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My Life in Travel: Justine Drake

We talk to Justine Drake, business development manager of Freedom Road Travel about her travel inspirations

 

What I love most about the travel industry is that it is always evolving. Obviously, technology has dramatically changed the landscape, but so have the types of experiences that travelers are looking for.

The strangest thing I’ve eaten while traveling was rice, sea urchin and seaweed for breakfast. I was very young and the idea of a traditional Japanese rice breakfast was very foreign to me at the time. Nowadays I love rice for breakfast; a product of traveling around Asia for many years.

The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a table made from an antique Indonesian door. While it was a little challenging to ship home, it was well worth it for the memories of the trip and the family meals we share on it every evening.

The best sunset I’ve ever seen was at Monument Valley, USA. The sun set as a thunderstorm came over the valley. The combination of the orange and pink sky and the rolling black clouds with lightning strikes on the stone monuments was a beautiful sight.

I never travel without my phone. I use it to take pictures and post so I can share my adventures with friends and family.

The best part of my job is seeing how travel can change lives. When you can help people to see and understand new cultures, it really is about more than just booking a holiday or business event.

What gets me most excited at the moment is every customer we send to China. Every itinerary is different and every experience unique. When I talk to agents about China and what their clients will experience it really opens their eyes to the opportunities China has as a destination for work or leisure.

Our company is very excited about experiential and transformational travel. It isn’t just leisure travelers that are seeking
out these experiences; we’ve also been providing some really exciting travel options for business events.

The first thing I do when I arrive in a new city is find the best local food. Those small, unqiue out-of-the-way eateries with genuine local service never disappoint and are a great introduction to your trip.

My favourite traveling partners are my family, sharing travel experiences with my kids is one of the best feelings in the world.

The place I can’t get enough of is still China. Even after living there for years I manage to find new unique experiences every time I go back. There really is so much more to China than many travelers think.

The first holiday I ever remember taking was to Disneyland and Hawaii when I was eight years old. The flight seemed to take forever (it probably did in the early 80s) but the concept of going overseas for an Australian child was huge.

The most romantic place in the world is Sydney, which I now call home again after 12 years away. There is something magical about the blue harbor, the vast sky and glorious weather, no matter what the season. It’s where I fell in love with my husband and that probably plays a big part, too.

The closest encounter I had with wildlife while traveling was when we were up in Cairns playing golf and met a 10ft crocodile on the 15th green. I let that ball go.

If I could teleport anywhere right now it would be to somewhere I’ve never been. There are so many things to experience in the world but I don’t have time to do them all.

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