TravelCard customer, Dorothy, recently turned 100 years old and to celebrate she is sharing with us her travel experiences. She is an inspiration to our TravelCard family and to all those who travel or want to travel at and older age.
When did you start travelling?
I was born in Brisbane after WWI and we did not have very much money in those days. However, with my parents and three sisters we always had fun in school holidays going to Nudgee Beach and enjoying the sea and time with family.
Did you travel with your children when they were younger?
I married towards the end of WWII. In the 1950’s, with my husband (Graham) and two daughters, we always found the time to get in the car during the Christmas holidays and go camping up and down the eastern coast of Australia. The furthest we travelled was to Tasmania where our car was hoisted up on a sling to be placed in the hold of the ship doing the run between Melbourne and Burnie. I have never seen Graham so nervous. Camping with the children was so much fun (no technology in those days) although sometimes frustrating. Kids will be kids.
First International Travel
My first international travel was with my husband, Graham, when we went to Hong Kong. After that, we visited Disneyland and when Graham retired, we had a three month trip to the Continent mainly in England, Scotland and Ireland.
After my husband passed away, I have been travelling with my daughter Annette once she retired.
How many places have you been?
Apart from visiting all the capital cities in Australia, we have done ‘The Ghan’ and ‘Indian-Pacific’ railway tours, including a stop-over in Alice Springs to visit Uluru. Then, we started cruising and have visited New Zealand, Japan, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, travelled the Rhine, South America (from Chile to America via the Panama Canal) and this year, we cruised the Inner Passage of Alaska.
Do you have a favourite place?
How can you choose? They are all so different and wonderful.
What have been some of your best travel memories?
I have loved visiting all the different places and their associated cultures and nature but two trips in particular stand out for me and they were the Japan cruise where (after the cruise finished), we were able to stay with my grandson and his family in Nagano for a week and then after the Rhine cruise, we went across to London where we stayed with my granddaughter and her family. It was so nice to be able to see where they lived and enjoy time with them.
What have been some of the challenges when travelling?
I have usually had no problems with going through security but some of the challenges in overseas airports has been getting from one boarding gate to another especially in the larger airports. They usually have motorised carts but we always make sure we have plenty of time between flights to allow for that, especially if we have been given a wheelchair. Good planning before we leave makes for less challenging situations.
I have found that wherever we have visited, the people have always been friendly and very helpful when they realise that I am a little slow walking with my walker.
Recommendation to keep people active in their later years
I have always been very active and need to be always doing something with my hands. Nowadays, I walk to church and back every Wednesday (it is a block away from my unit) and visit markets with my daughter, Delma, on Fridays. I still sew (floor rugs and cot quilts, pouches for orphaned wildlife) and crochet towels, and keep my mind active with my favourite Lovatt’s crosswords.
Do you have a dream destination you are yet to visit?
Whatever is on our next trip