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Traveller of the Month September 2015 - Avemario

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Traveller of the Month September 2015 - Avemario

TOTM September 2015 Avemario.jpg

Our community is very lucky to have contributors who enjoy sharing the experiences they've gained while traveling the world. We'd like to show a huge thanks and our gratitude by featuring them and their journeys every month.

This month, we're meeting Avemario! He's done incredible work on travel guides for Thai cities, districts, islands, and regions. One his most recent grand contributions happened on the Thai phrasebook, in which he revamped the pronunciation section.

It's a great pleasure to introduce our very first Traveller of the Month, Avemario!

Tell us a little about yourself.

A 72 year old Aussie, non politically correct eccentric male, who loves to travel, and does it like a backpacker with minimum baggage (like a 7kg load in a sports bag which fits the overhead locker in the cabin). I live in Dapto, 100km south of Sydney.

Was born in the north of England in a coal mining family, and we emigrated here in 1951. My father, although he left school at 14, was also a traveller, and started this with the British army, and he had a head for languages, which he passed on to me.

I am the first ever in my family to do University, and retired from working for the Feds 2 years ago. My initial travellings in my teens and early 20’s were camping holidays in Australia, where I would drive to somewhere I had never been, and camp out, then continue the next day etc. Roads were dirt back then, even the country highways, so care was needed in an ordinary sedan.

As I got older, I started to travel overseas, mainly to Thailand these past 8 years. Now in retirement I do it more often. At home I live with my 22 year old daughter and the cat.

Where did you go on your first big trip?

My first travel was to Europe in 1968, for just a few weeks, and I followed this with 8 months in 1970, and 6 weeks in 1972. Have also taken several trips to USA and one to New Zealand.

What's been your favorite journey so far?

My favourite journey was the 1970 trip, when I did camping holidays all over Europe, including Communist Russia, Iceland as well as North Africa.

What destination has really surprised you and why?

The most surprising destination? They all surprise me!! I love to look and learn.

Where are you most looking forward to visiting?

I am looking forward to again visiting my old village in England, hopefully next year as I must acknowledge that the clock is ticking down, and I have only so much travelling time remaining.

How do you usually use Wikitravel?

Wikitravel has been extremely useful as it helps people who travel like me in particular, and I look up any places I am planning to visit before I leave home.

Can you share a bit about your picture?

The pic was taken in Northern NSW in a National Park. It is a 15Km round walking trip to get there, and you can see ground level behind me – quite a steep hike. Recommended 8 hour walk, took me 5 hours.

If you could give your less-journeyed self one piece of travel advice, what would it be?

Advice? When overseas, learn at least a few words of the language, even if only “good day how are you?, please, thank you”. You always get an instant smile from the locals.