Why Buddy Franklin Favours Resorts Over Camping

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Jun 25, 2018

On the field, the star Sydney Swans forward is quick on his feet; off it, he can’t wait to put them up.

Where are you right now?

At Crown Towers in Perth with my wife, Jesinta, recovering from a game. It’s always nice to come back to Western Australia, where I grew up.

And where did you go on your last trip?

I travel interstate every second weekend for football but for the last break I took,

we went to Orpheus Island, which is on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. It was an unbelievable few days, swimming in crystal-clear water and eating lots of fresh seafood. It’s somewhere I would definitely travel to again.

What was your typical childhood holiday?

I grew up in Dowerin [a small town 156 kilometres north-east of Perth]. Any spare time we had, like school holidays, my four sisters and I would spend playing sport or camping. We were bush kids through and through.

Do you tend to wander the streets or follow maps?

The running joke is that I’ll grab an Uber everywhere I can. I’ll take any chance to stay off my feet, especially on holidays.

Is there a destination you keep returning to?

I really like travelling to America because it’s an easy trip – just one flight from Sydney to Los Angeles, with no stopover.

Have you ever been really lost?

When I first moved to Sydney, Jesinta and I went bushwalking in the Royal National Park. It was the middle of summer and we decided to hike to this waterfall. When we got there, the waterfall had dried up so we kept going until we found somewhere to stop for a swim. We were gone for eight hours and ended up about 20 kilometres away from our car, with no idea where we were. When we hit a road again, a police officer stopped and we thought he’d offer us a lift back but he asked for a photograph then drove off! We look back and laugh now but at the time we were exhausted.

Do you prefer resort or rustic?

I’m more of a resort guy, much to the despair of my wife, who’s the complete opposite. Because my job is so full-on throughout the year, I like to relax and unwind somewhere really amazing when I get time off.

What are you likely to bring home from a trip?

I usually pick up some new pieces for my wardrobe. Recently, I went to Rose Bowl Flea Market [in Pasadena, California]. You have to search through a lot of stuff to find anything good but it’s worth it – I collected a heap of old-school T-shirts. You need to allow at least half a day there.

When you walk into a hotel room, what’s the first thing you do?

Make sure the aircon is on. I like a really cold room.

What do you most like to find in your hotel minibar?

A cold beer.

Where is your home away from home?

Nelson Bay [on NSW’s North Coast]. A good friend has a place there and I visit whenever I can. Jesinta and I escaped there the day after our wedding [in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, in 2017], before the start of our honeymoon. There are 26 beaches in the area so it’s easy to find a secluded spot to swim and chill out. The golf courses are great there, too.

Which destination was a surprise to you?

Thailand. I wasn’t a huge fan of Bali when I visited years ago so I wasn’t sure if I’d like Thailand but it’s now one of my favourite places in the world. The food is incredible and there are so many amazing hotels and villas to stay in.

Have you ever roughed it while travelling?

I was fortunate enough to do the Kokoda Track in my first year of football. We were completely off the grid for a week and it was seriously challenging. I was pushed way outside my comfort zone, physically and mentally, but it’s something I will remember forever.

When you’re in a city for football, do you get out and see the sights?

For me, those trips are about preparing for a game. It’s rare that I leave the hotel.

What’s your number-one travel bugbear?

When I get on a plane, I like to relax, listen to music and catch up on sleep. Sitting next to someone who just wants to chat football or dissect my last game – especially on a long-haul flight – can be a little annoying sometimes. I’ve been stuck in some lengthy conversations on planes in my time...

If you could be anywhere else in the world right now, where would you be?

Bora Bora [in French Polynesia]. Jesinta and I had the best trip there a couple of years back. It’s my favourite holiday spot of all time. 

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