I’ve been getting a little overwhelmed lately. There’s always a lot of things I want to do and often I find that I don’t really have time to focus on anything, but kind of skim the surface on a lot of my pursuits and hobbies. So I want to focus each month on a different aspect of my life, and this month I want to focus more on this blog. If I follow through on my commitment to myself, and that type of commitment is so easy to break, hopefully I’ll have come out of August having written more and made writing more of a habit.
Which brings me to my next thought: one of the reasons I got inspired to write this blog is from the personal correspondence I’ve had while traveling. I always keep journals and write emails home, the latter of which have been very well received by my friends and family. With the blog, my goal has been to flex those muscles a bit more and test my writing on a different audience. Such as you lovely WordPress bloggers that I have yet to meet in person.
With all of that in mind, I’ve decided to add a new category to The Travels of Mo titled “The Travel Diaries”, in which I record my journals from various trips I’ve taken. There have been three big trips of my adult life: Australia in 2006, Europe in 2007, and Israel in 2010 and my goal is to eventually have all of those trips here for your reading pleasure. I’m going to keep the writing faithful to my original entries, but will make minor changes when it’s poorly written, too boring, and to protect the innocent. I will probably leave in my lengthy food descriptions though, so I’m sorry about that if you are anti-food. I also swear a bit, but I’m not really sorry about that. And I’ll try to make it fun and give travel guide-style ratings for places and attractions.
Ok, here goes! In 2006 my mom won a trip to Australia through using her Visa card. So she, my dad, my twin sister Mel and myself jetted off to the other side of the world for two weeks. I was 19, so a legally drinking adult in the land down under. . .
Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia
Wednesday 12/20/2006 18:54
Longest day of my life, and not even 7 o’clock Aussie time yet. Not that it has been a bad day, but since I never really slept I feel like I am still on the day that I began at 5 on Monday morning. 14 hours is a long flight, but we made it in one piece to Sydney Airport this morning (we being Mom, Dad, Mel, and myself.) I had forgotten that since Aussie-land was a British colony, one drives on the left, checks traffic on the right, and the cars are completely backwards, our Holden company car adding to the confusion by being a stick shift (my father is an automotive journalist and had gotten a hold of a car by Holden, and Australian car manufacturer, to do a story on while we were there).
Having gotten the car, we proceeded to the Blue Mountains, the first stop in our Aussie adventure. First reflections on Australia: very European in feel and aesthetics, but more laid back and in a tropical setting. This is probably not true of the outback, but we are not going there – apparently not much of interest. All day has been damp and foggy, ironic since we are supposedly in one of the most beautiful spots of Australia, with fog so thick we can’t see shit! However, since my mom had to stop at the first place possible in the Blue Mountains to get visitor maps and stuff, the woman there told us that if we drove into this national park, the kangaroos would probably be out!!!
We drove up this narrow winding road and came to this clearing. It was all tropical, with dense trees, mostly eucalyptus, and many birds, including cockatoos! I swear I heard monkeys too. We crossed a bridge and stumbled across four or six grey kangaroos eating the grass! Fucking incredible, to see them in their natural habitat, perhaps 10 feet away, and not scared by us at all. In fact, they bloody ignored us. But they were soooo cute.
We finally pulled ourselves away and drove out of the park to our resort, Peppers Fairmount Resort. It’s actually kind of quiet and lazy, not brisk and pretentious like resorts in the US. After a much needed nap, we went to explore the nearby cutesy small towns of Leura and Katoomba. Both are tiny, and their “town centres” consist of cute cafes, antique shops, bookstores, and funky music stores, all unique and interesting. I bought a groovy pair of earrings in Leura.
Went back to the hotel and enjoyed the very deep spa and pool, and will go to dinner soon in Katoomba to a Thai restaurant. That brings up another point about Australia: the names are so cool. Half are British, half are Aborigine, and some are outback slang. It’s fabulous. There is a place called Wooloomooloo. No joke. Actually it might be Mooloowooloo. But you get the idea.
Just got back from dinner at Chork Dee, the Thai place in Katoomba. Food was very good, and people very friendly. Australians in general seem to be a pretty friendly lot. This town and Leura as well are so small, that each has many restaurants serving the same fare, but with only about five to ten tables each. The fog finally seems to have lifted, so God willing we shall have good weather tomorrow. Now it is time for instant coffee, and then finally, bed!
Good Luck and Happy Travels,
PS- The one thing I don’t really have for Australia is photos, as mine are all at my parent’s house in LA. I’ll work on getting some to illustrate these entries. For now, I’ll leave you with this lovely work of Photoshop mastery created by my boyfriend Zac, inspired from my last post. . .