A long time ago, in a lifetime away, I traveled to Sydney, Australia.
From Des Moines, Iowa it was 24 hours by plane (with layovers and such), and something like 10,000 miles. At the time I was an immature 25 year-old, so it ended up being a time and place to grow up.
Now the images are fuzzy, the stories embellished, and the reasons absolutely ridiculous. But at the time, spending $2000 on a 6-week vacation, relying on the kindness of virtual strangers (as well as friends and family) didn't seem silly at all. It was an adventure. A time to see what life was like elsewhere. A time to explore new romance. I was, at my core, at my most romantic and optimistic.
Of course nothing turned out as expected. How could it? I returned with a love of Australia and the ocean, a fear of jelly-fish, a wicked sunburn along with great respect for the sun, and the knowledge that in SOME places, trains run on time. I learned to love public transportation that ran ALL THE TIME, the ability to move about easily, the politeness of the people, and the beauty of being somewhere new.
I've never returned; although, I would like to very much. Now that I'm older, and I like to think wiser, I want to see Sydney once again with a new filter. I want to take Keb.
I want to hang out in hippie colonies, at a youth hostel, bunking 4 to a room, hike in the blue mountains, and see what else I'm supposed to learn about life before I get too old.