It was Ro’s idea that we do a Hidden Treasure show about travelling for a special occasion or milestone. She had just returned from yet another trip to the Kimberley, this time for the birthday of a favourite aunty.
On Hidden Treasures we often find ourselves focused, or more accurately – distracted – by the reasons for travel. We’ve talked recently about rites of passage and hometowns, and we started thinking about other reasons why we head to a destination.
Sometimes it’s for the bucket list, sometimes it’s to get a tan. What about when it’s for an occasion? Have you travelled to attend a wedding? Have you travelled for a birthday celebration, or perhaps conspired with your partner to secretly elope?
This weekend on Hidden Treasures, we’re exploring the travels we’ve done to mark a special occasion. Where’s the furthest you’ve been for a wedding, a birthday, a funeral, a wedding anniversary, or another occasion you might like to tell us about.
Did you still have to buy a present or was attending a far flung destination considered a good enough gift?
The first time my wife Rebecca and I travelled overseas was for a wedding. In his grooms speech, in front of a setting Tuscan sun, Simon remarked quite accurately that the wedding was an excuse for most guests to have a broader European experience.
Affordable luxury for a large group is also a motivating factor in travel for an occasion. My friend Annie got married in Bali because she wanted a luxury experience for all of her guests that in her hometown was going to be difficult to accomplish.
I’ve been to Broken Hill for a wedding and I doubt I would have ever visited Broken Hill if not for the invitation to attend a wedding.
That’s the point isn’t it. It’s the destinations you got to go to that you may not have ever gone to without an event to attend.
It’s not just weddings, birthdays and other occasions, I’m also interested in those life milestones that inspire travel, like Josh getting his P plates a couple of weeks ago. For his first time driving solo, where did Josh go? Did he play The Triffids ‘Wide Open Road’ as he took off?
One of the best pre-Covid travel opportunities to mark special occasions was in the cruising industry where as many as 50% of passengers list a special occasion as the reason for travel.
On ‘The Love Boat’ it always seemed to be someone’s wedding anniversary or birthday. Captain Stubing always seemed to have a plate of cake in his hand.
We love talking about reasons to travel because sometimes it has to be more than a holiday that gets us somewhere. Traveling for an occasion is a hidden treasure because it can get us somewhere we might not otherwise have thought about going to and just like those words from Simon about the “broader European experience”, once you’re there you can go anywhere.