I read this quote the other day and it struck a chord with me. We can get so absorbed in our daily routine and local community that we can forget there is a world out there full of diversity and ready for us to explore.
One of the most amazing things that come home to me when I visit other countries, is the ingenuity of the human spirit. Whether it be in the streets of Hanoi Vietnam, Soweto South Africa or Vancouver Canada, us humans get on with life in many different ways, adapting to our particular circumstances, whether rich or poor, employed or unemployed, child or adult. We can learn so much from experiences gained traveling and visiting the wider world. Our minds are broadened, our perspectives are lengthened, and we return to our communities richer from the experiences and able to adapt better to the changing circumstances of our lives.
Over the past three years since we took over running Charlies Golf Tours, my wife and I have been privileged to travel around the world, hosting golf tours for Kiwis wanting to expand their horizons by seeing the world, one golf course at a time. The combination of playing golf on championship courses, whilst being a tourist experiencing the diversity of culture, food, language and life of some amazing countries has proved to be an irresistible mix. We must have something right, as 80% of our clients come back time and time again, and the ‘ABC of touring’ (not Another Bloody Castle) is never an issue!
The majority of people travelling with us are over 50 - children have grown up and left the nest, and life feels more manageable and under control. This means that the opportunities for ‘life not to escape us’ becomes more realistic. We have found our fellow kiwi travelers to be inquisitive, interested, engaging and friendly to all they meet, really wanting to experience a country and spend time with the peoples they are visiting. Whether it is learning to barter at a local market, riding with the Gauchos in Argentina, fishing in the Zambesi with local fishermen, visiting historical sites that previously had just been a name in a book, dancing a tango in Buenos Aires, supporting the All Blacks on tour or visiting the home of Golf, there really is something for everyone.
One trip that particularly impressed us last year was our Canadian Rockies Golf Tour coupled with an Alaskan Cruise. It is said that this part of Canada is very much like New Zealand on Steroids and I would have to agree. The awesomeness and grandeur of the scenery gives you a new perspective on nature. The golf courses there have been molded around the natural features of the area – the Ridge course at Predator Ridge is a prime example. At a number of courses, we had close (but safe) encounters with bears. It was only afterwards when we were talking to some Canadians, that we realized we had seen more bears in our short time there than they had. Tagging on an Alaskan cruise after the tour made the most of our time in this part of the world and we were not disappointed with what was served up – glaciers, whales, dolphins – we were a little early to see the Salmon running, but it was certainly very tasty when it was presented on a plate to us!
Golf has proved time and time again that it is a great friendship maker and we have found this to be the case when travelling with a group too. One of our bylines is ‘Travel with friends you haven’t made yet’ and we know of groups still having annual reunions a number of years after travelling together. Lasting friendships can be made when journeying with others and the culture of inclusiveness encouraged on tour allows for everyone, including solo travelers, to ‘fit in’ and feel part of the group.
I come back to where I started, and that is to encourage us all not to let life escape us but to seize hold of opportunities to travel. Why not join us on a golf tour to somewhere in the world and experience life from another perspective – you will be the richer for it and you will have some great stories to share.
No one else in New Zealand offers such a comprehensive range of golf tours, so visit our website and see all the options available – so you really can see the world, one golf course at a time.