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  • Maria Moraitakis

'Oh, The Places You'll Go!' A Barking Owl Itinerary 2022



Hands up, who had Christmas or holiday plans changed because of COVID? 🙋🏻‍♀️

Most of us, I’m sure.


The good news for 2022 is that most Aussie borders are now open (hopefully WA will come on board too soon) and many international destinations are also now open to us so we thought it would be fun to see where the Owls were planning on spending their downtime in 2022.


There is so much pent-up excitement within the Owl family to spread our wings and go, well frankly anywhere, that it didn’t take long to create the list of our trips which includes everything from fun in Fiji, work travels to Uluru, an archeological dig in Malta, an African safari plus local celebrations with a compulsory cocktail or two in hand. When you get to the end of the list, you’ll see what a pretty picture our trails make and hopefully be inspired to work on your own wish list.


Whatever the trip, we hope they will all happen, and that we’ll be able to add more to the list. Let’s go! ✈️

Chief PR Owl - Jill


After having her wings clipped over Christmas and New Year with the dreaded Omicron, Jill is soooo ready to fly after almost two hard years steering her travel PR company through COVID ridden lockdowns. The plan is to start local then go big.


First up on the travel agenda is a trip south to Wollongong in late January for a taste of live music for 2022. What’s in Wollongong? Firstly, it’s not home and it’s out of Sydney. Secondly there are great beaches to enjoy and thirdly, SummerSalt Music Festival. The festival is no longer headlined by the amazing Cat Empire but there is still great music to be enjoyed (no singing or dancing though says the Premier!) with the Teskey Brothers, John Butler, Holy Holy, The Waifs, Boy & Bear and more. Jill is looking forward to a seaside break and will definitely be out of here for a few days.


In late February, work sees Jill travel to Cairns for the launch of Experience Co’s new pontoon based at Moore Reef. The pontoon will provide a new experience to put on the agenda for a Queensland holiday with the opportunity to dive, snorkel or just enjoy the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef in the underwater observatory.


Next up is a busy few days at Uluru in March staying at the recently refurbished Desert Gardens to co-ordinate a media event to celebrate the first anniversary of the Gallery of Central Australia which is home to an amazing array of Indigenous art and artefacts from emerging artists in the region. The gallery opened almost a year ago however the official opening has been rescheduled twice due to travel restrictions. As well as the anniversary of GOCA, Tali Wiru - the ultimate in dune-top dining experiences with an Indigenous flair is celebrating its 10th birthday. The spiritual heart of Australia has been unreachable for many of us for so long, I'm sure many are taking Uluru off their bucket list and putting it firmly on to their to-do lists to enjoy the natural beauty of the spiritual heart of Australia and to educate ourselves further on our country’s incredible Indigenous culture.


At this time plans have only been made until July with a summer European trip on the cards. Details on this trip are still fuzzy but the plan is to meet daughter, Liv after her archeological dig experience in beautiful and buzzy Rome before joining me in Lisbon for a little tour of Portugal and Spain, ending in Barcelona. I personally hope this one comes off!


 

PR Queen - Katie


Katie’s travel list is enviable and starts with a weekend getaway to celebrate one of the many 50ths that seem to be happening around the Owls this year. A trip to the south coast, Callala Beach will include good food and wine as well as beach time to go along with the celebrations with good friends.


Along with work trips with Jill to Cairns and Uluru, Katie scores the top prize with a trip to experience the warm Fijian hospitality on Turtle Island. Katie is looking forward to everything the luxury island has to offer from fresh farm and sea-to table dining, beach time on the many beautiful private beaches on offer and to enjoy the welcoming local culture. I think Katie will be enjoying a well-earned opportunity to relax on one of the Island’s 12 white sand beaches or snorkel and swim in the warm Fijian waters - even though there is a bit of work involved.


More birthday celebrations will take Katie to Broome in May so hopefully WA will become part of Australia by then to allow for these birthday celebrations on the west coast. This won’t be the first visit to Broome for Katie but this time it won’t be work and it will be all about friends, holiday and celebrations.


Next up is the Mornington Peninsula on a rescheduled visit from a COVID cancelled holiday in 2021, I’m sure we are all familiar with that! The beautiful Victorian Mornington Peninsula will be another weekend of good food and wines enjoying the stay in great Air BnB accommodation.


Finally on the travel wish list for 2022 is a safari in magical Kenya in December, a wonderful way to celebrate a special birthday with her brother. Katie and the birthday entourage of family and friends are looking forward to a wake-up call by giraffes at Giraffe Manor and wildlife spotting, especially the Big 5 in the Maasai Mara. All of Katie’s adventures are amazing and frankly I want to go along, especially on safari!


 

Instagram star and Office security – Penny Posh Pup


When Katie’s away Penny gets to play up by staying with friends and having sleepovers with her favourite pooch pals. Needless to say Penny gets very spoiled on these holiday visits. Penny may also pay a visit to Dogwoods, a boarding kennel based on a farm west of Sydney with its own river. A dog’s dream life I imagine.


 

Finance Manager - Jackie


Jackie’s travel plans are currently organised until April. They are based within Australia which in some cases, has been as out of reach as international destinations for much of the last two years.


Jackie’s first break was early this year to have some well-earned down time to revive and relax with the family on the beach in Nelson Bay. This trip was unfortunately not quite as anticipated with the visit of COVID to several members of the family.


Making up for that is a trip away with the girls. Jackie has just come back from a weekend trip to Killcare. Judging by the photos of wine glasses and smiles a fun stay was had.


Special occasions mean special plans and an anniversary trip to Marramarra Lodge in the Hawkesbury is planned for this celebration. The amazing views, food and accommodation here will ensure a great weekend break.


I’m sure Jackie will add more fun places to visit as the year rolls on.


 

Chief Social Media Manager – Liv


Joining her family as well as her partner in Wollongong, Liv also enjoyed the incredible music played at the 2022 Summersalt Festival! Her favourite act was definitely John Butler but she is partial to The Teskey Brothers.


The next day, she ended up going Skydiving with our mates over at Skydive Australia! She can't distinguish as to what was more exciting, seeing live music for the first time in two years or jumping out of a plane 15,000ft high!


This weekend, Liv's domestic travels will also take her over to Avoca Beach, where a week lounging by the sand with her partner will fill up her Instagram feed! She is excited to spend some quiet time with her man as well as enjoying a few books, and of course some cocktails and fresh seafood sprinkled throughout.


Liv’s international travel plans this year are really exciting and align with her archaeology degree. In June she will journey to St Paul’s Bay in Malta to conduct an on-site excavation of a Roman settlement. New technology and traditional methods are going to be used to see if they can work out what the daily lives of those that came before us may have looked like. The area hasn’t been excavated before so everything will be an enormously important discovery.


After this, she will continue her travels to other sites of amazing historic relevance including Rome, Naples (Pompeii and Herculaneum) and a week's trip in Greece where she will also mix in some more contemporary activities with a few restaurants and wine bars already on the agenda.


 

Office Manager – Me!


I’ll be following the Chief Owl, for some musical fun in Wollongong and then a quick weekend break in Canberra. In July, I’ll hopefully be off to Lisbon. We are thinking of adding the South of France to our itinerary, specifically Le Castellet to see the F1 Grand Prix in July and a quick trip to beautiful Paris on the way home.


I am also putting some domestic trips on my holiday wish list - the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley, Broome, Margaret River, Adelaide, Melbourne maybe?? Who knows, so much to choose from.

I’m sure no-one needed to be inspired to think about where you might want to visit after we’ve spent the last two years not going anywhere. Hopefully now we’ve got you thinking about your travel planning!

Happy travels!!


 

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