. This makes it more of a holiday and not an epic journey for her. Happy wife = happy life and one who lets me plan even more adventures.

First thing I do in a new city is: Go for a walk, people watch and try to create some nice images. Always finding a nice latte would be nice too; though Theresa is more partial to a Prosecco, of which India recently had none.

Worst place I’ve been lost was: Who gets lost? Though we have had some extended walks to eventually get back to the hotel. Having driven the Amalfi Coast Road out of Naples and then back to Rome; I can navigate almost everywhere.

I can’t stop going back to: Japan this October for Autumn (our 3rd visit) and would happily spend more time in South America; but Theresa has said 3 previous visits over a total of 15 weeks is enough. NZ is also a frequently visited favourite where we recently spent 4 weeks slowly driving from Queenstown to Dunedin. War Birds Over Wanaka in 2020 should be on more Aussies travel list.

I’ve always wanted to go to: Mongolia for the Naadam Festival, which was great. Now we’re dreaming of Kamchatka Peninsula where we would hope to be with very few other travellers. Theresa now has her eye on more European river cruises.

I’ve never wanted to go to: Now a return trip to India. 4 weeks there recently and too much chilli and 2 Delhi belly attacks were enough; though the Ghats at Varanasi were very photogenic.

A place that surprised me was: Kimberley Coast cruise which was as good as Antarctica, with scenery and wildlife and so few other travellers. Romania for its Christmas markets.

A must-know phrase in every language is: Two cold beers please.

My number one tip for travel is: Use a travel agent. When our Antarctica expedition cruise ship had engine problems one week before our departure, we still went (on another ship) because of our travel agent at that time. Most other travellers then missed out. If you like doing your own research that is great; but then putting the key parts to a good travel agent, has helped us repeatedly. You should try to have a long-term relationship with your doctor, dentist, accountant and your travel agent.