The thoughts, stories and advice of Bill Riddell.

Destinations and Autographs

June 12th, 2009 Posted in personal, travel

Travel and sport have always played a large part in my life. Some of my fondest memories as a child are of summer holidays spent playing or watching sport and travelling with my family.

As any self respecting sports fan is bound to do, during my youth I hunted down autographs from the star players that I revered whenever an opportunity arose.

Sorting through my library recently I found my old autograph book and postcards bundled together. Looking through them I was reminded of the thrill of the hunt for a star athletes and realised the parallels with travel for me.

Two obvious similarities spring to mind:


The anticipation of a new travel destination is very similar to meeting an idol.

Sports stars, particularly to young impressionable minds often become large than life role models. You wonder if they will meet your expectations, the person you idolised may give you a cold shoulder, be rude and shatter your perfect image.

In just the same vain, how could that dream destination possibly live up to the hyperbole. How could it be as idyllic, relaxing or scenic as it has been described by others and visualised in your own mind.


Discovering a new sports star on the rise is akin to stumbling upon an untouched new destination not yet spoilt by the guidebook trail.

I watched sportsmen in the junior and state categories that were performing well and observed their rise to the top echelons of the sport. It gives you such a sense of connection between you and the player – almost akin to that of a parent who observes their child grow to meet their full potential.

There is a similar satisfaction again to finding that little piece of paradise unspoilt, whether a whole town or quaint little eatery with superb food and welcoming service.

Related Memories

One of my earliest memories as a die hard sports fan ironically was while on holidays with extended family, all sitting around the house we were renting cheering on the Australian Cricket Team as they played the West Indies in the Boxing Day Test (a big deal to many of my fellow Australians). In between breaks in each days play I would run outside with my cousins and pretend we were playing in the match on TV, imitating our heroes and the opposition.

I recall just a few years later climbing aboard the touring English Cricket Teams tour bus after they had finished the days game. One player kindly introduced me to the others around the bus before showing me the door as they drove off.

Even more unusual than the bus hijacking was being ushered into a car racing teams garage to meet the driver by his wife. The racer, a former world champion, was in a very bad mood after his team made a mistake that caused his car to breakdown. His wife quickly cheered him up and got him to sign my book and show me around his race car as it was being repaired for another race later in the day.

  1. One Response to “Destinations and Autographs”

  2. By How I Make $300 a Day Online on Jun 18, 2009

    Hey, nice post, really well written. You should write more about this.

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