Q&A with STA Travel and Destination NSW #60DayAdventurer – Matt Harrison

November 17th, 2015 | | Events

Matt surfingSTA Travel in partnership with Destination NSW have begun their #60dayadventure to promote the sights, sounds and adventures of NSW to younger travellers. British travel film maker, Matt Harrison (26), was chosen to come along for the ride and we spoke to him to see just what he thought of NSW.

Hi Matt, you’re about halfway through your 60 day adventure, where have you been and what have been your highlights?

So far I’ve climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, toured the Sydney Opera House, experienced walking heritage tours of Sydney, sailed in 1850’s style Tall Ships around Sydney Harbour, stayed overnight at the beautiful Blue Mountains, had paddle boarding and surf lessons on Bondi Beach with Let’s Go Surfing, been whale watching, been up the Sydney Tower Eye, been jet boating, toured the Hunter Valley wineries (and tasted), tubing and archery in the stunning remote location of Barrington Tops, more surfing at Mojo Surf Camp in Arrawarra, kayaked to a remote river camp and slept in a teepee and now I’ve just got to Byron Bay… Not a bad month if you ask me! It’s really hard to have a highlight of it all but if I had to nail it down I would say Mojo Surf Camp in Arrawara. Everything was just perfect, The weather, the people, the location, the surf.  Just all came together! Loved it!
What has been the biggest surprise you’ve found out about Australia?
The biggest surprise is how many day to day words they abbreviate without even thinking about it. For instance; Afternoon=Avo’ Australia=Straya’ Vegetarian=Veggo Ambulance=Ambo Relatives=Relos Avocado=Avo’ and the list keeps on going. But I have to say I do love it and shall be taking my new Aussie ‘lango’ back to the UK with me.
What is it about the British and their love of Australia, what draws them here?
I guess what draws us British here is the opportunity to be able to live and work in a totally different enviroment. Yet at the same time not being completely out of your comfort zone. If you ask me, Australia is where the British first go independently to travel, and during their time here they accumulate a type of wanderlust. Most are then saving their hard earned Aussie dollars to venture off for another new adventure somewhere else in the world.
What makes NSW so unique?
For me what makes New South Wales so unique is the sheer variety of adventures to be found here! Anything from the beautiful picturesque beaches to surf to the snowy mountains for a ski or snowboard. It is literally all here and I’m experiencing it all first hand.
Where else in Australia would you like to visit?
I’m really intrigued about Broome located in the Kimberly region of Western Australia. From what I’ve heard it’s a quiet, mellow, friendly place. I don’t think it’s that well known but that’s what draws me to it. Friendly, mega chill, white sandy beaches, it just sounds like a place I could lose a few weeks chilling, chatting and just being.
What has the response been like via social media?
I think the response has been great so far! Getting more follows on all accounts so hopefully that means people are enjoying the content I’m posting and want to see more! And there’s lots more to come too! I hope I’m inspiring these people to come and experience the amazing variety of adventure there is to be found here in NSW! It is literally limitless.
How do the youth of Britain feel about working in Australia, is it still desirable?
I think working in Australia will always be massively desirable. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the UK, it’s my home and always will be, but let’s face it, we weren’t exactly blessed with the best weather! So this gives us a chance to live a totally different life with different cultures, adventures and people while having that gorgeous endless summer us Brits all dream about so much!
What is your advice for young Brits eager to follow in your path?
My advice to anyone wanting to ‘Live the Dream’ is to do it, and more importantly, do it now. In the famous words of Buddha which has always stuck with me, “The problem is we think we have time” and this really couldn’t be more true when you think about it. Ask any 30 year old and I bet he’ll say he has no idea where his 20’s went! I’m not saying jump on a plane with no plans or money! I’m saying stop thinking you’ve got loads of time and you’ll do in the next few years. Think about it now. Who knows what’s around the corner. Save up your hard earned money, book a ticket and trust me, the rest will follow. Try not to get too caught up in life that you forget to enjoy it. And isn’t that what life is about.. experiencing new places, people, smells, foods, landscapes, highs and even lows! Remember, we travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us!

Matt’s NSW adventures can be followed through the #60dayadventure hashtag, or on STA Travel’s website here.

Interviewed by Alex Harmon