Travel talk: Vicki Parris
Travel agent Vicki Parris is lucky to travel for work, though she takes pleasure in inspiring others to follow.
How often do you get away?
I usually get away six or seven times a year – I’m very lucky.
Where was your first trip?
Bangkok – it was quite an eye opener for a 19-year-old girl, leaving New Zealand for the first time and travelling on her own.
Why do you travel – business or pleasure?
Both. Work requires me to travel five to six times a year, but even when I am on holiday I am constantly thinking about how I can get others excited about this destination.
What is your favourite destination overseas?
For pure relaxation, the Yasawa islands in Fiji. No cars, genuine people and stunning, pristine beaches. For adventure and culture – Cambodia and Vietnam. For fast-paced shopping and fun – Los Angeles and Vegas.
And here in New Zealand?
The Coromandel – Hahei Beach for body surfing by day and Hot Water Beach under the stars at night.
Best trip ever?
Realising a childhood dream by travelling to Egypt and touching the great pyramids of Giza, seeing the sunset on top of Mt Sinai and diving in the Blue Hole of Dahab. Absolutely stunning.
Getting lost while trekking down from the Kelimutu Volcano in Flores, Indonesia – spending six hours in dense forest with insects the size of small birds is not a great memory. A word of advice – join a tour.
If you could be anywhere but here, where would that be?
Lying in a hammock with my fiance, somewhere where the temperature is in the high 20s, the wind factor is non-existent and there’s a constant supply of fresh tropical fruit.
What is the wildest sight you’ve witnessed while travelling?
Traditional sun dance ceremonies on a very private Lakota reservation in North America. A somewhat forgotten culture that still practises their traditions today as they have for hundreds of years. It was an amazing, eye-opening experience.
The most heartbreaking?
Visiting friends working on the border of Thailand and Myanmar, helping young refugees suffering from HIV with no funds for medicine or treatment. They were doing an incredible job with very limited resources but the lack of any structure or support was heartbreaking.
Who (or what) is your favourite travelling companion?
A pen and paper. I’ve been lucky to have many amazing adventures – some day I will retire to a beautiful beach in Mexico and put them all in a book.
Where to next?
Tata Beach in Golden Bay for a few days away from laptops and cellphones.
Anything you’d like to add?
If you have the opportunity – travel. It is an incredible world out there.
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