Air Canada enRoute



I was driving up the east coast of Australia in 2001 when my car broke down in what turned out to be a case of user error: I had failed to check the oil regularly. Or, let’s be honest, at all. The car was towed to the nearby town of Bellingen, and I spent an unexpected yet charming evening drinking beer at the local pub. At one point, Russell Crowe walked in. Later that night, I camped out beneath a swarm of the largest bats I’ve ever seen. It’s one of my fondest memories from that trip – and Bellingen wasn’t even on the road map when I started out.

For me, travelling is about finding the balance between planning and control and being able to give in to moments of serendipit­y. That’s why our feature story on a hands-off adventure in Tasmania (page 44) intrigued me. Writer Nicholas Hune-Brown explores the tension between holding onto control and giving it up, as every detail of the trip is planned from start to finish – but by someone else. Is this the height of control? Or the complete surrender of it?

For these sorts of trips organized by the Transforma­tional Travel Council, the planning begins with a series of Proustian questions, the answers to which provide the planners with enough informatio­n to stage your ideal transforma­tive experience. You won’t see the resulting itinerary until days before you take off. It sounds like something out of The Game, but with less Michael Douglas. Even your personal transforma­tion during the trip unfolds through a set series of actions and required journaling.

Many travellers cite the pre-planned nature of tours and all-inclusive resorts as one key to relaxing and disengagin­g the mind. Having the basics taken care of means you don’t have to think about anything except enjoying the moment. And maybe that is why the new kind of travel detailed in our Tasmania piece is an ideal compromise between surrender and control: All the planning is done for you, but it includes built-in room for surprise and unforeseen delight.

All I know is if I hadn’t left part of my trip to chance (and underwhelm­ing vehicle maintenanc­e habits), I would never have discovered that Russell Crowe owns an all-white leather motorcycle suit.

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