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Adam Goodes On What Travel Means To Him

Adam Goodes On What Travel Means To Him

Adam Goodes is undoubtedly one of AFL’s greats. A dual Brownlow Medallist who holds the record for most played games by an Indigenous player, his achievements stretch far beyond the field. In 2014, Goodes was named Australian of the Year for his work advocating against racism and his role as co-founder of the Go Foundation, which provides Indigenous children with scholarships to quality schools. Having retired from the game last year, Goodes is entering a new chapter of his life as this year’s AFL season gets into full swing. “It’s an industry I used to be part of for a very long time so it’s nice to move on to other things,” he says. We sat down with the Qantas ambassador to speak about another passion in his life: travel.


AWOL: What does travel mean to you?

AG: Travel, for me, is about going someplace for a new experience. Sometimes travel is about actually going back to country or back home, which I think is the best travel. There’s nothing better than when you’re overseas travelling for two months and you jump on a Qantas plane and you almost feel like you’re home. You almost feel like you’re catching a domestic plane from Sydney to Melbourne or something; that’s really nice. I think, for me, travel is also about seeing different parts of the world; opening your eyes to different cultures, different languages, different sights and a different way of living, so when you do come back home you should be pretty grateful for what you have here.

AWOL: What’s your favourite style of travel?

AG: Most of my travel has been with teammates, who are my mates – some of my best friends are my old football teammates. I had a really amazing holiday with my partner last year which was my end-of-career celebratory trip that we did in luxury. We flew business class on an around-the-world ticket, which was great, but then we stayed in an apartment at every place that we visited. We had such a great time. One of my favourite holidays was in Africa, in Kenya and Tanzania, and we pretty much just camped and put up our own tents and cooked our own meals for two and a half weeks and that was great, too. So I don’t mind roughing it and I definitely don’t mind the luxury side of travel.

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Amboseli National Park, Kenya. (Photo: Pixabay)

AWOL: Maybe a bit of both? Fly business class and then camp when you get there?

AG: Yeah, exactly.

AWOL: Where else did you go on that trip?

AG: We started in Stockholm, then visited Copenhagen, Berlin and Budapest. Then we went down to Venice, then to the south of France to Villefranche-sur-Mer, then Paris, London, three weeks in New York and a week in Hawaii on the way home. It was eight weeks and it was incredible. I think to finish in Hawaii for a week and to get almost back in the same time zone as Australia was the best way to come home.

AWOL: Are you getting a lot more leisure travel in now that you’re retired?

AG: Yeah, it’s definitely a bigger part of my life. Playing professional sport, I got eight weeks off a year and that was either in September and October or October and November before I had to be back at training. That limits anything travel-wise if you’re looking for sun in the northern hemisphere, so for me, it’s about going to places where I can have a European summer holiday and where I can go to music festivals in the middle of the year. I’ve already planned to go to LA and Coachella for ten days, then hopefully catch an NBA finals game on the way home. I’ve already booked to go to Ibiza and the Greek Islands – which is something I’ve always wanted to do – and stay with friends there, so that will be for a couple of weeks. It’s nice to be thinking about what else can we do and to actually have the time to plan for it and do it.

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Ibiza. (Photo: Pixabay)

AWOL: Who’s your NBA team?

AG: I don’t really have a team but I know Patty Mills really well and the [San Antonio] Spurs are going to be in the finals again this year. Hopefully I can go watch him win a game.

AWOL: Tell us about your first trip overseas.

AG: My first trip overseas was a footy trip with the Swans players. There was about 20 of us and we went to Patong Beach in Thailand for nine days. I rode a jet ski for the first time, and I crashed a jet ski for the first time that day – it cost me about $800. That’s what I remember from that trip, but it was good fun. I got to experience Thai culture; the food was something I hadn’t really tried before, and Thai food is something I definitely love now. Since that first trip to Thailand, I’ve been back four times. It’s a place in the world I love to visit and it offers so many different options for a holiday, whether it’s a romantic holiday with the girlfriend or a fun time with a group of lads. We had a good time that first trip and that definitely whet my appetite for travel. It made me say, ‘This is what I want to do at the end of every AFL year – get away for two to three weeks’.

AWOL: What’s your favourite place you’ve ever travelled to?

AG: I did a show called Who Do You Think You Are? and they took me back to the country where my ancestors are from up in the northern part of the Flinders Ranges. It’s called Iga Warta and it’s a really symbolic place for my ancestors and my people. We’re pretty much off the grid; there’s no phone reception and it’s very much what it looked like hundreds of years ago. That, to me, is a place where I can reboot the system and go on bushwalks. I can eat native fruits and animals and I just feel really at ease and very at home when I’m back there, so to have that place in Australia for me is perfect. I definitely love going back there and experiencing that. It’s one of my favourite places now.

Flinders Ranges #thepound #morningwalk #culture #wilpena

A photo posted by Adam Goodes (@adamroy37) on


AWOL: What place is at the top of your bucket list?

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AG: I’ve been very lucky with my travel. I’ve been to every continent and I really do make a point to travel as much as I can. I need to see a lot more of Asia. I’ve been to Japan once but I really haven’t experienced Japan – I really would love to do that. I’ve never seen snow so I’d like to go to Japan and experience the snow there; it’s supposed to be incredible. I’ve never been to China and I’ve never been to Russia, so they’re definitely places that I’d love to go to. I think all of them can offer me things that I haven’t seen or done before, like skiing and snow and experiencing extremely cold weather. They’re definitely on the list. A little bit closer to home, I’d love to go over to Queenstown in New Zealand and get my crazy hat on and go bungee jumping, white water rafting, and jump in an orb and roll myself down a hill – do all of these adventure sports just for the thrill of it, just ‘cause I can. I can do a lot more different activities now cause I’m not playing football.

What a special morning seeing #Japans biggest Mt. #Tokyo #extreme2014 #lastday #MtFuji #iPhone   A photo posted by Adam Goodes (@adamroy37) on

AWOL: What’s the most ridiculously cool hotel you’ve ever stayed in?

AG: I can’t remember the name of the hotel but I stayed at one near the Iguassu Waterfalls in Argentina and it was incredible. All the windows were double glazed, so when you close them you can’t really hear anything, but you open that sliding door up a little bit and you can just hear the roar of the waterfall which is still two to three kilometres away. I left my door open and it was so nice to hear that roar and know where you were and that water was always going over that edge, every second of every day and you were there to experience it.

AWOL: What’s always in your carry on?

AG: My Beats by Dre headphones, a bit of face moisturiser so I don’t get a dry face on the flights, and I always take my compression socks and compression tights. I like to sleep in those because I do like to watch my movies, I don’t like to move around too much, so at least that compression helps with my blood flow. I always travel with my pyjamas so I can chuck them on once we get airborne, and I always bring my own toothbrush.

AWOL: Any expert tips for beating jet lag?

AG: I have heaps of tips for beating jet lag. Stay away from red meat and alcohol; it’s a bit of a trap when you get on a plane – to eat and drink ‘til you pass out – but you always wake up with a sore stomach because of not being active after you eat red meat, so stay away from that. Drink lots of water and when you can, especially at the start of a flight, get some walking in so that when you can get some rest once you lay down to sleep. I think it’s tough to try and get on local time. I always find I only get jet lagged on the way home, so the way I’ve avoided it in other places is to head out as soon as I get there; go out, have a few drinks, have dinner and try and last through ‘til the night time. A bit of an aviator wives’ tale that I learnt is when you come back from overseas and can’t sleep, getting some vitamin D can really help. Just sitting there with your eyes closed looking into the sun can really replenish those cells and also make you tired.

AWOL: Window or aisle?

AG: Definitely aisle for me. I’m 6’3” and while it’s nice to see the plane leaving the city and entering a different one out the window, when everyone is having a sleep and you have to climb over people I definitely prefer to be on the aisle.

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