First bit of travel ramblings


I bought my tickets to travel last Friday. $2075 for airfare from here to Australia then on to New Zealand, Fiji, then Honolulu and home. I've thought and talked about traveling for a while but hadn't ever done much beyond looking at REI for cool travel gear. Now I have tickets… I am going… and it's a mixed bag of feelings. I'm going to miss my dog. It's probably bad that that's the thought foremost on my mind. But I rescued her from a shelter and I remember the animal control officer who I filled out the paperwork asking me if I was going to keep her forever. I'll have her when I come back and she won't want for anything staying with my dad, but I can't help feeling that I'm sort of abandoning her. She was so scared when I first got her and now she trusts me implicitly. I can do no wrong. She loves everyone she meets, but she really loves me. And I'm going to leave her for several months. But enough depressing thoughts – she'll have fun with Pete and the month she'd have to stay in quarantine to come with me would be much crueler than having to live in my dad's big house eating chunks of steak… damn lucky dog. But anyway.

I've been reading lately a couple of other travelers' accounts and adventures in Oz and I'm starting to wish I had about twice as much time as I do. I definitely want to see Ayers Rock, I want to try Crocodile and Emu – and maybe Kangaroo meat if I can get the cute faces out of my head. I want to dive the Great Barrier Reef and see Daintree rainforest. I want to visit the studio of Triple J (the radio station I've been listening to for a while now). I want to visit Tasmania and hopefully see a real Tasmanian devil. I want to drive (or just ride) along the east coast, and through a bit of the outback. If I have the time I'd like to see Perth, but I'm not likely to venture much farther west than Darwin just due to time constraints. New Zealand will be a quick tour and acquisition of all things sheep. I'd like to snowboard at least one day while either in Oz or Kiwiland, but then again I'd also like to bungee jump so we'll see how much of either of those I do. Fiji and Honolulu are really mostly just relaxing on the beach after the “stressful” preceding portion of the trip. That and to break up my plane flight so I don't have to sit for 16 hours on the way back too. Man I hope the doc will give me more anti-anxiety drugs for the plane trip – they made the flight to Italy a breeze. I also want to meet people. I want to meet two backpackers traveling down the east coast. I want to meet a nice waitress in a roadhouse along the way in the outback. I don't doubt I'll meet nice guides and farm stay hosts – anyone who's serious about wanting people to stay with them is always nice. I doubt I'll become life long friends with any of those people – if or when I meet them – but I want the experience of meeting them. Knowing interesting people is never a bad thing.

I've also been thinking about the manner in which I'll be traveling. I'm going to be backpacking in the sense that I will be carrying a backpack and have only a rough itinerary, but I get the feeling I'm going to be traveling with more money (note to thieves, the money is in traveler's checks) than most backpackers would use in a year, and I'm only going for 3.5 months. But I suppose it isn't about being forced to live on low resources, it's just about experiencing as many aspects of where you're traveling that makes the backpackers lifestyle. I definitely worry I'm going to bring way too much crap. Already I'd realized I was going to bring twice as much clothing as needed (two weeks worth would be a hell of a lot to lug around). Well, this is supposed to be a learning experience.

I'm going to try and write down as much as I can while traveling – and typing instead of my illegible scrawl will probably help. I always regret not recording more of what I do or think or notice or feel when on even a modest length trip – heck I think I've probably written more in this one page then I have since Germany. I also want to take a lot of pictures. A metric buttload as my friend Matt would say. Digital or film I don't know – probably both, film for the album, digital to send to my friends back home. As much crap as I give my brother Martin about it, he's right – taking the 5 seconds it takes to stop and snap a picture of something so that you do have it and won't regret not having taken one later is well worth it. I'm certainly happy I shot 14 rolls of film on my last two week venture – there's only one thing I didn't take a picture of that I thought I might have wanted, and of course now I regret not having taken it.

And now, the geek side of me has clawed its way to the front of my mind and I must go design a photo-album/travel log for the website.


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