This month, we get to know Sue, who has been a Chief Explorer with Explore Tours Perth since November 2016.
Sue is a genuine adventurer who loves travelling and has just come back from a mammoth world trip! We asked Sue to tell us a bit more about herself, her background and her top places to visit.
“I was born in Toronto, Canada, and first came to Australia in 1981 for “working holiday after university”. Then, I met my husband who was from Ireland in Alice Springs and the rest is history! We have three adult children (aged 27, 25 and 23), a furbaby Cooper and two grand-furbabies Kyah and Loki.
My previous jobs were office work including the most recent 12 years as a database administrator for a mining software company. I have also worked as an ESL Teacher at Curtin University (English as a Second Language) teaching international students. I have been working subsequently as a tour guide for 8 years.
I love keeping fit mainly through running, swimming and outdoor gym workouts. As a member of Quinns Mindarie Surf Life Saving club, I do regular patrols (volunteer surf lifesaver) and participate in regular fitness training. I also participate in our in-club competitions and compete at Masters Level in both WA and Australia-wide competitions.
What I like to do in spare time are day hikes, abseiling (including off the Central Park and Woodside buildings in Perth for charity), caving, kayaking and geocaching. As multi day/overnight trips, I enjoy hikes (Bibbulmun Track, Cape to Cape, Great Ocean Road, Tasmania), bus trips including various hikes and other activities (Ningaloo, Kakadu, outback). I love travelling overseas too and have visited Mt Kilimanjaro, Camino de Santiago de Compostella (Spain) and Bali (cultural experiences and hiking out of Ubud).
Yes, I LOVE travelling, exploring new places and experiencing other cultures. My most interesting trips were:
- Multi-day hiking and sea kayaking trips in Alaska for a month;
- Trekking Mera Peak in Nepal;
- South Africa;
- Sailed/crewed tall ship HMB Endeavour Replica on a 2 week voyage from Broome to Exmouth, and another from Albany to Port Lincoln, plus multiple day sails when she was in Perth a few years ago;
- Sailed/crewed on tall ship Duyfken replica for a month from Port Hedland to Fremantle then a couple of multi-day trips last year sailing north from Hillarys to Dirk Hartog Island;
- Feb-March 2017: 1 week hiking Patagonia followed by 52 days sailing/crewing on tall ship Bark Europa to Antarctica. Departed Ushuaia in Argentina, headed south and hiked on South Shetland Islands, Antarctica mainland, South Georgia, before sailing up to Cape Town (I could talk all day about this one – absolutely amazing!)
So where is my favourite holiday destination? It is very hard to choose a favourite because they are all so very different. Even when I have loved a trip, I am very unlikely to repeat it because there are so many other places to explore. The highlight at the moment would have to be my recent sail to Antarctica, which was incredible on so many levels. The unspoiled scenery in that part of the world is truly magnificent from snow-covered mountains to massive glaciers to magnificent volcanoes and of course the millions of icebergs of all shape and sizes.
However, what was even better than that would have to be the wildlife experiences. These wonderful creatures have no fear of people, so I had amazing up-close-and-personal experiences with thousands of penguins (5 different species), fur seals including curious little pups, elephant seals, and a multitude of birds like albatrosses, petrels etc. I also relished the challenge and excitement of sailing the ship, 24 hours a day with my fellow crew members (from all parts of the world) both voyage crew like myself, and the professional crew. The sea conditions in the Southern Ocean were quite varied and we certainly got some of the wildest seas imaginable!
As Chief Explorer with Explore Tours Perth, I enjoy all three of the tours I have done thus far. They are all excellent in different ways. What I like best is sharing these wonderful places and experiences with our guests, and sharing in their enjoyment, excitement and/or awe as they enjoy them for the first time!”
Thanks for sharing your story, Sue!