Monday, 31 August 2015


Walking this morning, I have been conscious to collect any items from nature for my nature box. How many bird feathers do we see and not really see when we walk? Did I know I walk over maybe 6 different types of seed pod on my walk every time I go? We really don't stop and look and actually see, do we? Training in green tourism shouldn't be hard, it shouldn't be a pain, it shouldn't be arduous to do. It's a chance to get on board, learn some things; because the rewards of travelling with a greener perspective are much more connected travel experiences. We will get so much more out of our travel experiences.

The gathering from my walk: little seed pods like marbles with an open end like a jug, shiny seed pod like a cockroach, half a canoe shaped seed pod that would float like a boat, a black and a white feather, some duck down feather, limey yellow transition jacaranda leaves, a spray of green grey eucalyptus leaves and a sawn eucalyptus branch piece with an awesome cross section. Try carrying that without a bag, I ask you?!

Sunday, 30 August 2015


Wednesday this week brings our training sessions - where we need to train the class about our specialty group. My group is Green Tourists and I want to do a very quick activity which hopefully will make everyone realise how much nature and the environment means to travel. But first I need a nature box, a collection of items from nature that might evoke some memories for people. I've been out today and collected leaves, bunya pine branches (the prickly ones), bits of stick, bark, seeds, a few rocks, a mushroom, a coconut (OK so I bought that!) and a star fruit. I still want a bag of white sand, some gravel, some shells, a bunch of fresher stuff like palm fronds and flowers, and I'd love to find a cicada shell or a rhino beetle (dead of course). Hope the box has something for everyone by Wednesday!

Will we all come out a tad greener? I do think it's possible..

Friday, 28 August 2015


I've had my newly turned 18 boy home for a week and a half, and tonight he has to go back to uni down in Armidale, so I'm a little sad right now. It's gone really fast because I've been so busy with the course, husband being away, and managing all the daily activities for the 2 girls. So, on the travel-relevant side, he's off Brisbane to Armidale on the Greyhound Bus, departing Roma Street 5pm and arriving Armidale at 12.35am. Yikes! I've just been trying to ascertain where exactly the coach terminal is and whether there'll be a free call taxi phone there for him to call a cab. Turns out, no phone. Middle of the night, dark, cold, my beautiful boy on his own, needing to get out to the uni. Of course, he's left his mobile at uni for the holidays (why, I ask you?). I hope the bus driver is able to call him a taxi. Breathe, he is now 18.

Armidale is lovely, but possibly not at 12.35am in winter. The days will be getting warmer now, but it is a cold place in winter. They had 2 or 3 days of light snow this winter. And it gets the seasons, properly, unlike Brisbane. The autumn colours are amazing and the start of the uni year is so perfectly timed to see the colours when you drop off your intrepid first years at college for the semester!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


I want to talk about investing in human capital as opposed to investing in and thinking about social capital, which is something that came up today while talking about embracing diversity in the workplace and with our customers. The benefits of embracing diversity and accommodating people's differences and their practices and beliefs can be looked at in polar opposite ways. I think many businesses are after economic advantage, a better bottom line and would see taking on board diversity as just taking steps to open up new markets, improve their reputation (in turn leading to increased profits) and retain staff (thereby reducing their costs to retrain new staff, again making improvements to the bottom line). Would businesses that see these kind of benefits be in it for the 'right' reason? Is there anything wrong with this?

If a company is ethically grounded, they may be embracing diversity because it's just the 'right' and just thing to do, it's a human approach. The reasons they will recognise and embrace diversity will be to foster staff happiness, satisfaction and loyalty (which will of course increase productivity too, but the company is out to achieve staff happiness). These companies seek to create effective relationships within their organisations because they value social capital.

Again, it comes down to truth and honesty in why you've embraced something like diversity. It looks like and smells like falseness when a company is most interested in the 'image' they will portray to the outside; it's when embracing diversity is crossing into marketing and advertising. When showing the world you have disabled staff, for example, is what matters, not actually just having a diverse staff, some people detect the false motives, and are turned off. It's when seeing to be inclusive is more important to the company than actually truly being inclusive. Who notices this? I do.

Monday, 24 August 2015


Sadly, I'm joking. It was easy to create, but so time consuming to adjust and categorise things. I can see the usefulness of it, but really don't have as much time to 'play' as it needs. If I didn't have 3 kids, a million after school activities, dinner to think about every night, food to remember to buy, a needy kitten to play with, and 5 hundred loads of washing to do every 2 days, then just maybe, I could fluff around making my life look pretty in pathbrite! Oh gosh, I sound such an eeyore. I'm being honest though. It's a bit of a time sucker, this pathbrite thing, so let's hope what I've done is going to be what I've supposed to have done.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

It feels like coming home

What does? Going out to interview and survey people. After all the community consultation, questionnaires, and market research for tourism planning and EISs that I've done in the past, it really does feel like coming home again to go out into Southbank and find the visitors and ask questions. I really don't mind doing it, and the people I talked to were all helpful and nice. I know it's all hypothetical and the business we're creating is hypothetical, but if it were real, there'd need to be a way more statistically sound set of results, with a much bigger sample size. We're assuming the people we survey are a big enough target market out of all the visitors to Brisbane, so what they say influences our business. Maybe they are, maybe they're not really a big enough market to develop a whole business to suit. But I need to get over the flaws, and the holes in the methodology though, because it really doesn't matter for the sake of our exercise. Ha ha! Ahhh! I can't help being like this!!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Thinking creatively

Walking again, this morning, was when I started coming up with creative ideas for the next destinations presentation. Sometimes I think about coming up with a good idea, and the more I try, the more blocked I get. My better ideas seem to come when my brain is relaxed and when I'm exercising. Peru will be the destination for our presentation and I was trying to think of something different or a different way to focus the talk into key areas to talk about. So, my good idea from this morning is to use the letters of PERU for each area to focus the talk on. So P for PEOPLE , the cultures, colours and people of the history, so the Incas and the famous archaeology/anthropological history. E for ECOTOURISM as the Andes, along with the Himalayas, would be one of the the main trekking destinations in the world, and there's the Amazon as well. So the R is for ROUTES to take in Peru, all the options and recommendations. The U is for YOU, how to get you there, what you need, all the travel logistics for a trip to Peru. I think it's good.

Again, the benefits of thinking whilst walking - better ideas just start to flow.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Satisfaction? On the right track?

My week of trying so hard to catch up with all the coursework was both mildly frustrating, and satisfying for different reasons. Frustrating, because I pedalled harder, really really hard, and still didn't reach the finish line by Thursday. I did catch up on quite a few things, and submitted 2 itineraries, and at least, now I know what I am behind on! Satisfying, because I have confirmed with myself that, even though I had such a lot to do for the course, and I was single parent for the week (husband happily snowboarding in NZ!), I can achieve an enormous amount if I put my mind into it. Also satisfying, because I actually really like the itinerary work, which is what has taken up the most time this week. I feel like it's me giving a personal tailoring to what someone could actually do on their holiday. This is the stuff I like doing for my own travelling, and I realise it's not just because it's for me that I like it. I actually enjoy doing it anyway. I like researching! Also satisfying, because I don't find the selling of destinations even a little bit scary. I felt very spiffy because I'm cool with presentation, I actually really like that too. It's yet another chance to share my travel stories and talk about how great a place is with lots of people. So, on balance, after the week of craziness, the 'satisfying' feel wins the day! And that is a good thing!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015


I am a walker, and when I walk, I think. Just got back from my walk and have been thinking about the language, the words that get used to attract tourists. Fascinating, wonders of the world, truly unique, special, once in a lifetime, views to die for, pampering etc. Words can and do lure us in. When used together with pictures, it is so very effective.  But I think there is a balance to appreciate. As potential travellers, we respond to the words if we trust the authority and knowledge of where they're coming from. If we suspect the words are being 'used' to lure us in, we feel less trusting, it's less believable, and feels less honest. So the balance is honesty, truth, knowledge, and authority, up against all the advertising for monetary gain that the businesses who want us to travel with/to are putting out there to lure us in.

I'm thinking about itineraries and wonderful places I've seen and why I would want others to see them too. This year, I have been saddened about the loss of a lovely man and very influential role model to my daughter. He was suffering from cancers and had hoped very much to do a trip to North America, including New York, and in Canada, Niagara Falls, Vancouver, the Rocky Mountaineer train trip through British Columbia up to the Rocky Mountains amongst other places. Many of the places on his spectacular itinerary (which he shared with his friends shortly before he passed away, and once he was truly aware that he was not going to be able to go on) were places I have enjoyed, loved and are exceptionally beautiful. I thought, this morning on my walk, why had I wished so hard that he had been able to do his trip and see these places? Why was I so upset that he hadn't been able to go? It's because I wanted him to see them and enjoy them as much as me. It would have been something we had in common, to share, to recollect and reflect on. I felt so sad that he didn't have time enough left to see those places. For me, the key is honesty. I want people to travel to places to see and experience the diversity and differences for themselves.

Tourism marketing and how that's different to sharing your knowledge about places, is a tricky topic to navigate, and I am so much more used to sharing my knowledge from a base of honesty, so I guess I have a degree of authority (but not so much as someone like David Attenborough!). A picture maybe worth a thousand words, but I want to put it out there, that the words we use will most definitely lure people if they come from a place of knowledge, truth and honesty.

This one's for you, Bob.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Welcome to "Why not get going?", my blog. Let me introduce myself. I'm Caroline and I am a student at TAFE Southbank in Brisbane, and am enrolled in the Diploma of Travel and Tourism. Blogging is part of the assessment, so here goes....

It is week 5 of the course and I'm feeling a little behind because I missed classes in weeks 2 and 3. But my excuse is good.... I was travelling, so all good, it was relevant to my course!

This week, I have been catching up and I've done 2 itineraries, some research to do with tourism trends and factors affecting business, reading up on what is a skills matrix and learning how to start a blog! Finding a name for the blog that wasn't already taken has been the hardest bit so far. Why, "Why not get going?", you ask?? Everyone wants to travel somewhere and "Why not get going?" is going to help you get out there, and to see, feel and understand this amazing world, with all its diversity and wonders. How's that for a purpose?