As I did on my first trip–and in fact as I do on every trip I take, wherever I go–I took copious notes on my three return trips to Australia. The posts that follow, and that will probably follow for some time, will be the transcription of those notes.
For those who ask (and many do), while I largely made plans as I traveled during my initial six-month stay, for these shorter stays, I used the services of a travel agent who specializes in Australia. (Destinations Downunder–see the link at right.) With “only” a month, I didn’t want to lose any time once I got back.
And so the second trip to Australia began.
Tuesday, August 20
I am airborne, passing over a cloudscape more beautiful than dreams. If I weren’t right over the wing, I’d have shot half a roll of film already, so it’s probably a good thing I don’t have an unobstructed view. Save the film for Australia.
Despite all the planning, arranging, and anticipating, it’s still almost unimaginable that I’m going back to Australia. Even as I sit now on the plane, it’s only beginning to sink in. Typing up my journals from my first trip has kept things fresh, but the intensity of the effort needed to build a career from scratch has left me little time to relish the memories and the emotions they conjure.
I return with the strength I felt at the end of my first trip, but with the added joy of knowing the dream had a happy ending, the new career was built. I go now, not with the total abandon of my initial journey, but with a sense of this being a joyous continuation of what I started then.
I’m better prepared this time. I have better gear, including a soft-sided suitcase that converts into a backpack. I have a good flashlight and proper canteen–things I’d had to buy on the road last time, as I had so little I needed when I arrived. Only my pocketknife is the same from that first trip.
The only thing for which I’m not certain I’m prepared is the 14-1/2-hour flight from LA to Sydney. Last trip, I had more stops. Such a long stretch in a vibrating metal tube does not fill my heart with glee.
Coming into Los Angeles just after sunset was wonderful. The sight of the dark mountains reaching up through the clouds, with the fiery sky fading up to dark blue above them, was magic.
Then off again. Crossed the International Deadline, losing Wednesday somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.