With Spencer in Virginia

Travel Tales: Ben Alcock

Name: Ben Alcock

Age: 41

Occupation: Product Development Manager – Flight Centre Global Product; Travel blogger – Disarm Doors and Crosscheck; and regular contributor to ABC North Coast’s ‘Planes, Passports & Postcards’ radio segment with Jo Shoebridge.

Favourite travel destination?: I grew up reading Tintin books and he was regularly caught up in some Latin American adventure/fiasco/political imbroglio. So I have a real thing for that part of the world. I’m happy anywhere from Patagonia to Puerto Vallarta.

Best meal you’ve ever had while travelling?: Easy. The first time I ever peeled back the foil from a super-heated inflight meal heading to Fiji on the Funjet in May, 1980. In(cr)edible!

Best kiss?: The I’m glad you’re home one.

Best/scariest/funniest drive?: Jiggling along, hanging from the back of an overloaded truck in Laos with my 65 year old Dad. Our backpacks bouncing around amongst the bananas on the roof. Locals laughing and offering us unidentifiable treats. Good times. Best.

Where is the best/weirdest/worst place you’ve ever stayed?: In my line of work I getto stay in some ridiculously lovely places. My standard reaction sequence goes like this:

  1. OMG, look at this place … it’s incredible!
  2. Hmmm … I’m swanning around this enormous (insert fancy room type) all … by … myself.
  3. I’m such a phony … this is so far out of my league.

Best. Weirdest. Worst. All in one.

What has been the big  ‘wow’ moment of your travelling life?: Climbing onto the roof of the Train to the Clouds out of Salta in Northern Argentina. Hours spent snaking up through the thin, high altitude air and across bizarre landscapes, ears freezing, Walkman pumping Pearl Jam (it was 1997), and barely believing what I was seeing. Have never again felt so far from home.

What is your number one travel tip?:  Longhaul: Aisle. Shorthaul: Window.

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