But wait. Hang on! You need some background first before you scroll down to the What. Patience!
So, it started like this:
M. came home and said (like he does every year), "oh snap. I have, like, days I haven't taken off yet and I'll lose them if I don't use them."
Ok. Awesome. I checked out my own calendar and showed M. the spaces of time I could feasibly take off too. He checked with his boss. I checked with mine. We ended up with 2 delicious full weeks in July.
Just as we were getting ready to place a call to see if we could spend some time in our happy place down on the gulf coast of Florida, we both had some simultaneously occurring thoughts:
- hang on. we could be wearing out our welcome here.What if your relatives really don't want you chilling at their condo. Every. year?
- you know, there's not really a lot to do there that we haven't done.
- 2 weeks - that's a long time. We could feasibly, you know, DO something. GO someplace.
- great. what? where?
As in, Australia.
Some googling here, some expedia-ing there. Some googling over there...we came to the realization. Hey, we could make this happen. In fact, if we don't do it now, I'm wondering if we will have a chance any time in the near future? We should do this now. Why NOT do this now? Hell, we HAVE to do this now.
So we did it. We bought tickets to Australia. (gasp)
And to be sensible, we extended our two weeks to three (ok, we are in the process of working all of that out but hey, tickets are purchased. we ain't here).
And after a few hours of post-purchase anxiety, I think we are both getting incredibly excited about the journey. About the fact that you have not one but the choice of 5 five FIVE different kinds of vegetarian meals on Qantas flights, at the prospect of digging up big, solid paperbacks we haven't had the chance to read yet for our mega-long flights, of being someplace phone-free and unreachable, at the thought of seeing a completely and totally different place.
One, that I must now confess, I truly had no interest in seeing before A. moved there. In fact, I uh, ahem, may have said some shitty things about Australians in the past. Blame it on those 2 Aussies we were stuck on a tour with through the Bolivian desert - the ones who wanted to get into M's pants so badly it was almost funny. Almost. Notice ten years later I am STILL not laughing. And then blame it on Damian (yeah, son, I'm calling you out by name) the dude who we met one night when he was traveling through Poland, spent the night on my friend's couch and then would. not. leave. For like, weeks.
Man, I hated that kid.
Ok, but now I'm older. I recognize the errors of my ways. And I understand that a continent and a people are far greater than the stereotypes that can be solidified by meeting 3 random people who happen to also be from there. G*ddess knows M and I have suffered from Americans previously met. A. loves Australia. He has found love there. We love A. I bet we are going to love Australia too. Esp. with A. as our guide for some of the time.
And so, the immersion begins!!
Maybe, just maybe, we got tipsy last night realizing the genius of INXS (stop laughing. stop it. You loved them too). And perhaps we tried to set up a Pandora station of indie Aussie bands (help? anyone?) I didn't want to mention it to M, but I bet we can get Neighbors on Netflix....Analise! Luckily, it didn't go there.
Now. Here's where I need your help:
Any Aussie readers out there?
We're flying into Brisbane, out of Sydney. About 2 weeks north. 1 week south.
We have some must do's already lined up: Fraser Island, whale watching, hiking, camping, snorkeling the Barrier Reef (swoon). We've heard Noosa's the bomb. If we stay coastal (due to time constraints), what are we missing?
What are some more Must Do's?
Any Must Avoids?
Has ANYONE had ANY experience with this: www.couchsurfing.org?
Not sure how I feel about it, but trying to keep an open mind. Saving some cash on accommodations frees up some for more adventures. Of which we hope to have many.
This is truly crazy on a number of levels. But truly not on others. It kind of all boils down to: WTFN.
Dear Australia, we are so in. Let's do this.