15 Jan 21

How to Love Local

Jayne D'Arcy Australia & NZ

I was definitely a ‘the further away, the better’ type of traveller. Give me exotic any day. Exotic food, different languages, different cultures. As a teen and young adult I travelled the world before exploring my own backyard, and, even when I finally explored Australia, it was interspersed with the ‘big’ adventures overseas. ‘Real’ travel.

But I’m learning to love the local. I’ve done a bit of research, and apparently, we’re happier when we book shorter holidays more frequently. That’s easily done when you travel local. 

This year is looking awesome. I have a house in a portside town booked for a week (close to a Victoria’s newest natural hot springs centre, which I will certainly be frequenting, à la Japan’s onsens!). We’ll be with another family, reading lots of books, going on day walks, and maybe trying our hand at fishing. I’m already researching where to get the best fish and chips in town, and where to get the most mouth-watering breakfast, just as I would if I was heading overseas. As we’re holidaying with friends, we’re splitting the cost of the accommodation: something hard to do on an overseas jaunt!

I’ve also managed to book three other very different types of holidays. I have a ‘hiking with three kids’ holiday (aged 8 to 15) all planned. It’ll keep us under the sky and moon for three days and two nights, with well-planned car shuttles to transport the heavier items like tents and cooking equipment so the kids (and yes, us adults) don’t have to. I’ve spent (lots of) time planning easy hiking days of no more than 8km for the kids, with optional extra lengths for anyone who is keen (I’d forgotten how much time it takes to research a walk!). Keeping everyone happy, there’s a chicken parma dinner in a pub on night one, and an olde worlde lolly store to visit on day two.

I’m also making the most of a 28km running event that I’ve booked a spot in. I’m turning it into a running holiday by booking a cute caravan (with an outside bath for a recovery soak) near the start line for the whole weekend. Usually I’d just drive up, run the event, and drive home. This time, I’m literally making a holiday out of it. Short, but sweet (while the run won’t be the former, hopefully it will be the latter!).

Then, I’ll head home, load my road bike on the bike rack on my car and embark on a cycling holiday. I’ll head to the local ‘alps’ and camp in a friend’s backyard by night, exploring the local peaks by day.

I’m already reaping the rewards of this new local travel: I’m never more than 3.5 hours away from the comfort of home; we don’t have to lug everything for every sport with us on the one adventure, and there’s something to look forward to written on the calendar. I’m spending what would be airfare money on petrol and parmas, and, by swapping those ‘exotic’ delights (the Japanese onsen, or the L’Alpe d’Huez) for something similar (Deep Blue Hot Springs and Bright), but closer to home, I don’t feel like I’m really missing out.

What have you got booked next? Let RAW Travel help you fall in love with local with the following hikes in your hood:

New South Wales:

SIX FOOT TRACK

Victoria:

GREAT SOUTH WEST WALK 

GREAT OCEAN WALK

WILSONS PROM

GRAMPIANS

Tasmania:

WALLS OF JERUSALEM 

THE OVERLAND TRACK 

THREE CAPES TRACK 

Northern Territory:

LARAPINTA TRAIL 

KAKADU 

THE JATBULA TRAIL 

KAKADU HIGHLIGHTS 

Queensland:

THORSBORNE TRAIL 

COOLOOLA GREAT WALK 

K’GARI (FRASER ISLAND) GREAT WALK

Western Australia:

CAPE TO CAPE TRACK 

THE BIBBULMUN TRACK 

South Australia:

IKARA- FLINDERS RANGES 

FLEURIEU PENINSULA 

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