Around the World in 67 Blog Posts – Stop 15: Australia

I almost did it. I almost packed my bags to go down under and do work & travel there. I know, I know, almost doesn’t count. It was one of the many Plan B possibilities after the basketball career was cut short. I was tired of floating around and trying to find the next destination, so work & travel which basically means floating around didn’t seem like the best way to go. I am, however, drawn to this place which seems to be a 24 hr travel from no matter where you are in the world. I am drawn to the wildlife, the vastness, and the history. I will never forget the chills running through my body when I saw Cathy Freeman ignite the Olympic fire in Sydney and then carry a whole country on her shoulders when she won the 400m race. It’s tragic that the country needed such a moment, there shouldn’t have been (and still be) so much tension between the Aborigines and the “new Australians” but it is what it is and only sports has the power to produce magic moments that let everyone unite. Speaking of magic, there’s something magical about Australia, about the red earth in front of the blue sky, the peaceful coexistence of the cutest (Koalas!!) and most poisonous animals on this planet. Culturally, it seems like a good mix of the American way of life with its endless possibilities and the European way of life with its focus on tradition, communities and livable cities. I know I will go there one day and put my hypothesis to the test, and maybe even work as a transportation planner (can you hear me, Universe?!). Luckily, I will have a couch to sleep on for the first couple of days because my cousin Claudia lives in Sydney, where she found love and happiness. I was happy to see her 2 christmases ago when she spontaneously came back to Germany for the holidays. Maybe I’m just making that up but there seemed to be some sort of bond between us, the girls who chose to live far away with sort of “unconventional” lifestyles (and partners). She does what makes her happy and she seems to share that with a lot of people who live in Australia. But how can you not find something that makes you happy with beautiful oceans surrounding your country; furry friends hopping around everywhere and having every sort of tradition and culture available to you because Australia, like the US, is by nature a nation of immigrants. Usually I would now go into the fun facts, interesting statistics and all that good stuff but everyone usually has their own image and fantasy of this mystical place and I don’t want to take that from you. This is why historic novels that take place in Australia and New Zealand sell so well. Novels allow you to fill in the space between the lines with your own colors and details. I hope that one day I will get to write an actual travel report from Down Under but for now, take my images and ideas on this virtual journey, compare them with your own if you like and enjoy the beautiful impressions provided by Google image search. Good Day Mates!

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