The Silver Travel Forum – important update

Our Forum is now only available to read rather than to contribute to discussions. You can still access all threads, but you will no longer be able to add your own comments. If you would like to write a review instead, please click here.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]

Silver Travel Book Club - Book of the Month - September 2018

I have been retired for seven years and in that time I haven’t gone on long around the world trips but I have been on numerous smaller adventures. Right after I retired I spent a month in Ontario visiting friends and family who kept commenting that I couldn’t keep a smile off my face – yes, I knew when I returned home I didn’t have to go back to work! Five times I have spent a month in England visiting family and four of those trips included week long stays in Ireland, Paris, Northumberland and Cornwall. One year included a shorter excursion to Shropshire on assignment for Silver Travel Advisor at the Buckatree Hall Hotel. To top it off I have driven from Saskatchewan to Ontario (just over three thousand kilometres around the Great Lakes) twice, the last time being two years ago when I moved. Travel has been a way of life all my life so in retirement I have simply kept up my tradition. I feel blessed that I have family that also loves to travel and are willing and able to hit the road, air, rails and sea with me. When I’m not traveling, I’m reading or writing about travel. This books looks like a fun and informative read!

Having a daughter who lives in New Zealand I have travelled round the world twice and Australasia once. I always visit my brother in Australia, friends in America and at least one country I have never been to before so Katmandu, Bali, Peru, The Galapagos, and Cuba have all been visited.
The first trip I tried to book all my flights via the internet. Thankfully I also approached 5 round the world agents. The company I settled on (Travel Nation) saved me over 2000 pounds!
The stretch of journey I hate is always through North America. I don’t think I have had one straight forward journey with any American airline and, on the whole, have found their staff unhelpful and rude.
Coming through Singapore on my way to Australia was interesting. I had a bottle of home made limoncello in my case. I declared this and was pulled over and taken to a customs room. “What is it?” I was asked, and innocently replied it was a type of lemon drink. When asked did it contain alcohol I answered “just a little.” Fortunately she did not ask to taste or smell it. It was knockout. While there another couple were having problems and like me they were only in transit. They had 200 cigarettes bought in duty free at their departure airport. They were being asked to pay duty on them!

I love travel books and try to find out as much as I can before setting off on another adventure, mainly through these books. I also read novels from the countries to be visited as they help me to understand the culture and people. I’m often a single traveler and reading of other travellers adventures often makes me feel braver and gives me the courage to go out there and explore more.
Happy travelling and reading everyone.

Exeter. UK.

Thanks ESW for your comments. I can assure you the strawberry event was a pure (but almost very costly) mistake. I had no intention of conning anyone. This was twelve years ago and even then I was concerned about biosecurity. I am even more aware 12 years down the line. Thanks also for your other interesting comments regarding travel. It’s always handy to know.

As isolated islands, both New Zealand and Australia take take biosecurity very seriously @DarDoRa
You have only to look at the number of ‘imported aliens’ to realise this. We recognised many of our native songbirds and weeds in New Zealand. I think there are more sky larks there than in the UK.

We were given a customs declaration form on the plane before landing at Aukland, on which you have to declare any animal or plant products, walking and fishing equipment and so on. I think they also wanted to know if you had visited a farm in the month before. Any forms with a tick are screened. We had to declare walking boots with cleated soles and had to show them to prove they were clean. If they hadn’t been they would have been cleaned there at a considerable a cost, as well as a delay which would have meant we missed out connecting flight to Christchurch. It was all very friendly, but don’t attempt to con them as all luggage from every passenger is X-rayed before being cleared and penalties are steep. The machine picked up our boots and the operator checked that customs were happy, before letting us through.

Chile is also very strict about the import of any foodstuffs and sniffer dogs work the airport. Husband arrived with small packets of raisins . He was diabetic and these were his emergency rations. We were honest and declared them only to be told they were a banned foodstuff. Apparently if they had been salted raisins (???) that would have been OK!

Another time we were crossing between Argentina and Chile by bus. Passengers were frantically trying to eat all their food before we arrive at the border. We were asked if we had any wood products. We’d bought a small carved rabbit for daughter and had to show this to customs who deliberated long and hard before deciding to let it pass.


Upon my retirement, my wife and I decided to do a round the world trip. Manchester to Singapore to Sidney to New Zealand to Fiji to Santa Monica to Heathrow and back to Manchester. We found that Singapore was a lovely, warm friendly place to stay. Everyone was friendly. Great climate – quite warm/hot (almost on the equator!).
Sydney – my wife in her “wisdom”, and unbeknown to me, had decided to put a punnet of strawberries in my rucksack. Entering Sydney I was greeted by a really cute, friendly puppy which was taking an unusual interest in my rucksack! The (quite serious) dog handler asked me if I had packed my rucksack (I had, with the exception of the strawberries) and the bag was then opened and the offending strawberries were revealed in all their glory! I was severely reprimanded and warned that had I reached the customs gate, I would have been fined $1000 Australian dollars! Whew, a narrow escape. A lesson learned. After an enjoyable three days in Sydney including a trip to a Koala farm we continued on to New Zealand. Upon arriving in Auckland Airport I was asked if my shoes were clean(?!). How does one answer that question? what is the definition of “clean” when applied to the shoes one is wearing? I stated I had been to a Koala farm and surprisingly was allowed through into Auckland.
New Zealand and Fiji were relatively trouble free (travel wise). However, on the flight from Fiji to Santa Monica we hit some ‘clear air turbulence’ causing our aeroplane to drop violently, and a glass of red wine to float in mid-air before depositing itself and its contents on to a passenger’s pristine white shirt. Apparent panic by the cabin hostesses ensued who did their very best to launder the shirt whilst offering the owner temporary attire. All in all an eventful but very enjoyable trip. Would we do it again? Of course we would – bring it on!!!
Don (“The Sydney Strawberry Smuggler”).

Lots of big travel stories on the forum. The most I have done is one trip around the world to the right, from London, to the Middle East, and Sydney for 3 weeks in Australia, then on to Auckland for a week in New Zealand, I remember I had picked up a bit of a cold and the smell in Rotorua cured me in a day – those hot springs are good! Flew back to Singapore for the week-end and then back to London. It was a great 6 weeks, and I would love to win the book and read about the world to the left! I think I had less jet lag going to the right – I wonder if that is so or not?!

Great picture of @davidcmoore and Helene on the Great Wall of China. Have you totted up how many ‘Magic Kingdom Moments’ you had on the trip, David?

Good TBV tips from David for @CCH – Myanmar & Cambodia.

The Silver Travel Book Club, in partnership with TripFiction, introduces books to enhance members’ travel experiences, whether physically or ‘virtually’. But films have often had the same effect on me. ‘Missing’ with Sissy Spacek and Jack Lemon inspired me to go to Chile, and ‘The Killing Fields’ left an indelible impression about the civil war and life under the heinous Khmer Rouge regime. David’s book Turning Left Around The World paints a much more rounded picture of this beautiful country, and the temples of Angkor Wat sound unmissable.

I agree with you, China was a great experience and standing for the first time on the Great Wall of China was emotional – we call it a ‘Magic Kingdom Moment’ in the family, when Helene just can’t keep the emotion in…

On your TBV’s may I suggest Cambodia to visit all the wonderful temples in Angkor Wat, perhaps combine it with Myanmar – an extraordinart culture

Good Luck @bettyc
We share our passions for reading and travelling

Since I retired I’ve enjoyed reading and travelling and this book looks ideal for both interests. Hope I win this book.

The Bay
This thread is locked. This means you can't add a response.
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top