I’m excited to present you with this lesson! It’s a real conversation I had with my good friend, Laura Huxley. Laura and I have trained and worked as actors together. She now coaches people to speak on stage and on camera for their businesses and events. She is also an international speaker herself! 

In this lesson we talk about travel and we tell each other stories about our travel experiences. This is a great lesson to listen for how we use the past tenses, and learn some travel vocabulary at the same time! 


You can also download the transcript HERE. 


Nick: So here we are with the amazing and beautiful and inspiring Laura Huxley… and from Speakers Little Secret! You can check out her website if you’re interested in what she gets up to….. gets up to… what she does.

So we’re having some chit chats.. hahaha…and we’re talking about travel. Don’t you love that subject?

Laura:  Love it! Love travel. More than anything..

Nick: Have you done a lot of traveling?

Laura: Yes… yeah. Lots of traveling. It’s how I ended up here, in Australia!

Nick: Yeah, because you’re…you’re from Manchester okay..

Laura: Originally.

Nick: Yeah we should have ….we should mention here… which is…

Laura: Which is north.. northwest of England. mm-hmm and and so yeah I’ve done lots of travel.

Nick: And how long have you been in Australia?

Laura: Nine years… nine years …oh might be over nine years now. It’ll be nearly ten actually,

Nick: So you got here in… like 2009?

Laura: … and eight. We arrived here… yeah so before that we.. we,  Jamie and I, my now husband,  who’s also from Manchester, in the UK, we just decided one day we thought…let’s go and do an around the world trip.

Nick: Wow!

Laura: .. save up all of our money and go and travel.

Nick: That’s so great…. so okay so you were in Manchester and you started there?

Laura: Yes we started in Manchester and then we flew…. the first place we flew to was India …well so that was a culture shock…

Nick: Yeah culture shock…

Laura: Big culture shock for me. So we did India. We were in India for two and a half months.

Nick: Wow that’s quite a while. Where did you go in India?

Laura: We did….we we went to Rajasthan, which is the northern state… which I made it all… we travelled and did all the temples. So places like Jaipur and Udaipur and lovely beautiful places… Taj Mahal! Have you been to India?

Nick: No, I haven’t been to India. I’ve been wanting to….. I’ve thought about going to India but I’ve been a bit, um, wary, we can say, a bit cautious because I’ve heard a lot about you know the belly you know you can get quite….sick, can’t you? Have you been to India?

Laura: Yeah I mean it does take a while to get used to. After about two weeks of being there I kind of settled into it.

Nick: mm-hmm

Laura: And I did get a did unfortunately get sick.

Nick: Did you? Yeah it seems to be part of the experience.

Laura: Yeah my husband, Jamie, didn’t. He’s got a  stomach of steel!…

Nick: Stomach of Steel. He sounds like it!

Laura: Yeah

Nick: Iron belly!

Laura: I got sick twice whilst I was there… but that’s not too bad in two and a half months.

Nick: Mmm no, that’s not too bad. Was it really bad when you got sick? Was it quite…..

Laura: Yeah….

Nick: Don’t want to go there?

Laura: It wasn’t very nice as you can imagine. So yeah. You kind of just deal with it whilst you’re there. And then we went down south… so down south is… we went… well we did the Taj Mahal and then we went down to and there’s a place called Kerala which is all you go on these gorgeous and boats and then take you out on the on the rivers.

Nick: Oh nice!

Laura: And you have a chef on the boat and he cooks.

Nick: Oh how beautiful and romantic!

Laura: Yeah and um so….

Nick: Okay…. I haven’t been… I haven’t heard much about the south of India and those parts..

Laura: The food’s very different to the north I found. It was…. in fact I would say the south of India is much more commercialised. It’s more touristy than the north of India so that means that the food that you can get there is slightly more westernised

Nick; In the south?  Yeah because the North is more authentic, isn’t it? More real and more genuine.

Laura: Yes! And no alcohol in the North you can’t have alcohol and obviously cos of the religion there…hmm but it seems to be a little bit more accessible once you get down south…so there’s places like Goa…

Nick: Oh Goa! Is a popular tourist destination.

Laura: …and we ended up being there at Christmas time.

Nick: Right… and letting loose…

Laura: Letting loose on the beach!

Nick: So what we’re going to talk about today is travel experiences. So we’re talking about some kind of interesting or strange or scary experience that you’ve had while travelling and it could be just in your own country if you haven’t traveled overseas, yeah… So did you have any sort of, some kind of weird experience when you were in India or something….

Laura: Lots!.. yeah and then I want you to tell me about your Greece…. because you went to Greece!

Nick: Yeah, I went to Greece last year which was amazing…

Laura: I’d love you to tell me about that..

Nick: I will!

Laura: So there was an amazing experience that that we had in India which was and we were in a mountain town… I can’t remember the name of it now… but it was a mountain….a mountain town but it was also where all the tea plantations were right so you would kind of drive round the mountain and all the tea pickers would be there. Yeah it’s amazing to see. Yeah and so one morning and well the day before a guy said to us I’ll take you to the top of the mountain and you can have come and have a look at the view of the whole… you know mountain range from the top.

So he said make sure that you’re ready for seven o’clock in the morning and I’ll come and pick you up in my rickshaw….you know a little… little rickshaw.

Nick: So it’s a little cart with a horse?

Laura: no no no no It’s a little buggy kind of thing. Tt’s all open!

Nick: ….and there’s a man…

Laura: …..and there’s a man that drives it So it’s a motor vehicle… but it’s slow..

Nick: Doesn’t go very fast!

Laura:  And they all pretty much use those to get around in India.

Nick: Right.

Laura: And so…. so we were ready at seven o’clock but we didn’t realise that going up to the top of the mountain it was going to be freezing cold, so we literally just had our little vest tops on and flip-flops and we were going up this mountain….we were going around and around and around as we’re going higher and I was getting colder and colder.

Nick: Did you get dizzy?

Laura: A little bit.

Laura: And then we had to put our feet inside my handbag because our feet were so cold! and then we got to the top and the guy said, “right I have to stop here but you get out, walk through that gate and then you need to go up the steps and you’ll see what I’ve been telling you about.

So right okay…. so we got out of the rickshaw and we’re going up the steps and I was being miserable because I was tired…

Nick: ….and cold!

Laura: ….and cold, yeah. I was like, these steps are so steep! And we finally got to the top and it was absolutely breathtaking, I mean….breathtaking, yeah. And we were stood in the clouds. Literally stood in the clouds. And we could see for miles and miles and miles and it was just you one of the best experiences I’ve ever had because it was unexpected.

Nick: mmm-hmm.

Laura: I didn’t know what we were going to see when we got to the top…

Nick: yeah ….yeah and so the clouds were surrounding you?

Laura: kind of, yeah. We were…. we were pretty much surrounded by the clouds. Well you could still see. There was still a degree of visibility.

Nick: mm-hmm

Laura: It wasn’t um too cloudy that you couldn’t see the view.

Nick:  and what could you see below? Was it just….

Laura: Tea plantations… valleys ……the mountains. It was just….. it was absolutely stunning.

Nick: So it was worth it. it was worth the climb..the arduous climb.

Laura: It was…it was worth getting cold feet! So um yeah… so how about you? What about… cos you went to Greece.. last…

Nick: Last year I went to Europe for my… for the first time. So I’ve travelled …you know to America and Japan and a few other places but I hadn’t been to Europe and I just really wanted to get…get over there. So I took almost four weeks and I went to Greece to stay with a friend who has a house. His parents have a big amazing house on an island called Limnos.

Laura: Hmm I’ve heard of it, yes.

Nick: It’s quite a big island and but it’s not as…. it’s not so touristy, which is good, you know? It’s not…. there’s not….it’s not packed with people from all over the place so and but the weather was just incredible and the sun, you know? It’s different to Australian sun. It’s not so harsh. I found it was more… um.. just warm and just beautiful, you know? It wasn’t so strong on your skin.

Laura: How about the food? Did you enjoy the food in Greece?

Nick: Oh, I munched up a storm! I mean I ate everything that I could… The food is amazing in Greece and and it’s very relaxed and laid-back and you know we went to the tavernas, so these little restaurants on the beach or by the beach and they just take their time…. they take their sweet time to bring anything out. You can’t hurry them, you know? When I first got there I was in Sydney mode so I was like “Well come on, where’s my cheese balls”… or you know but they.. they just don’t…no!  they’re just going to take their time and  my friend said “No, you’ve got to chill out here” So that’s an expression we’ve talked about…. chill out ….and just you know relax! And so you get into that that mode of living there which you have a siesta in the afternoon.

Laura: Yeah, it’s lovely, it’s like a slow, easy pace of  living, isn’t it? Because in England actually the perception from…. from British people looking at Australians is that it’s very laid back here.. yeah..It’s very very chilled out exactly and but that’s not necessarily the case,

Nick: Not in Sydney, anyway, yeah.

Laura: Yeah not in Sydney. You know…. I think quite often my family think I’m on holiday, most of the time.

Nick: Yeah it is a bit of a perception of Australia or it’s an image that maybe we project..

Laura: Yeah..

Nick: And it is very, um, comfortable in lots of ways compared to other countries but but um yeah it’s not always like that.

Laura: There’s still that fast pace compared to somewhere like Greece or Europe.

Nick: Exactly …in Greece you’ve got to wind down and chill out and put your feet up!

Laura; …and eat delicious food!

Nick: Yeah… really get into it.

Laura: So I had it I had it in my hand it I don’t know how I did it I don’t know how I got it mixed up but I knew that my flight back to Australia so New York – I think I was flying through Chicago okay. I had to stop off at Chicago and then there was, I think that was it and then from Chicago direct to Sydney, I think. If i’m remembering correctly. 

Anyway I knew that my flight was at 12 o’clock lunch time. The whole week leading up to the day of the flight I knew that that was the case.

Nick: mm-hmm

Laura: But for some reason, the day before I checked my flight details and I got it into my head that the flight was actually at midnight! I don’t know how or why I did it, but I obviously subconsciously wanted to stay in New York.

Nick: Yes! Well New York has that affect. I would do the same and I think I’ve done something similar.

Laura: And I had a friend there so we met for brunch an early, early kind of lunch, yeah and I decided I wanted to pick up a few gifts for my husband and for a few friends on the way back.. so there I was, in New York shopping up a storm!

Nick: Great, yes!

Laura: I was in Abercrombie and Fitch.

Nick: Yeah and down Madison Avenue,…

Laura: Yeah well you know all the main, the main stretch. Yeah not far from the…

NicK; Fifth Avenue

Laura Not far from the Rockefeller Centre.

Nick: Oh yeah, I know. Yeah.

Laura: So anyway I was in the changing room and I was trying on some gorgeous black jeans and oh I suddenly had this thought and I thought, wait a minute if my flight was at 12:00 midnight, wouldn’t it say the next date? Wouldn’t it say…..So I knew I was flying on the 28th of August.

Nick: Oh i see what you mean, so you…

Laura: I just thought… if it was midnight, wouldn’t it say the 29th?

Nick: On your ticket, yeah.

Laura: and then, my heart just sank because I knew! And I thought “Oh my god!” in the middle of everything so…. oh my god so I ran to the counter and I said I need an Internet because I’d wanted to check the internet to see whether I possibly could have got it wrong and you know possibly could have got it right…

Nick: Right it was yeah so she said, “No ma’m. The Internet…. you need to go to the Rockefeller Centre,  down the road!”  I was like “Oh my god!”. So I was running to the Rockefeller Centre and I got..I finally found a computer, in Burger King!

Got myself online and I’d completely missed my flight!

Nick: And It was already after 12.

Laura: Two hours and wow it was 2 p.m. by that point.

Nick: But it didn’t matter cause you had a bunch of new clothes! And you got more time in New York.

Laura:  I did but then I called up the airline to explain the situation to see if it could put me on a another flight and they wouldn’t and they said they could put me on standby but I wouldn’t be able to fly back for another week!

Nick: Oh no, another week, wow!

Laura: I had to buy another ticket.

Nick: Oh you had to… so they couldn’t give you another later flight, oh that’s annoying. That’s a shame.

Laura: No, so I had to buy a full ticket. So that was the downfall. Yeah, so those jeans actually cost me nearly $2,000.

Nick: Oh, I hope they’re good jeans! Um but that’s forgivable because anyone…or most people that go to New York just don’t want to leave, really or you know you’re really just being dragged to the airport. I felt like that when I was in New York.

Laura: Yeah.

Nick: So that’s a great story and um alright! There we go!. Talking about travel. So just… I hope you enjoyed the lesson and we’ll see you in the next video!

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