Saturday, June 14, 2008

This is... My Favourite Travel Memory

I missed the weekly This Is... last Sunday but it was such a great one that I didn't want miss it all together. However, when I started thinking about which travel memory to share I was completely stumped as to how to choose. I decided to let it sit until it came to me. This afternoon while I relaxed in the bath it came to me. I was so excited I had to jump straight out of the bath and get this post organised.

I love to travel and have been very fortunate throughout my life to travel quite extensively. I have spent time in every state and territory in Australia, and not just the major cities. I had a job for 2 years where I managed a National Indigenous funding program for a philanthropic trust and got to spend time in many remote parts of Australia. My favourite places that I visited a number of times were Yuendumu and Fitzroy Crossing. However, I also visited Groote Eylandt, Tennant Creek, Warakurna, Geraldton, Katherine, Uluru, Broken Hill, Toomelah, Broome, Albany and many more. Some places that people have never heard of and a quite a few that most people will never visit. It was such a privilege to go to these places. Add to this list a reasonable amount of time spent in all the capital and other major cities. Lastly, add most of Victoria to the list.

Now, let's head OS. I lived in the USA for about 2 1/2 years split between 2 trips. The first trip I lived in Colorado and Missouri, and the second Michigan and Florida. I managed to visit about 25 US states during those trips as well as driving across part of Canada (a shortcut from Michigan to upstate New York). I love the USA. Some of the major events in my life took place there - my 18th birthday, learning to drive a car, my first love and the most significant of all - my current relationship started there.

I've spent a little bit of time in Europe and can't wait to do more, fell in love with New Zealand on a 2 week trip a couple of years back and I've been to Bali too (I hope some of you Aussies picked up the little tease there). I've spent a mad afternoon in Tijuana buying all kinds of Mexican treasures and trinkets fueled by Tequila. 4 days in Dubai in 2003 wasn't nearly enough time to explore all it has to offer. Next year we are planning to do Thailand and are currently dreaming of an extended trip in a couple of years to France, Spain, Morocco and Italy.

Oh, and I musn't forget Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef last year. If you haven't been snorkling on the Great Barrier Reef you must, must, must put it on the list of things to do and see before you die. It is one of the most truly stunning experiences of my life.

How do you select your favourite travel memory from so many diverse and incredible journeys? You go back to the beginning.

This is me at Disneyland California on my 7th birthday. My Mum won a holiday and we went to the West Coast of America. I remember pretty much every bit of it too. Being terrified as we flew in the smallest plane on earth over the vastness of the Grand Canyon, toasting marshmallows over an open fire in the Redwood Forests in Fresno, Fisherman's Wharf in San Fran, getting static shocks from everything I touched in Las Vegas, and of course Disneyland. That trip began a love affair with experiencing new places and cultures that I couldn't possibly have understood at the time. It has stayed with me and grown stronger as I've grown up.

I am so grateful to my Mum for sharing her passion and fostering that love of travel in me. I'm thankful to the universe for giving me a partner who loves to travel just as much as I do.

Thanks Hila for such a great theme and a trip down memory lane, and to Three Buttons for This Is...


Serena said...

Wow, living in the states would have been really interesting.. Thanks for sharing.

Belinda said...

You must have quite a few frequent flyers there lady - where to next???

Stacy said...

Hey Cath, I had been meaning to ask about your travels here in the states. You answered all my questions, lol.
It is hard to explain to people that don't/won't travel how the experiences change you. They open your eyes to a things/people/cultures you never knew existed. You can't look at the world the same again.
It is sad, but us Americans aren't big travelers as a culture. One reason is that our country is so huge and diverse that it would be hard to see all of just America.
It is very hard for us to get extended visas as well. I think our country would be a lot smarter and different if we all left the country more, and realized there is more to the world than just the states. So many people I know never even leave their own state. Though I haven't traveled nearly as much as I would like, I am well traveled for an American. Thanks for sharing such beautiful memories with us! Is your partner American? Hope your feeling better hun. Talk soon, Love Stacy

Juddie said...

Wow! Most of my travels have been overseas, but I haven't travelled much in Australia - your experiences in this intriguing land would have been amazing I'm sure! I've also never been to North or South America - definitely on my list anyway but you've made me want to go even more :-)

Just in relation to your mention of a trip to Thailand, I've been there many times and can recommend these two websites to help you plan your trip - and

Have fun!

BTW - thanks for your comment on my Leunig post ... I posted a reply in the comments section :-)

Sasparilla Sue said...

Wow! It sounds like you've had some amazing times. I echo everything stacy said. I know people here in California who not only haven't left the state, they haven't travelled within the state. It seems so sad.

It's funny that you mentioned the static electricity in Vegas. Everytime I go with my family (which is about once or twice a year) I complain about the shocks - they think I'm crazy. Hah! Not so crazy now am I? :)

Maureen said...

What a marvelous job that included all that travel. A friend and I were talking about potential trips to Australia and we both agreed it sounded as if a month would be a good start. Neither of OUR partners have any interest tho. poo.

And wow...that was quite a trip your mother won. I don't know where my love of travel came from, but I had it at an early age and started my world exploration with penpals.

I hope to take my Thai daughter (and granddaughter) to Thailand some day. I haven't been there since 1978!! xh tells me it's changed quite a bit! lol