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Member TRAVELOGUE J oan Kearney ha h s allways been b

passionate about travel and this independent divorcee made sure

her son, Mark, grew up with the same appreciation for the wonders the world holds for the curious mind. For Joan, a week’s timeshare in Antigua

was the perfect gift for Mark. “I wanted to enable him to see the world and to share the experience with friends,” she explained. “Through travel I’ve discovered that I have a real sense of adventure — not for me lying around on a beach all day!” After joining RCI in 1991 when she bought a week at Club Tarahal in Tenerife, Joan immediately exchanged for a week in Acapulco in Mexico and loved it so much she bought a second week of timeshare, there and then at the resort. As a sales representative for a publishing

house Joan made many friends in her career who became travelling companions. One of them, Caroline, accompanied her on her fi rst RCI holiday to Acapulco where Joan overcame her fear of water to reach the ‘swim to’ pool bar on their resort!

Safari so good!

South Africa’s Transvaal stands out as a truly spectacular RCI exchange holiday destination for Joan. She and friend, Julie, stayed at the Kruger Park Lodge on the doorstep of the Kruger National Park. Though the holiday was back in August 1999, Joan remembers it as if it were yesterday. “It defi nitely had to be a safari,” says

Joan. “We decided to plan the safari ourselves and indeed we took off in our hire car through the park. The fear factor was part of the fun and it was the most exhausting but enjoyable experience. But you really do have to go off road to see the ‘big fi ve’ and so we booked an offi cial tour through the helpful staff at our RCI timeshare resort.” It proved to be the trip of a lifetime, as

Joan explains: “There were just six of us on the early morning safari, together with an assortment of African wildlife, of course. We were about to return when our guide got a radio call to say lions were in the area so he got us right in among the pride. We couldn’t believe it! The alpha male stayed back and

Incredible India

Summer 2007 saw Joan in search of tigers with friend Sue in India. The intrepid duo found their tigers at Ranthambore National Park… and a whole lot more besides. “India was like no other place on earth. Being part of such a different way of life was, genuinely, a once in a lifetime experience. There were animals on the streets and a blaze of colour everywhere. “We did the ‘Lady Diana’ pose

on the bench by the Taj Mahal and wondered at its unearthly beauty at sunset; we rode rickshaws in Delhi and couldn’t believe how fast he went carrying all our weight; visited Humayun’s Tomb, a monument to Delhi’s past; we marvelled at the Red Fort in Agra, built to defend the imperial city of the Mughal emperor, and we bought Indian emeralds in Jaipur.”

sights, visiting hidden waterfalls, bathing with monkeys in hilltop lagoons — just everyday life on a Joan Kearney holiday. New Zealand is on Joan’s travel agenda

for 2012, plus a return to Florida and the theme parks — this time with her grandson. She said: “Being a timeshare owner and RCI member has made an incredible difference to my life. I just couldn’t keep going back to the same place and I will never be able to do enough travelling.”

Joan, left, with Caroline in Mexico

put himself between our jeep and the cubs to protect them. Then, just as we were relaxing, a gazelle-like animal leapt out in front of us followed by a lioness and we actually got to see the ‘kill’! The cubs quickly scrambled and fought comically with each other to get to the meat. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and the guide said it was a rare thing to see fi rst hand.” After unwinding in sleepy Hazyview, the

small town close to their resort, and taking in the local crafts and restaurants, the adventurers drove to Zimbabwe, stopping along the way to explore. “It was a day’s drive and quite scary knowing there were animals out there in the long grass, but we had the reward of a helicopter fl ight over the Victoria Falls at the end of our trip.”

After that kaleidoscope of Indian life

Joan admitted a highlight of her holiday was getting to the RCI resort – The Royal Goan Beach Club at Benaulim in Goa. Joan and her friend fl ew to Goa for some well- deserved R&R where this self-confessed action girl found herself glad to have a beautiful beach to lie on. “That resort and the nearby beaches were the perfect tonic to the excitement of our tour week. The Goan beaches are wonderful and we shared them with meandering cattle. The other RCI members at the Royal Goan were so friendly and we soon formed a lively community which was a real bonus.” Before the week was out, Joan had

discovered how cheap the taxis in Goa were and she was off again exploring the local HO

www.rcicom HOLIDAY 21AY 21

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