I've been home over a month, and I can't help but escape to Australia whenever possible. When my mind wanders, it always seems to end up in cafes in Sydney or the harbor in Fremantle or fossicking in Coober Pedy. My next trip is already being planned in my mind, equipped with a list of things I didn't get to do last time, and a list of friends to look up on my return visit. I know it's time to return to reality, but when someone experiences something so amazing, something so big, something so different from anything else ever, how is it possible not to dwell and dream and hope it could happen again? Words, all words, even when it's bad news, seems to sound better with an Australian accent. It was clean and friendly and different all while being remarkably familiar. It was a place that if it wasn't 24 hours and $2000 round trip, I would visit each weekend. It was a place, that while I love America, I would live every other year. And can you blame me?
I saw the sun rise in the Outback over the most sacred and recognizable rock on earth, and set on the eastern and western coastlines, over the Pacific Ocean and the Coral Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
I spent two memorable nights being tossed around the Bass Strait en route to Tasmania and back.
I ate kangaroo, crocodile, emu, buffalo, camel, and yes, even vegemite.
I laughed a lot, and cried some too.
I met people from all over the world- the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Japan, Thailand, China, India, Denmark, Holland, Germany- lots of Germans.
I got sick twice in three months, but wouldn't have traded sick days down under for healthy days back home.
I slept in the grass at the harbor in Hobart and on a hill in the courtyard outside of Luna Park in St. Kilda and on the sand of Cable Beach in Broome.
I hot air ballooned over the bush of Alice Springs and held an Olive Python in the same day.
I snorkeled without a stinger suit on the Great Barrier Reef.
I held a koala in my arms and a parrot on my head during my day on the Great Ocean Road.
I made amazing memories that I now use as an escape, as a mini vacation, when reality is just not cutting it.
Eventually, I will have to make the dreaming a reality once more.