Jade Harrison is a travel journalist and editor for several Australian and global publications, but her new job is about as cool as they get – travel presenter for Network Ten’s new travel series ‘Tour The World’ airing (today) January 25, 2014. Australian Content Magazine editor Genine Howard chats with the Gold Coast-based surfer chick about travel, success and tenacity.
WORDS: Genine Howard
Jade, life seems quite exciting for you right now! Tell us a bit about how your life has changed (and will change) over the next coming weeks with Tour The World airing on Network Ten?
To be honest, my life probably won’t change too much although it may get a bit busier! We’re very excited that Tour the World will be aired on Network Ten and we already have a busy filming schedule for the next series. As of March I’ll be heading over to film but I can’t reveal where yet, you’ll have to wait and see.
Tell us how you landed the role as co-presenter? We’re a bit jealous!
A bit of luck was involved. I was helping a colleague cast talent for a photo shoot and while I was online, looking at the models and actors, I thought I’d check out the postings for TV presenters. I saw the role for Tour the World on there so I applied. As it turns out, I had worked with co-host Adam Ford on a previous project that never got off the ground. I flew to Melbourne for a casting and landed the role. If I hadn’t been helping a colleague out that day, I wouldn’t have seen the post, and I wouldn’t be having this interview …!
What amazing destinations will you take us to on the show?
Well I have to remain tight-lipped on the destinations we are filming for the next series, but I can tell you that this series will take in New Zealand, Southern Africa, Canada, England, Scotland, Tasmania and Europe, to name a few. There’s certainly something for every type of traveller and some amazing destinations on offer. It’s very exciting.
What is your most memorable travel experience?
My most memorable travel experience would have to be trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in the Himalayas in Nepal. Nepal is a magical place. It’s rich in culture, the people are beautiful, the landscapes take your breath away (especially at high altitudes) and the energy there affects you in a way that makes you contemplate and question everything in life. It’s a truly special place. I also was lucky enough to spot a rare one-horned white rhino while I was riding an elephant through the jungle.
Travelling opens your mind. It grounds you, it teaches you lessons, it shows you things you never thought existed.
What do you love most about travel?
Travelling opens your mind. It grounds you, it teaches you lessons, it shows you things you never thought existed, it exposes you to culture and it can change the way you think. I also love the diverse people you meet and connect with along the way. It’s never too late to start exploring and travelling, there’s simply too much to see and experience.
I’m very lucky that my boyfriend Wallace is super supportive of my work and my career. It’s always hard being apart but it’s never for long periods of time. Personally I think he misses my cooking more than he misses me! I also really miss my dog and I miss my own bed. It’s quite a hectic filming schedule when I’m away and despite how it looks – it is hard work.
What have been some of your greatest challenges to get you here today with your new role?
But I’ve also learnt to never compromise my integrity – for anyone.
I’ve learnt that sometimes you have to just surrender and not try to control every part of your life. And sometimes when you let go, things will fall into place how they are supposed to – usually by a means you never even thought of. I’ve had so many challenges within the television industry over the last decade. I’ve been involved in quite a few pilot TV shows that have never got off the ground and I’ve had people lie to me, use me and do the wrong thing by me. But I’ve also learnt to never compromise my integrity – for anyone. There were times when I tried hard to make things happen and to be really pro-active. You can do all of that but if the timing is slightly off, it’s a lot of misguided energy. If you stay motivated and true to what you believe, it will work out how it’s meant to. I try to allow the universe to guide me on my path and I believe in keeping an eye out for signs. They are there – the problem is we’re usually too consumed in our everyday lives to notice them.
One of the motto’s I have with the magazine is that firstly, it is okay to ‘have it all’ and secondly, I believe that you can have it all. What do you say to that statement? What does having it all mean to you?
I absolutely believe if you work hard you can have it all. Thanks to my dad, that mindset was instilled in me as a child. And I don’t just mean work hard physically or in your career, but work hard on being the best version of yourself. Everyone’s version of ‘having it all’ varies, but for me it’s all about the perfect balance: having a great career, a great family and a lifestyle rich with the things that make you happy.
In terms of travel, can you give our readers five key tips to keep in mind when looking for a destination?
- Firstly, decide what kind of trip you want to take. Do you want a journey or a holiday? They are vastly different and you might prefer to laze about on a beach somewhere with a cocktail opposed to trekking the Incas.
- Temperature and travel periods can also help you decide on a great destination. If you’re wanting warm weather, consider the right season and be sure to do your research. Many tropical destinations have heavy rain seasons, which can certainly dampen your trip.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and don’t try to travel too far in a short period of time. There’s no point flying all the way to LA for just a few days (although I’ve done that quite a few times). Keep it close by if you’re limited for time and give yourself a day of recovery when you get back.
- Consider doing a tour. Tour companies like Evergreen Tours have done all the research and they know the best places to go. If they travel to a region, it must be worth seeing.
- Do your research. We are so lucky to have information at our fingertips these days. Before you decide on your destination, Google it first and if you’re travelling with kids make sure it’s suitable.
Tour the World be air Tour January 25, 2014 on Network Ten’s Saturday line up at 11am.