I visited a big bookstore in Sydney yesterday. Even though I haven’t had time to read as much as I would like to, I still love browsing all the interesting looking books. One of them stood out and I almost bought it.
It was about 30-something woman who realized that she would not want to go to work, ever again. I assume that many of us 30-somethings have been thinking something similar. I admit I have – I could just travel, take pictures and forget money altogether. Why do we take working for granted? Yes I know why but still, I can question it, right? As a side note to my boss – if she happens to be reading this – I am planning to come back to work in January (only because I am broke 🙂
One thing that I hope I can keep up when back home is the idea of not doing anything that is not sustainable. What I mean is that I don’t want to waste time on things that won’t last. I truly feel that through my job I can be part of positive change, even if it’s a small one. And I hope that by travelling I am able to make the world a bit better place as well.
Oh man, these things seem to get more and more philosophical. Watch out for the next blog entry. I am probably going to announce my world tour with Deepak Chopra or something. This is most likely the second last entry so I do hope you enjoy it. By the way, I am really having so great time that I cannot come up with more than 3 items on my NOT list. Like that would surprise anyone.
1. Driving in Western Australia
If I would have to mention one thing that I could probably do forever, that would be driving around pointlessly, stopping whenever I feel like it – all that while listening some great music and enjoying sunshine. For about 7500 kilometres I was able to do that in Western Australia – probably one of the best places in the planet to do so. WA is huge, remote, beautiful, diverse and very addictive. The occasional people you see treat you like a friend – and you do feel that you need to wave for that passing car since he just might be the only person you are going to see the whole day.
2. Sea turtle encounters
Australia is a paradise for wildlife lovers and man do you see a lot of animals! Kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, dolphins, wombats, snakes and hundreds of other creatures that I didn’t even know exist. My personal highlight must have been experiencing nesting sea turtles on Ningaloo Marine Park. These big turtles travel thousands of kilometres to lay their eggs on the same beach they were born. Waiting to see them to make their way from the water to sand dunes on moonlight was really exciting.
3. Going sideways around Margaret River
The area south of Perth is ideal for wine growing and they do grow a lot of great wines. What could be a better way to take it easy than visit a few wine yards tasting different wines and eating well? Oh and those white wines were so good! Highly recommended even if you don’t know anything about wines like me.
Close your eyes – now think of a beautiful place with rocky cliffs, rolling hills, narrow winding roads, weather that can change in matter of minutes and in addition, really nice and friendly people who speak a language that remotely sounds like English, only if you could understand something. You could mistakenly think you’re somewhere in Wales or around Cork in Ireland – but no, you’re in Tasmania! This is a place I will definitely come back! If any of you readers of this blog (hey, it could happen!) are from Tassie, could you please get me a job there so I could come back soon?
5. Being a happy camper
Stop laughing! Campervaning is cool – and great way to see a place in your own pace, and especially in Tasmania where you can park your campervan basically anywhere. You can’t beat the view from your windows when waking up – beaches, mountains, rolling fields – basically anything you want. Well, I am not going to get too excited – one week in a campervan is great but after that the living in a van might get me claustrophobic. Let’s see – I have rented campervan for New Zealand as well so next time you read my blog it might be in my Not 5 list!
1. Where’s my money?
I knew Australia would be more expensive than any of my previously visited countries but I didn’t realize it would be that expensive! I ended up spending much more money than planned, well, basically on everything from food to accommodation. It’s not that my standard of living has been too high but having to pay more on dorm bed than nice hotel room in South East Asia does bug me a bit. A very basic motel room in Western Australia costs 150€ per night – and they were fully booked so someone does have some extra money! Oh well, I see money spent on travelling as the best investment one could make anyway so who cares if I am broke, at least I had my fun.
2. Australian flies
So you think flies are annoying? You haven’t seen anything until you experience the Western Australian flies yourself. You could mistakenly think +45C temperatures and hot sun would be too much for them but no, they just get meaner. It takes about 10 seconds when you step out of the car when you are surrounded by hundreds of these little devils and they don’t give any mercy. Eyes, mouth, nose – they will do their best to make your hike unbearable. I did find a cure, though. It’s called “Koala’s fart” – yes, that’s true, they sell all natural spray that does repel flies pretty well. Too bad that I found out that on my last days in Western Australia.
3. Backpacker hostels
Oh man, I guess I am really getting old! I think I do have a reason to complain about hostels, though. I want to meet locals on my travels and backpacker hostels are about the only place where you are sure not to meet any locals. They get filled up with travellers and working holiday folks who settle there for few months. Then they start acting like they own the place since they have been there so long. The most interesting stories come out of other kind of accommodation anyway so I guess it’s time for me and hostels to part ways.
Did you know…?
Bushfires occur regularly during hotter and dryer months. I myself had to change my plans since bushfires forced authorities to close many roads in Margaret river area. This time the reason was strong winds that brought fire from an area where authorities were doing controlled burning. One of the worst bushfires took place in Victoria in 2009 resulting 173 deaths.
Everyone knows Australians are descendants of criminals but there were people living in this land long before any European set their foot on Australian continent. Most of the people still refer them as aboriginals. There are about 400 000 of them in Australia, mostly in WA and North Territory. As almost all indigenous people around the world, they were treated badly as well, their land was taken by Europeans, their kids were taken away etc. It was only until 2008 when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a public apology for indigenous people. It is quite sad to see some of their communities which are infested by alcohol and drug abuse but luckily there are also signs that things can actually improve.
Australian fruit and vegetable restrictions
As an island Australia has been free from many diseases and harmful creatures that annoy rest of the world. They even have specifically trained dogs that will spot any apple or banana you might have forgotten on your bags! That’s not all; different states have their own quarantines and restrictions. They check your car on the border of North Territory to Western Australia as WA is supposedly still very much free from annoyances that have been able to reach rest of the Australia.
Ask any Australian what is the most Australian food item and I am pretty sure they’ll say Vegemite. It seems that this spread from sandwiches from 1920’s is liked by all Australians but it doesn’t really suit taste buds of other nationalities (maybe with the exception of New Zealanders and British who have something similar). Back in the day Vegemite was invented as there was a lot of used brewers’ yeast extract. Vegemite is very rich source of vitamins. I am quite sure that most of the business school students are already on holidays but ask Mr Simcoe about marketing history of this product. It’s quite interesting!
If Vegemite is Australian – Tasmanian devil is definitely Tasmanian as it can be found only in the island of Tasmania. This carnivore can be size of a small dog. Tasmanian devils have been protected since 1940’s and even though its future looked bright, devil facial tumour has been really bad for the survival of this creature since late 1990’s.