My last big trip while in Australia was to The Outback. I had a week or so on my hands before flying back to the States, and I decided to utilize that time because…why not?
After some research, I settled on a tour company called Groovy Grapes. While other people were furious with our tour guide by the trip’s end, I thought going with Groovy Grapes was a blessing. Why? On the days long trek from Adelaide to Alice Springs I ended up befriending three Irish people, a British woman, a Finnish woman who spoke four languages, and a multilingual Belgian woman. All of them had left their jobs and were traveling around Australia for the year. To make ends meet they worked as nannies, in offices, on a farm, wherever, and then traveled some more.
It was awe-inspiring to meet people like this, people I’d heard of but never met in the work-a-holic culture that is the United States.
After camping under a sky adorned with stars; sleeping underground in the opal mining town of Coober Pedy; seeing Uluru (and refusing to hike it out of respect for indigenous people’s beliefs that the site is holy); teaching the Europeans how to make s’mores; learning about the drink Hot Toddy; and trying my first mug of tea with milk, I knew this trip was special.
My last day there I dropped my camera and broke it, but I was able to pull pictures from it. More importantly, the memories were imprinted on me for a lifetime.
Two of the people I met on the trip I would eventually see again on a different continent. They were the reasons I traveled to Ireland and Belgium. That trip will be discussed in a future post!