Passenger Profiles: On the road with Dianne Heels

Passenger profiles - Dianne Heels

Each week here at Travel at 60 we like to reach out to one of our community members, bloggers and fellow globetrotters to find out more about them and their love of travel. This week we’ve had the opportunity to have a chat with Dianne Heels from Western Australia. Not only did Dianne discover her love of travel later in life, but she has spent the last decade exploring the world with her husband. Here is her story. 

Passenger profiles - Dianne Heels

Read more: Passenger Profiles: On the road with Terry Lee

Name: Dianne Heels
Age: 60
Country/Suburb: Greenwood, Western Australia

Tell me a little about yourself and how your love of travel began?

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My husband and I did not begin traveling until later in life (we were 47 and 50). Travel was something my husband was interested in but I always thought it was for other people. I was brought up to think travel was too hard, too expensive and possibly dangerous. A good friend talked us into going along with them on a seven-day trip to Phuket. That trip opened a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities.

What are some of your favourite places to travel to?

I love Italy – in particular the country side of Tuscany and the cities of Rome, Florence, Venice and Bologna, also The Amalfi Coast and Capri. Also a big fan of cruising – anywhere!!

What have you learned about yourself through travelling?

I am more ‘able’ and adaptable than I thought.

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Passenger Profiles - SydneyWhat countries or cities were you concerned about visiting that exceeded your expectations?

I was a little concerned about both China and Turkey the first time we visited, but in both cases we have had good experiences and have gone back for seconds. I was also worried about pickpockets in some cities in Europe but have found with forethought and common sense this risk can be mitigated.

What’s the best food you’ve ever tried on a trip?

The best steak meal was in New York, the best cheeses and ham in Bologna, then there was the Florentine steak in Florence! When cruising we always do the ‘Chefs Table’ which is a 5 course degustation with wine pairing — awesome!!

Passenger Profiles - Italy

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What country or city can you not help but keep returning to?

Italy – I love the whole ‘Italian story’, the history, the scenery, the food, the language.

What is the best piece of travel advice you’ve ever received?

Try it – you will like it!

Do you plan your holidays, or do you travel on a whim?

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We do both – we plan ahead but if a bargain comes up that is too good to miss and we can do it, we will!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Having seen a bit of the world I would still live in Australia. Until you see how others live you don’t fully appreciate what we have here and just how fortunate we are.

Passenger Profiles - China

Do you have any stories about an exciting travel adventures you’d like to share?

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All of them!! Our travel life really kicked off last year, through unexpected circumstances my husband found himself no longer able to work. For someone as work-orientated as he was, this was a big change. At the same time our daughter was getting married and planning a honeymoon trip to New York and cruising to the Caribbean. Dad said to daughter, “We haven’t been to New York, do you mind if we come along?” And this is how we came to ‘crash’ their honeymoon and kickstart what we called our gap year, being the year between work and proper retirement. However we found travel is addictive and we can’t stop.

What is the best travel experience you’ve ever had?

My real a-ha moment was sitting on a catamaran in the Caribbean off St Kitts, drinking a beer (I never drink beer!) listening to Jimmy Buffett on the boats sound system and thinking: this is the life!

Passenger Profiles - China

What advice do you have for travellers over 60 who are thinking about travelling but are nervous about taking the leap?

Just do it!!! Do your research, know where you are going but don’t forget to pack an open mind and your sense of humour!

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