“The use of travelling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.” — Samuel Johnson.
The verb ‘to travel’ may derive from the Old French word ‘travail’, which means to ‘work’. So does travelling mean we’re working? I’d honestly say that it’s not. Travelling should be fun and filled with joy. Yes, there may be bumps in the road or the horizon may not always be clear but in the end we get there.
As I join the Blogosphere, I thought that for the first post on this brand new and shiny blog I should share with you some of my experiences so far, from cruising the Mediterranean to the joys of visiting family abroad. I should warn you these experiences may come with laughs, tears and at times a new sense of belonging. So where shall I start? How about ……….
Feels like yesterday when I was visiting family in the great Victorian metropolis of Melbourne and exploring Sydney. The winter sun keeping my teenage need of getting my skin tanned to a nice golden colour, or so I thought.
Both Sydney and Melbourne at the time had the combined population of Two Fifths of the entire Australian population and are about 713 km, or 443 miles, away from each other. But more importantly both offer tourists very different things. Granted I was only in my mid-teens and travelling with family, it was my first venture outside of a traditional holiday to Spain or the odd 1 (really 4) trips to Walt Disney World. I was in awe of this mysterious land that my own country gave so much to.
Our visit to Melbourne was split in two. For the first visit, I took in the natural ebbs and flows of the Yarra Ranges and Lerderderg State Park to exploring Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, although most of the time was spent with family. The second visit to Melbourne was again spent with family but taking in the seaside resort and surfers paradise of Sorrento and visiting the Penguins on Phillip Island.
Between the two visits was Sydney, the largest city in Australia and Oceania. Whilst Melbourne felt like my hometown of Glasgow, Scotland, once the ‘Second City of the Empire’, Sydney was defiantly like London. It even had a Big Red Bus.
From watching the myriad of sea life in Sydney Aquarium to imagining sailing the seven seas on the replica of HMS Endeavour, there is a more relaxed feel about the city. Even the Harbourside at night felt quiet compared to what I thought it would be.
The bright lights of Sydney Harbour against a dark moonlight sky exemplifies the cultural buzz. Or for a more relaxing, and scenic, buzz taking in the sight of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge from the Botanic Gardens, as the above photo shows, demonstrates the warmth of the city even in the winter.
Although, like watching Baseball in the States, no trip Down Under is complete until you’ve watched an AFL match, a major part of Australian culture. For me this was watching St Kilda versus Geelong at the world famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, and I’ve been hooked on the sport ever since.