Time flies

Trip Start Jul 11, 2005
Trip End Aug 12, 2005

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Wow! It's already halfway through 2005. I haven't even finished typing up my Vietnam diary yet... sorry about that. The lack of functional computers meant I hand wrote a lot and typing up things I've written is not my strong point, I prefer the spontaneity of just typing whatever comes into my head. When I have a few days off some time I'll finish it.

So what comes into my head when I think of my next trip? Unpreparedness. Here's a tip for anyone who says they'll travel one day, but they don't have the time to plan it.... you don't need to plan, just go! The less you think about it the better. That's how I operate anyway. I'd kind of been stalling, deciding whether to accept a contract extension with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (I didn't), whether to take a communications job in biotechnology in Adelaide (which I did) and whether to take a quick trip to the UK to be a delegate and journalist at the World Youth Congress (which I'm doing).

Since returning from Vietnam I moved from Adelaide to Port Lincoln, on the gorgeous Eyre Peninsula, on the West Coast of South Australia, to be the ABC journalist and newsreader there for a while. If you're doing the big trip around Australia I strongly recommend you make the effort to get to the Eyre Peninsula, if you're into pristine beaches and seafood. Coffin Bay oysters are the best in the world. Port Lincoln is the richest town in Australia per capita, because the tuna farmers make a mint selling sashimi to Japan. But even if you hate seafood the coastline is beautiful.

I had a fabulous time in Port Lincoln, but starting work at 6 in the morning is not my cup of tea, and clearly travel is, so when the option of traveling came up again I didn't take too much persuading, particularly since I now have a job to come back to here in Adelaide. So, last week I booked my ticket, next week I fly to London, and then the week after will be back in Glasgow, then on to the University of Stirling where the World Youth Congress will take place.

The Congress has a lot to do with how young people can help achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (which are here: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/), which I'm quite passionate about. I feel like I haven't done anything towards them compared to some people at the Congress, but I was offered a place so evidently what I have done is enough. Well, enough to demonstrate an interest, obviously not to actually make a difference in the world. Hopefully getting 600 such young people from around the world together will at best achieve something, at least inspire us to do more. I'm looking forward to meeting people from countries I'll probably never visit, who have lives so completely different from my own, and seeing how the view the world. I'd rather listen to someone from Africa tell me how I can help reduce poverty there than someone on my TV screen.

I guess this will be an interesting trip for me because even though I've travelled to study before, really who ever devotes most of their time to studying when they're an exchange student? This time I will actually be spending most of my time working at the Congress, with actual goals that potentially have outcomes beyond simply whether I get my degrees.

I'll still have fun though, there's no point getting bogged down in the woes of the world. I have a week in London before and a couple of days in Helsinki of all places afterwards. Hopefully I'll get to meet up with friends in both places. Travel is self-perpetuating. The more I travel, the more people I know in different places, the more I travel to see them, the more I meet other people and so on and so forth. I feel like I'm starting to have a debt in traveller's karma though, so anyone coming to Australia has to come and visit me!
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