So it begins …
Not so long ago I went on a journey to three lands far, far away and down under.
The first was a strange sort of land where beets are common place on Hungry Jack Burgers and where no standing really means no parking. A place where drunken line-dancing to Shania Twain is a cool past-time and talking about the apostles is not considered a biblical reference.
The second looked like my hometown and had a hostel with an aura reminiscent of the Bates Motel. There was snow on the ground in the middle of August and shops were closed for winter holidays, a place where it’s really cool to take pictures of horses that almost made the cut for Lord of the Rings, but were too camera shy.
The third was a friendly place where “I’ll get right to it” means “Maybe next week.” Where it’s required to drink narcotics as part of a welcome ceremony, fun to bet money on frog races, and where wearing a skirt that falls above your knees means you’re a prostitute.
Where everyone in two separate countries tells the same joke, and where stop signs are about as frequent as a Jamaican on time. Where “Bulla”, “Oi”, and “Hello” all mean the same thing and the bitter beers actually taste good. A place where you can swim alongside dolphins and penguins at the same time.
During this voyage of self-discovery I tried and failed repeatedly to conquer my fear of heights and lost (most of) my vanity. I made fast friends and shocked the locals (“You’re snorkeling in 20°c water! But aren’t you cold?!”), spent my evenings drunk and my mornings planning the next evening’s debauchery, and learned the perils of dolphin watching the morning after a party.
Together with my sister, I braved crocodiles and cuddled nature’s boxer. I wondered how they built the Opera House and wandered into (and quickly out of) King’s Cross at night.
I flew from a raft and fell from a plane. I climbed into the abyss and up a glacier.
I wake-boarded in shark infested waters and learned the tricks of bucket showers. I said farewell to seeing long distance, and said a very friendly “Hello” to two Danish men.
I was branded by travel and by a man with a scorpion tattooed around his left eye and experienced the time of my life.