Big Fella's Gone Walkabout

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"What??? Why??? How???"

Shock, incredulity, disbelief - I've pretty much become used to these reactions. They have come as standard whenever I've told people that I'm off to Australia for 3 months. Then comes the more awkward question, "Why?" That's a little more difficult to explain. How do you define a dream you've had since childhood? I'm not even sure what I could put it down to - growing up in Peckham and then Plaistow (South and East London respectively), Australia was not really high on my radar and yet I've always wanted to visit it. Maybe it was Skippy, the bush kangaroo - everyone loved Lassie or Black Beauty, but I always thought Skippy was cool. Is it coincidence that one of my favourite Warner Bros cartoon characters is the Tasmanian Devil (long before I knew what or where Tasmania was)? Maybe so, but there is something indefinable about Australia that is drawing me there. Finally after years of saving, the holiday of a lifetime is upon me. The only problem with this trip is that the reality may not/cannot live up to my high expectations.

So, if the question of "Why?" is a little difficult to answer, the next question, "How?" is much easier. One thing I'll say about my boss, is that she is very good at spotting potential problems and seeing that I was on the verge of burning out (I've been working in the same school for 20 years), she suggested that I take some time off to recharge my batteries. I would never have thought of it, myself, but it was a brilliant idea. All this happened 4 years ago, so, at first, I planned to time it to coincide with the Rugby World Cup - after all, they couldn't hold it in New Zealand without having the odd game in Australia, could they? Well, it turns out that they could. Oops. Doesn't look like I'll be going to the RWC, after all. But, with any luck, in those 3 months, what I will be doing is seeing Australia, as I attempt to take in Oz in just 90 days, I hope to see Uluru, the Bungle Bungles, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, Melbourne and more - and as an added bonus I hope to see old friends.

Finally, looking to the future, what will I be doing on Boxing Day 2011? I expect to be sitting in a bar in Sydney (in what will be the middle of summer) watching my beloved Norwich take on Tottenham in the cold British winter! Ha! I hope you'll join me on this trip...

  • "What??? Why??? How???"
  • Tears In The Rain
Trip Start Sep 08, 2011
Trip End Jan 08, 2012

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