Big Question Marks

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Our Year in the Merde

We can hardly believe it-- today marks our one-year anniversary of travel!

Saturday, January 20, 2007 was the day we finally packed up our gear (and left a lot of it behind as well), dragged our families and friends to the airport for sad goodbyes, and hopped on our Cathay Pacific flight to Bangkok. It didn't feel real until well into the 22 hour flight, and somewhere along the way we even lost a day (so tomorrow will be our first Jan 21 in ages!). We arrived sleepy, confused, and overwhelmed in Bangkok... and you all know the story from there.

It's been a fabulous year! We've learned more than ever this year that plans will always change, and to "carpe diem" every day of our lives. If you want to go somewhere, go! And if you see something cool in a shop, buy it (unless it's zillions of dollars, or something)! There is something to be said for hard work, but what's the point if you don't enjoy it afterward? These have probably been our most important lessons this year. And saying that, we've STILL left places and things to do till "later"...

And as for keeping flexible-- well, we certainly never envisioned ourselves as cherry pickers, construction workers, living four months in the tropic jungle, flitting off to Hong Kong for 10 days, camping for almost three months, moving into a cottage in the country (with the biggest spiders we'd ever seen!) and then, never really getting out of Queensland. But it's been awesome anyway.

For those of you who keep asking the BIGGEST question of all : "When are you coming home?" We really don't know. Now that we've slaved away on the harvest trail for our three months, we'll be applying for our second year visas soon, and we'll probably stay as long as we can in Oz. We also didn't realize before we left Canada that this country is massive, and that there are fabulous things to see at every end of this land. Daisy's just resting up now for the road trip of a lifetime-- we still plan to travel around the centre (Uluru!), Northern Territory (Crocodile Dundee land), and Western Australia (an untouched beauty and THE place to explore here nowadays). And then who knows? Tassie's still on the list, New Zealand's just a short plane trip away, and then there's all the wonderful countries between here and Canada.

Only now we're starting to run into all the lovely hassles of long-term travel: expiring health insurance, OHIP paperwork, invalid return flight tickets, expiring credit cards and drivers licenses (Adrian's a Queenslander now), and digital cameras going wonky (and there's a wee bit of occasional homesickness too). But we'll tell anyone who's thinking about doing what we're doing: IT'S ALL WORTH IT. Because you just never know when Australia will be too dried-up, Hong Kong will be too polluted, or the political climate of some other country will be too dangerous to go. And with technology today, mail travels halfway across the globe in two weeks, email keeps us instantly close, and cheap long-distance calling can keep us chatting easily for hours.

If anyone needs any travel ideas, there's heaps of exotic destinations you'd never think of and gorgeous photos in Lonely Planet's The Blue List. Adrian quite enjoyed reading about tourism, Kim Jong-il-style, in Tony Wheeler's Bad Lands, and Dayle's just starting to read Long Way Round, Ewan McGregor's travel memoir chronicling Ewan and his best mate's motorcycle ride around the world. Three cheers for travel!


Pops said...

Congratulations guys,

You can certainly be proud of what you have accomplished in your travels over the past year. We all certainly miss you too, but maintaining the blog and our other communications allows us to stay in touch and really, it's almost like being there with you. Good job!

Rikki said...

Awww so inspiring! Way to do it up guys! Very kewl indeed!

Adrian & Dayle said...

thanks! and we're very proud of all of you, travelling, exploring, and moving to new places too! what a year for everyone :)