Terra Incognita

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

In just five hours, a car will arrive to take Jeremy and me to Heathrow, where we will board a plane bound for Australia. Australia!

I’m so excited I feel like a kid on Christmas eve. I consider myself fairly well-traveled, but I’ve never ventured beyond the bounds of Europe and North America and I’ve never been in the southern hemisphere. I’ve also never had to endure a 12-hour flight and a 10-hour flight back to back.

Under normal circumstances, I would be dreading the trip (particularly considering our flight back from Florida just a few days ago). But we’re lucky enough to be flying “upper class” this time around (not on our own dime, it must be said), so I look forward to playing the country bumpkin and ooh-ing and aah-ing at the comfy airport lounges, fully reclining seats/beds and fancy food that await us. Hopefully those comforts will make the 22-hour trip pass somewhat more quickly.

Since I’ve never been to Sydney and don’t know when I’ll have the opportunity to go back again, I naturally want to make the most of my time there. But I’m trying very hard not to stress out about having to see this or having to do that.

The main thing I’ve taken away from my talks with people who have been to Sydney before is that it’s a good city for just hanging out and soaking up the atmosphere. So while I did buy a guide book yesterday (I always have to have a guide book and a good map when we travel someplace new), I don’t intend to just run from sight to sight in an attempt to do as much as possible in the 2 short weeks we’ll be there. I want to sit around in caf├ęs and watch the world go by. I want to stroll along a beach. I want to peruse the markets. I want to eat lots of good food. I want to look up at the night sky and see unfamiliar stars. Mostly, I just want to get a feel for what life on the other side of the world is like.

My iPod’s charged, my sunglasses are packed, my work has been put on hold and my coat’s being left behind. Goodbye, rainy Brighton - hello, Terra Incognita!

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