Deborah Mackie

About Deborah Mackie

I’m an Australian-based travel writer lucky enough to be able to combine a passion for travel, the opportunity to do it frequently and the unique storytelling skills to give others the same experiences.

To me there is only one thing better than travelling the world and experiencing its people, food and places. And that’s being able to share those experiences with others.

Now retired from varied but related careers, I draw on skills developed throughout my working life:  the fact-checking and nose for a story of journalism … the attention to detail of ministerial speechwriting …  the people skills and creative flair of marketing … and the analytical, questioning mind of law.

They have all come together at a time when I am blessed with the opportunity to travel extensively, both overseas and in Australia.

It’s a big world and I enjoy seeing as much of it as possible. Sometimes I travel with my husband, Bruce, and at other times I might be solo. At other times I will be with family or a group of friends.

But, irrespective of the dynamics, I realised a long time ago that there is more to travel than airports, hotels and queues at the tourist icons. To me, it’s all about the experiences. It’s all about the people, the food and the places.

‘People” can mean anything from the customs and culture of a country or region, to the actual individuals I meet along the way.

And those individuals could be the people at the next table in a restaurant, or the person standing beside me in a line or sitting beside me on a plane. It might be a concierge, a taxi driver, a barman, a flower seller or the helpful butcher or shopkeeper. It could be a tour guide, the AirBnB host or a footpath artist.

It’s during these impromptu interactions that I get the real travel experience. I learn about other people’s lives, their travels and families. I get to hear about that hidden gems, those local attractions that I shouldn’t miss but would not otherwise have known about. I get given tips on how to best prepare the local produce I’ve just bought or where to buy the best local meal. I’ve even heard about love lives and family tragedies, and people have shared the life events that prompted their travels and brought them into my orbit.

Experiencing the local culinary culture of a place is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Whether it’s sampling regional delicacies at a crowded food festival or inhaling the aromas of fresh produce at a small local market; whether it’s buying just enough for a meal for two from the local fisherman selling the morning’s catch out of his boat at the waterfront or learning the secrets to creating authentic local dishes at a traditional cooking school; whether it’s a gourmet Michelin meal or a share table in a family restaurant. These are all part of the best travel experiences.

Places are also a huge part of these experiences. Learning about the history and stories behind landmarks and monuments adds a new meaning to travel. Greek temples and Roman ruins, battlefields and war memorials, galleries and gardens. They all hold a wealth of stories that are begging to be told.

It’s often been said that life is short and that we should be careful not to concentrate too much on making a living at the expense of making a life.

As a travelpreneur I have it both ways. I make a living while at the same time making an extraordinary life. And it’s the enthusiasm for that life – a life of travel, people, food and places – that inspires my storytelling.

My passion is to bring authentic travel experiences to everyone:  by either motivating readers to travel to a place themselves, or by allowing them to enjoy the trip vividly and vicariously if they can’t.

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Canberra, ACT

Deborah Mackie