As an international marketing and communication agency, the RED team get to do a lot of exploring. Having travelled all the way from Australia to play rugby in the UK, we figured Mark might have had the chance to see many places in the world too. So, we decided to catch up with the Hull FC player and talk about his favourite travels and holidays of the past.
Where is your favourite destination and why?
My favourite destination would be Italy. I went there on my honeymoon and every time my wife and I go back we say we want to live there, because it’s such a relaxed lifestyle that takes you back to your roots.
You can live very simplistically and just enjoy life for what it really is. It’s a great place, we love it. My family are from Italy and so we also have that tie there. It’s in our blood.
What would be your dream holiday?
I don’t know whether I can have just one place to dream and holiday to – I want to see it all. I wouldn’t necessarily go back to the same place if I can see something new. I would rather experience a new culture and beliefs. I just want to see as many places in this beautiful world as I can.
Do you get to travel often?
During the year we don’t get to go away, but at the end of the season we get six to eight weeks off – so I try to get away, even if it’s just a couple of weeks somewhere we haven’t been to before to do something new and experience cultures.
We love to travel with our kids, because I think they can learn so much from travelling and seeing different cultures and the way other people live. I think it can make them worldly and help with their perspective on life. We want to give them every opportunity we can, so that they are grounded and grateful for what they have.
Do you remember your very first holiday?
We grew up in Sydney and Dad’s family were in Victoria, where he grew up. We would go down there and see Nonna and Uncle Vince. We used to do big road trips there and I always look on those times with fond memories. That was probably our first holiday, going to see our grandparents and cousins.
Where did you last visit and what did you do?
We visited Italy last year. We started in Venice and took the kids there for three days. It’s such a unique place and we wanted to show them the city on water, as we call it.
From there we went down to Tuscany, where we stayed in a 16th Century Tuscan villa with some lovely hosts. We really lived like a Tuscan person would, we shared the authentic Italian way, like picking olives and taking it to the press to make our own olive oil. We got to enjoy some really authentic Italian experiences, which we all really enjoyed. It was an awesome experience, and it has been one of our best holidays so far.
From Tuscany we went to Copenhagen for a week. Denmark was never really high on my list of destinations, but we knew it was great for kids. It was a real clean city and it has a lot of things for them to do – such as museums and a whole range of things. We hired bikes and rode around the city for five days, and the kids really enjoyed that. It was really different for them. Many people ride bikes there, so we wanted to experience what it was like and I think the kids really took a lot from that too. My eldest was only five, but he had his own bike and I had a big one with the other two in the front. It was pretty cool!
Have you had many other European adventures since you’ve been living in the UK?
That trip was a big European holiday for us. Since then, we’ve also been to: Paris and took the kids to Disney; Spain for the Costa Brava, where there are some lovely beaches, and Barcelona. We’ve also been to London and Edinburgh for city breaks.
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