Beth Borer-Nodolf – Australia (2011) †

Kangaroo Wishes and Uluru Dreams

My grandfather told me once that once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. Later I learned that the great Ralph Waldo Emerson was its author
but the words of two great men still have always been my words to live by. From a young age I knew I was destined for world traveling. My small farm town was
depressing in comparison to the exotic destinations that I saw on television. I can remember spinning the globe in the library after school amazed at all of the different
countries exotic names, but what stood out the most to me was Australia. I was fascinated that a country could also be a continent within itself. When I would span my tiny hands from California to Australia and in my mind the country was as close as the park down the street from my house. As I got older I grew to acknowledge the fact that the seven thousand five hundred miles separating me from the wonders of Australia was going to be harder to get to but I never gave up hope that one day my travels would be a reality.

When I was deciding to study abroad the only choice that came to my mind was my childhood dream. I was granted the opportunity to study abroad during my Junior
year in the grand land down under, and fell deeper in love with Oz. From the second the plane touched down, I knew the wait was worth it. I took full advantage of my six
months in Oz, but unfortunately I was not able to see it all. Many people do not realize that Australia is the same size as the continental United States. In between my studies during my time there I would take the train on the weekends and explore as much as I possibly could. During my explorations I was only able to make it as far as Adelaide in the south eastern tip of the continent, and for the last three years have waited for the opportunity to complete my journeys.

I am planning on taking this trip with two of my best friends who live in the province of South Australia. My original plan included exploring Western Australia, the
Northern Territory and Queensland. However, due to unforeseen events plans have changed.

The recent flooding of the Brisbane area in Queensland have resulted in several deaths and millions in damage. The destruction caused to the Great Barrier Reef has
also been noted. It had been my plan to spend some time in Brisbane before heading up the coast but rebuilding will take time, and so I have pushed back my trip until
November. I hope by then that the rebuilding will be progressing enough that my tourism will help the area. The reports that I have been reading compare the damage
similar to that done by Hurricane Katrina. I could have easily rerouted my trip to not include the affected areas but then I would draw my monies away from the rebuilding
businesses and workers, and that would be unfair. Summer tourism in the area is great in number with the pristine beaches and I hope to be a large part of that as I travel up the coast.

From Queensland I plan on traveling to Darwin to enjoy the wonders of the Northern Territory. I want to visit the beaches, however due to the presence of jelly
fish in the waters during the summer months swimming is not a good idea. Instead I plan on visiting the vast number of Wildlife preserves and parks that the areas have to offer, including Crocodylus Park, where according to the pamphlet I picked up in an airport once and that has been stuck on my bulletin board ever since, you can feed
crocodiles and hold a koala. After getting my fair share of the North I am then going to fly to Adelaide and meet up with friends before venturing to the most sacred place in
Australia. Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a sacred sight to the Aboriginal peoples and I plan on spending three days exploring the area witnessing the miracle of the
color changes. Uluru is notable for appearing to change color as the different light strikes it at different times of the day and year, with sunset a particularly remarkable
sight when it briefly glows red. I want to experience the area fully embracing the outback and learning the ways of the land.

After my walkabout in nature I have planned to visit Sydney for a few days to revisit the sights there before flying home. I will be in Australia for about a month and
am coming home for Christmas. I have booked my flights for November 16th through December 15th. I have secured some of my lodgings for the trip as well. However I still need the monies to fund my excursions to Uluru as well as paying for inter continental travels. I have about two hundred saved up after purchasing my plane ticket and I have estimated that I will need around another thousand or so to ensure an amazing trip.

(February 2011)

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