Five Top Getaways

by - November 20, 2013

In Baiting the Boss, my hero, Jack Macintyre, quits his job and cuts all ties with his family following a tragedy. He’s still hurt and grieving when he stumbles across a tiny, remote Pacific island and discovers a place where he can heal and find peace. Filemu Island is a slice of paradise, a lush island filled with stunning mountains, swaying palm trees, and perfect beaches. Its inhabitants are laid-back, friendly, and welcoming. I love Filemu Island, but unfortunately it’s a completely fictional place, so I can only visit it in my imagination!

Writing Baiting the Boss made me think about travelling and the places I've visited that captured my imagination. Here are five getaways I've loved and would love to revisit one of these days:

San Juan Island, Washington, USA. Many years ago I visited the San Juan Islands north of Seattle. I caught the ferry to Friday Harbor and was amazed by the stunning scenery—green islands surrounded by sparkling ocean. Friday Harbor was charming and quaint, popular with tourists but not overrun by mass commercialism. The locals were wonderful, too, friendly and helpful. What more could you ask?

Venice, Italy. No surprises here. This ancient city is a feast for the senses. I visited here as part of a group tour, and yes, we did the cheesy things like go for a gondola ride. But my friend and I also managed to get lost one day, and that was a wonderful experience. We wandered through the laneways and alleys, stumbling across little surprises around each corner, and found a local trattoria where we enjoyed a great lunch. Everyone should see Venice at least once.

Venice Night

Kruger National Park, South Africa. It’s one of the largest game reserves in Africa and a stunning place. Seeing a giant African elephant next to your dinky little car is definitely a heart-stopping experience. You can drive for miles and not see any animals. Then you round a bend and next to the road you see a cheetah and its two cubs. Or a leopard. Or a pack of rare wild dogs.

Mount Cook, New Zealand. Aoraki, the highest mountain in New Zealand, lies in the South Island. I was gobsmacked when I visited this place. I’d never seen a glacier before and everything had an eerie look to it. We went for long walks through alpine valleys with snow-capped mountains surrounding us. Wonderful.

A beach house somewhere in Australia. Over the years we’ve enjoyed some wonderful beach holidays here in Australia. It’s too difficult to pinpoint a favourite location because the beaches here are varied and beautiful. I love the crashing of waves, the squeak of sand between my toes, the salty tang in the air, the warm sunshine on my skin. Just writing about it makes me want to go there right away.

So there you have it—five of my favourite getaways.

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