I had always thought that I’d write a second book about Australia, a sequel to Waltzing Australia. There were two reasons, basically: Waltzing Australia had won an award and was well reviewed, so why not follow up on that success; and, more importantly, because I kept going back to Australia and had so much more to share. However, life got busy. I had to earn a living. My speaking career began to take up more of my time. I had contracts for other books. However, rather than let the sequel simply die, I thought I’d post it here, in bits and pieces. This will mostly just be excerpts from the extensive note-taking that is part of every trip I take. However, it will give me the opportunity to share some of the remarkable things I saw on those trips.
The tentative title for the book that will not be was Australia 2, 3, 4: The Waltz Continues. Here is the introduction I wrote for the book I had hoped would be.
On Going Back
Yes, I’ve been back to Australia, though for shorter stays. It shocks people when I say “only a month,” but compared to the six-month adventure recounted in Waltzing Australia, it was definitely “only.” Yet a month was enough these times, because I was only traveling, not starting over or discovering myself. I was not looking for major changes, just the continuation of the adventure that began with that first grand tour. Of course, it is almost impossible to travel and not change some. One takes on new challenges, takes in new information, discovers, grows.
As it turned out, some of my most remarkable Australian adventures occurred during these return trips. I got farther out, to places barely dreamt of on that first trip. I returned to a few places I loved, and I visited the friends with whom I’d stayed in contact. But mostly, these trips were to reconnect with the land, to reignite the fire started earlier, and to discover the places that I had missed previously. It was to keep promises I’d made to myself, and to prove I could return.
Because I’d had to build a whole new career after the first visit, it had taken several years to get to where I could plan a second trip. It wasn’t just a matter of money, but of being solidly enough established that I could take off for a full month and still have clients and work when I returned home. However, after that second trip, I knew I could get back, and the next two visits were much quicker in coming.