About me

Once upon a time in a land with a long white cloud a couple of fresh-faced, 20-something Kiwis from different sides of the Wellington harbour met, courted & got married.

She had a burning desire to travel & explore the world and worked as a Travel Consultant for the Government Tourist Bureau, while he was a well-regarded Auctioneer who had never left New Zealand and had no real desire to do so.

Sometime in the first year of marriage her pangs of wanderlust grew too frequent to ignore and she told her new husband that she was going travelling…with or without him. A go-with-the-flow kind-of guy, the two blonde, long-haired lovers – who could easily have been mistaken for one half of ABBA – left the comforts of their home country and set off on their travels.

With a ticket that allowed them twelve months to reach Europe and two stopovers, they nominated Australia & Africa as their destinations of choice. Their first few months were spent just across the Tasman on the East coast of Australia, after which they caught a train across the Nullarbor to Perth where they settled long enough to join a rugby club and fill their $17 a week Scarborough flat with the latest in milk-crate furniture.

But when injury meant that his rugby days were numbered they decided to continue their travels, and spent the better part of a year in Southern Africa. They rode ostriches in Oudtshoorn and elephants in Kruger National Park, then swapped African animals for an airplane and rode on to London. England, Scotland & Wales were toured in a van purchased outside Australia House, trusty enough to then take them from The Netherlands to Scandinavia to Turkey, back to London, and almost everywhere in between.

Their return home to New Zealand was short-lived, deciding instead that they would call Perth home – they have been there ever since.

Fast-forward a few years and my story begins, although it is clear that the foundations were laid long before my arrival when those blonde, 20-something Kiwis met in a Wellington pub. They are my parents you see, and their story paved the way for mine.

It seems that my Mum passed along a fairly decent dose of the travel bug; I have always felt a strong impulse to travel & explore the world. Just as she was, I too was guided by the frequent pangs of wanderlust, choosing to ignore the advice of the school careers counsellor (who suggested I be a journalist) and instead pursue a career in travel & tourism. After completing the relevant qualifications I set about gaining valuable industry experience, and in between – and most importantly – I took every opportunity to go, fly, roam, travel, voyage, explore, journey, discover, adventure.

I am a planner but also a dreamer; I seek adventure but also a sun lounger & a sundowner. In fact I might be described as an ‘everything in moderation’ kind-of woman (except if we’re talking about ice-cream). I love the outdoors; I believe that nature is one of our greatest teachers, and that a dip in the ocean makes everything better. I’m in love with a Scotsman, Mum to fur-baby Rudi and baby girl Isla, and a home renovation enthusiast. Oh, y yo tambien hablo un poco espanol.

Where I've Travelled

It was never my destiny to be in one place for too long a time. Thankfully my parents weren’t afraid of travelling with two tiny humans in tow, albeit being a little less free-spirited than their pre-children adventures.

The time for my own free-spirited adventure came when I was 25. I was hungry to learn & to do better – so I travelled, as far and as widely as my imagination & wallet allowed.

The plan was to leave Perth in the winter, backpack around South America, arrive in the United Kingdom penniless and work summer to summer, then buy a campervan and spend six months throughout Europe. And as the trip planning gathered momentum so too did the travelling party, increasing from twin to quad share quicker than you can say, “RV there yet?!”

It is difficult to compress a few years into a few paragraphs, but I hope to upload some photos below as I am sure they will tell a better story anyway.

My return home to Perth was a few years later than planned, punctuated with a three month adventure in South East Asia, and with a considerable amount more baggage than I had left with (mostly in the form of a strapping Scotsman).

There have been many shorter trips since, and hopefully many more to come.

I have been to places I don’t care to return to & some I could call home; slept on the side of roads and in 6-star hotels; ate from street carts and in world-famous restaurants; travelled by foot, bike, car, bus, train, boat & plane – and I am grateful for all of it.

Favourite countries include Argentina, Australia, Croatia, Iceland, New Zealand, Scotland, Switzerland, & Vietnam. Favourite cities include Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Cardiff, Dubrovnik, Edinburgh, Hoi An, Istanbul, New York, Paris, Prague, Singapore, & Wellington. Spending Anzac Day in Gallipoli, Carnivale in Brazil, hiking the Inca Trail & Machu Picchu, horse-back riding in beautiful Bariloche, jumping out of a plane over Interlaken, & kayaking with my sister along France’s Dordogne River, gave me some of my favourite memories.

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Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Laos, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, Vietnam…watch this space, I’m not done yet!

Services I Provide

It’s a big world out there; a world that’s full of exciting places to explore & experiences to be had. So whether you’re taking off for work or for play, it helps to have someone on your side. Someone with the insight, expertise & passion to get you where you want to be – in the easiest, most efficient way possible. Someone like your very own Personal Travel Manager. Someone like me!

I know travel. There is a good chance I’ve been there but if not, chances are I’ve thought about it & researched it! I have extensive general knowledge, with a particular interest in cruising and family-friendly travel. I also have the support of a National Partnership Office which ensures I am across all of the latest travel information.

I’ll save you time. With endless choices and more important things to do, let me cut through all of the clutter and match you with the best travel product/s for you. I will happily come to your home or work (or even your favourite café or pub) to plan your trip, and I’m always just a phone call or email away.

I’ll save you money. With over 500 personal travel managers across the country, TravelManagers Australia has incredible buying power and therefore great partner agreements with all of the major international & domestic travel providers. And without the overhead costs that regular travel agencies have, I can afford to offer competitive rates.

I’m here for you. Travel can be unpredictable, and if something unexpected happens while you’re away I am on hand 24/7 to help sort everything out & get you on your way again.

I’ll go the extra mile. In fact, I have a reputation for doing so. An experienced & passionate travel professional, I pride myself on customer service & attention to detail.

I’ll give you peace of mind. It is important to me that you feel confident in handing over your hard-earned money – TravelManagers guarantees to provide complete financial security while you’re money is in our hands. Click here to find out more.

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Jodie McConnell

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