Around this time next week my lovely bride will be in Dunedin, New Zealand navigating the sea of Steinlagers, dags and lamb chops with her mum… And me? I’ll be spending a few days in Sydney, Australia staring at the Sydney Opera House with wonder and most likely drinking in a few lovely local beers (probably XXXX) myself. After a few days apart we will then board our respective planes and fly up to Cairns where we’ll spend the remainder of the time with her family at the gorgeous seafront town of Trinity Beach.
Now I’ve only been to Australia once before; however on that trip I never actually left Melbourne, so I don’t really have much of a grasp of the country other than the twangy cries of “G’Day!” and “Bloody Hell! There’s heaps of Mozzies in the bloody bathroom!” etc. so it pretty much felt like we never left Canada; and it’s for this exact reason that on those first few days when I’m down-under all alone I’ll be on a mission to do some very cool (and potentially very Aussie) things.
Keeping this in mind, I figured the best way to accomplish my goal was to come up with a “to-do list” BEFORE I go so, you know, so I can not only make the most of my time as a freewheeling’ Canadian in The Big Smoke, but also once I join up with the missus and her clan. And with the list finally made, I realize that while many of these things aren’t so much Aussie, they are still pretty awesome adventures I’ll just happen to experience while visiting either ends of Australia – sort of a “win-win” for a traveller like me. Here’s what I came up with:
Sydney Opera House: Duh! The main reason I’m going to Sydney is to see the world famous Opera House; because after visiting the Taj Mahal earlier this year this legendary (& epic!) structure is the only famous travel landmark that appears on those pesky travel posters that I’ve never been to before! After my trip to Sydney I’m planning on walking into various local travel agent offices, point at the posters on the wall and announce “I’ve been there, there, there, there, there AND (as I point to the Opera House) there!” It’s true: and further proof that small things amuse small minds…
Not Drink Fosters: As I eluded to earlier, I’m a XXXX man, but am also excited to try some of the more local craft beers, which hopefully will lead to some well-lubricated conversations with the locals. I plan to get drunk at least six times, and a few of those before noon… because isn’t that what I’m supposed to do on holiday in Auz? Who knows? I may even try and sneak a few latte’s in there as well as I’ve heard the coffee culture (A la Portland) is alive and well in the city of Sydney, and next to beer, i love, love, love my coffee!
The Excitement of Being a “Stranger In a Strange Land”: I think this is what I’m looking forward to most; that feeling of not having a clue of my surroundings, and having to figure it out as I go. It’s both exciting and a little bit freaky at the same time, but I know that it’s this exercise that ultimately helps me grow as both a traveller, and a person. Last time I remember this feeling was when navigating the back alleys and markets of Marrakech; and while I’m confident vagabonding around Sydney will be a far different experienceI’m sure it will be just as exciting -justt without the snake charmers or falafels around every turn.
Having Brunch with WDS’er – Sarah: One of the best parts of WDS was meeting cool people from all over the world; case in point. On our first night I met Sarah, a Sydney-ite who invited me to meet up with her and beau for some brunch, when I came to town, which is exactly what I’m going to do. It will be especially fun since Sarah has just spent six weeks living her dream of touring all over the U.S.A. on the adventure of a lifetime, and I get to hear all about it!
I simply LOVE catching up with folks I know from around different parts of the world! In fact, this meet up will be the greatest distance (There are 12329.4 Kilometers / 6652.9 Nautical Miles between Portland Oregon and Sydney Australia) ever for me, so I’m pretty stoked! I hope Sarah remembered the Voodoo Doughnuts; but even if she didn’t, it will be great to see her, and hear about all her adventures. And yes, that was an inside joke.
I’m Airbnb-ing It: This will be my first Airbnb experience outside the country, and I’m pretty excited as the guys whose place I’ll be staying in seem to be quite the chefs, which means I might even enjoy a few home-cooked meals when I’m there! Plus most Airbnb hosts are travellers as well, so we usually all speak the same language and usually have pretty good stories to swap of being stuck in train stations after midnight and such. I’m always excited to meet new people, and am looking forward to jumping into the culture of the city with some experienced hosts, who will hopefully have a little time to point me in the direction of some pretty cool things to see. If not, I’m sure I can figure it out pretty well on my own!
A Possible Meet up with Blogger Emma: Last week I found a personal development blog called The Marvellous Mind which challenged me to think outside the box, by asking me the definition of words like “Hippocampus”. This clearly is a place where hippos go for post-secondary education, right? Who doesn’t know that? (Turns out me! Here’s what it really means) Anyway, I’ve connected with it’s creator Emma who just happens to live in Sydney; and with a little luck we should be able to get together to swap “blogging tips” etc. over a cup of Starbucks somewhere in town… Just like Sarah, it’s so cool to meet up with like-minded people around the world and share our stories and adventures. Very cool!
Experiencing Both Trinity Beach & Port Douglas: It’s always exciting to visit new places around the globe; and just a short 50km drive up the coast is a beautiful spot called Port Douglas from Trinity Beach which my buddy Schmaltzy says is his favourite place in the whole world, which means we’ve got to check it out for sure. I’m pretty much thinking that nine days (I think?) at a beautiful ocean paradise loaded with good food, a few (dozen) cocktails and some company is just what this guy needs, as does his wife; because believe it or not, the last few months have been very hectic and stressful for us both.
Whether it’s been hiring a new aid for Tristan, or dealing with his medical issues and college college, or travelling to India, or connecting with wicked WDS’ers, or me taking an online business course, re-doing my website or Paula’s busy work schedule, or trying to get to the gym (or a combination of all of these things together) the bottom line is that we’ve been BUSY, and could both use a rest; and judging by these photos, Trinity Beach looks like just the ticket! Which brings me to the last thing I’m really looking forward to…
Well-Deserved Time Away: We are tired, exhausted and are ready for the break – even if it’s going to be a 24 hour flight (plus 3 stopovers) to get there! Seriously, other than a couple of family commitments it will be great to have a week with no agenda, few responsibilities, no timelines etc. and I for one can’t wait. I’ll even make sure I take a few wicked photos to show you all when I return… how’s that sound?
It’s time for me to go dig the swimming shorts and sunscreen out of the bottom drawer; so until I return…
- Special Thanks to the illustrious Mark Stone for his editing prowess, and epic spell checking!