Meet this week’s Jetsetters: travel-loving couple Sam and Pete from Travelling King. While they’re busy balancing their mortgage and full time jobs with their love of travel, we’re busy containing our jealousy after reading that they got to feed tigers in Thailand. Read on, dear friends.
Favorite Place: Thailand (everywhere in Thailand!!) and in Australia, South Australia. It is where we live and it’s a beautiful place, it has a lot of nature beauty eg: Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island, just to name a few. Plus South Australia has some of the best wine regions in the world and produces amazing wines, what’s not to love.
More importantly, favorite meal: This is a tough one, we love all food! Pete’s favourite is Spaghetti Carbonara and Sam’s favourite meal is fried rice! (I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and on some occasions while in Thailand, that is exact what I did!) Surprisingly the best carbonara that Pete ever had was in Thailand at the resort we stayed at, and he used to work at an Italian restaurant.
The moment you caught the travel bug: Travel has always been in Sam’s blood, she travelled between Bulawayo to Harare (in Zimbabwe) every holidays to see family and often to South Africa as well. She moved to Australia in 2000 and took a “break from travelling”. When she met Peter in 2006 our love of travelling blossomed, we travelled within Australia several times a year and finally went overseas to Thailand for our honeymoon in 2011, this is where we had our first taste of overseas travel and loved it! We went back to Thailand in 2012 and have plans to head to Europe at the end of 2014 beginning of 2015.
First experience traveling alone: Sam often travelled alone when she was younger but neither of us has had much travel experience alone since we have been together. we love to travel together and share the experiences.
Ever been (or thought you’ve been) in imminent danger while traveling?: No, unless you consider riding in a Tuk Tuk in Thailand as dangerous, or being on the road in Thailand fill stop. It’s crazy when you compare it to Australian traffic. Organised chaos is the only way to explain it.
Worst hotel/hostel experience: Hotel – Mantra Samui on Koh Samui. It was supposed to be a brand new resort with state of the art check-in etc, but the service was terrible and our room smelt funny and there were greasy hand prints all over the walls. While staying at Mantra Samui we decided to go shopping one night, we were dropped off at Fisherman’s Village by the hotel shuttle and told we would be picked up at 8pm, we got to the pick-up point at 7:45pm and saw the full shuttle bus driving off, we waiting 45 mins (thinking that seeing as it was full they would send it back for another trip) before giving up and catching a taxi back to the resort, where we refused to pay the taxi, the hotel ended up paying for it.
Best hotel/hostel experience: We travelled to Phuket for our 1 year anniversary and were given a free upgrade to a brand new pool villa at Indigo Pearl and a personal butler (to celebrate our anniversary). I had been very sick for 4-5 days before we arrived at IP and this was just what the doctor ordered! It was an incredible 2 days! if anyone ever gets the chance to stay in these amazing villas we cannot recommend it enough. Private spa room, pool, sauna, steam room, separate bedroom and living rooms. AMAZING.
Favorite family vacation: We travelled to New Zealand to go skiing a few years ago, it was a great time for us to “bond” with the family and spend some quality time together! The Skiing in New Zealand is amazing. Queenstown where we stayed in a really beautiful place, another spot we would highly recommend.
Must-have packing item: Sam can’t leave the house without her laptop, portable hard-drive and camera (with several batteries and memory cards) and Pete can’t leave the house without the iPad, he is addicted to iPad games (stupid addictive apps)!!
Most unbelievable travel experience: Getting to spend the morning with Tigers in Thailand! Being able to walk them, hand feed them, wash them and play with them! Please note: we do NOT condone animal cruelty and did not experience any while we were there, the monks and helpers treated the tigers amazingly…but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, while no one is looking.
Favorite “I can’t believe I’m doing this” moment: Sam: We haven’t done it yet as it is planned for our upcoming trip to Melbourne. Riding in a helicopter and zip lining!! Pete: Jetlev Flying in Koh Samui, where you strap a water “jetpack” to your body (it’s basically like strapping a fire hose to your back and turning it on, check out the pics), it feels like you are floating along the water but it’s not very comfortable for the “family jewels”
Place you can’t wait to return to: Thailand, the whole country but if we have to pick one. Sam: Bangkok, I don’t feel like we spend enough time there last time. Pete: Any beachy island, I love just relaxing on the beach, while Sam plans every minute of every day! (she is crazy!!)
Place you can’t be paid to return to: (the Mantra!)… haha! … no where yet, although I have to admit that we found Brisbane to be fairly boring! I think we need to give it another chance. Its hard with the Gold coast just down the road, where you have theme parks and incredible beaches!
Any exciting trips coming up?: Always! We are off to Victoria this month, we will be skiing, going for a luxurious ride in a helicopter, zip lining and driving the Great Ocean Road. In September we might be looking to go to Sydney for a few days and in December we are headed to the Gold Coast for a week.
At the end of 2014, beginning of 2015 we will be looking to go to Europe for a month or 2! More on this to come over the next couple of months!
Dream vacation: Sam: Europe!! Pete: anywhere but Europe.. I kid, Maldives or tropical, beachy places.
Favorite tourist attraction:
Favorite “I’m trying not to look like a tourist” attraction: Phi Phi Island speed boat tour, what is more touristy than this in Thailand!
Favorite travel photo: Right now our favourite photo is from a recent trip to the Flinders ranges (in South Australia), a view of Wilpena Pound from a hot air balloon!
the romantic & the wino