There’s something special about sisters that travel together.
There’s laughs and facial expressions that only they understand, a tolerance of personal habits that would drive a stranger crazy, and of course a history of shared family moments spanning emotions from dramatic to heartbreaking to ridiculous.
Charlotte and Lucy are a dynamic sister duo with well worn passports, a love for life, kind hearts and an abundance of travel tales.
I asked them to chat about being a thoughtful traveller, and what’s great about sister travel. They’re both wonderful storytellers. A little background first…
Charlotte. Lives: Condingup district, Western Australia. Age: 56 and counting. Things I like: A quiet drink after a long day and good coffee…and a sing along, everyone likes a sing along. Dislikes: Discord, it makes me sad when people are arguing. And heat (especially at my age). 3 words to describe myself: Busy, happy and focused. Best time of day: Anytime. Can’t live without: social media…can’t keep track of my kids, family and friends without it. Best travel destination: Madagascar and trekking to see the last of the fruit bats. So many others…keep travelling. Fave food: cheese board, with accompanying wine of course. Relax: Reading, walking, chatting with friends. Best travel tip: Scrubba bag and packing light.
Lucy: Lives: Perth, Western Australia. Age: 51. 3 words to describe myself: I strive to be compassionate, and am playful and organised. Best time of the day: home time. Can’t live without: narratives, my family (born and chosen), creatures, plants. Travel experiences that rocked my soul: Being out in nature soothes my soul; hiking through the snow in Yudanaka, Japan; avoiding bears near Banff, Canada; through Zion canyon, USA, with its blobby spires.. All time fave food: anything spicy, sour, savoury. Relax: stretched out reading with my dog and my lovely husband close by.
On thoughtful travel, Charlotte says…..
I am not fond of traveling. A people person, yes – a traveller with all that checking in, carrying about, waiting around, not so much. That being said I have travelled a lot for what I think are good reasons.
Wonderful people live all over the world. Travelling makes you realise how similar we are, with our likes, dislikes, wants and needs. People are so interesting and most love to show you their village, town, city or *ger and tell you about their lives in fascinating details. I love that.
I passionately belief in giving. Time, money, my ears. Whatever it takes. It is great for me. My family arrived in Australia as 10 pounds Poms and I have been grateful ever since. So I shall keep giving back for as long as I am able. I get so much back for what I give. The scales are forever in my favour.
I travelled to Sharing Bali a few years ago. It was an adventure on my own, yet I was with great friends from my local volunteer ambulance centre. A better group of ladies would be difficult to find. We enjoyed challenges, fun, pampering, chats and rest in the most beautiful village setting. It was brilliant! I love to feel like I can make a difference and Karen gave us a great insight into local lifestyle and it always felt like we were benefiting the village rather than taking away.
Paradoxically, I think travel helps me to appreciate my home and my life even more than I already do. Before leaving Australia as a young adult, I didn’t see the beauty in the starkness of our landscape that I treasure now.
I love the experience of strangeness that comes with interacting with other cultures – this helps to reveal to me what is normalised in my own culture and keep me questioning and thinking.
I also find that travel provides me with a perspective on my life by allowing me to view it from a distance (literally and metaphorically). When I’m not in my normal setting and routine, I seem to see my life a little more clearly and sometimes understand where I could be going and what I should or shouldn’t be doing.
I love the way that Karen’s trips are sensitive to the environment and to respecting the people and culture of the places she visits. That’s important to me too. I felt confident that I was in good hands and it was a treat to leave the organising to someone else for a change. Karen and Jo were always 5 steps ahead, thinking of ways to adjust to make our experience valuable, safe, and positive. As a teacher, it’s nice not to be the one doing that.
On travelling sister style….
It was beautiful to travel to Timor-Leste with my big sis, Charlotte. We live far from each other, she’s in Esperance and I’m in Perth, so we tend to have irregular whirlwind visits.
I loved not having to share her with the rest of my pesky relatives (classic middle-child!) and to be together supporting each other as we challenged ourselves physically.
When we’re together we’re able to have simultaneous conversations, both speaking and listening at the same time and finishing each other’s sentences, which must have been “hilarious” for our trip team. We are able to laugh at each other’s sillinesses (such as my insistence on keeping a neatly swept vestibule and constantly tidying) and I treasured the time we had to connect with each other.
This year I had the enormous pleasure of traveling with my sister to Timor-Leste to join Karen once again. I knew without hesitation that Karen would have put together something we would enjoy. We could pace ourselves and do what was personally achievable without fear of failure.
The benefit of traveling with a sibling is being able to boss her around and she just ignored me totally. Winning. She even put up with my snoring.
We both enjoy learning about other people and exploring new places – she just enjoys shopping more than me. I couldn’t think of anyone I would rather hang about with and as I live 800kms away from my mum and sisters, on a remote farm, it is wonderful to just get some chat time.
Where to next? Charlotte’s already booked.
Next year I am off to explore Sri Lanka. Hopefully I will take someone I know but with Karen and Jo along I know I am in great hands and that I will see sights, challenge my fitness and give myself a reason to keep on climbing the local hill for the next year at least.
Lucy’s heading to the beach first.
Next international destination for me is likely to be Japan and I am thinking of walking some of the Nakasendo Way. Before then, I’ll be heading “down south” (as we say in WA) to holiday with friends near one of our spectacular WA beaches…simple luxury! Life is good.
Our trips bring the most wonderful people together. Everyone has a story. Those stories keep us connected, inviting us into a different world, a different way of thinking. I think this quote says it all….
One’s destination is never a place,
but a new way of seeing things.
*Wondering what a ‘ger” is? (I had to ask Charlotte). It’s a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt used by nomads in Mongolia. Makes me want to explore Mongolia!
If you’d like a taste of Charlotte and Lucy’s experiences in Timor-Leste join us in May, June & Aug 2019 for the next Sharing Timor-Leste trip. Or follow in Charlotte’s travel path and join the Sri Lanka Fitness & Discovery Retreat by Sharp Moves.
Need a hotel on your travels? I use Agoda.com.