Australian Office

Alana Nichols

This week, ‘40 years, 40 stories’ presents Alana Nichols – host and producer of the travel show FOLLOW ALANA. Alana has had a special connection to Australia since a young age. She shares her story:


I was born with a rare form of profound hearing loss. We went to Europe, Asia and to the US, but the doctors there would not perform cochlear implant surgery on me. Fortunately, in Australia, there was one doctor who was willing to give me a chance.

Though he told my mother he didn’t think it would be a success, she responded ‘just try, because she's got nothing to lose at this point. She’s 100 per cent deaf’. The surgery was a success – and from that point on, Australia became a very special part of my life.

Having a cochlear implant absolutely changed my life. I have the greatest respect for people who use sign language only, but for me personally, having a cochlear implant has made a huge difference in my life – it has allowed me to connect with people that I might not have been able to otherwise and, as a result, build a lot of meaningful relationships.

Some of my wonderful memories as a teenager and a young adult living in Australia include taking a quick plane ride up to Cairns because I really loved the diversity of activities on offer. One day you can be snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. The next day you can be swimming in the rainforest, visiting the beautiful mountains or you can just be relaxing in the city enjoying that lifestyle as well. This is why it is one of my favourite places to go, because you really get this wonderful mix of activities.

Another favourite memory of Australia would be when filming for my show, sleeping on a platform on the Great Barrier Reef overnight. There were no city lights around. It was just me and my team, and we stayed the night, looking at the stars. One of the most magical nights I have ever experienced.

I think if you are new to travel, Australia would be a good starting point. It’s pretty close in terms of flight time from Taiwan and you don’t have to worry about the time difference too much. In addition to that, people are extremely friendly in Australia and there's so much to see, do and explore.