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Published: April 13th 2006
Party time at Gilligans
Homesick for Asia
So let me start with the negative, because then I can finish this off with some of the amazing things that have been going on.
Negative #1 - I am hemorrhaging money here in Australia. I am spending more in a day than I would spend in a week in Asia; to be honest it’s even more than that. I am not getting anything more for my money either. I am eating shit like McDonalds for food and am seeing and doing less. Then there’s the sleeping situation, which brings us to…
Negative #2 - Dorm living. I can’t stand it. I feel suffocated. As I write this, there is an Irish girl in a bed across the room. I don’t know her…we have said 10 words to each other, yet here we are, sharing a room with 2 other girls. I know, I know…why complain about sharing a room with 3 girls? But it is really uncomfortable, even when the people are friendly. Every time you check in somewhere, you get your key, and there is that moment of anxiety as you put that key in the door. Who is going to be in
Can't see much, but this is how calm the ocean is over the reef
there? Will they be cool? Will they be weird? Maybe there won’t be anyone there! But maybe it will be 3 people who are all friends but don’t speak English and don’t want you in their room. It’s seriously a living hell for someone like me. Someone who needs his alone time. But there is no way I can afford to spend $100 a night on hotel rooms for a month!
Negative #3 - I am old. The circuit I am doing, The East Coast, is a young people’s circuit. The place I am staying right now is filled with kids. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good party, but man I feel old. I feel more out of place here than I did in Asia…and I am in a Western country! I know this is my own paranoia…and I am really not that much older than most of these people, and I am younger than some…but I just feel too old for this. And it’s just not really what I’m looking for. To be honest, coming back to the Western world in the middle of this trip has been a huge buzz kill.
Negatuve #4 - I
Our dive boat...the last day the weather turned to crap as you can see...
am not going to be able to get into the Outback. I knew this when I planned the trip, but now I know that is what I would’ve preferred. The Outback is really why I’ve always wanted to come to Australia…but I was convinced by other people that the East Coast was the spot to be. I should’ve taken the source into consideration…but you live and learn.
Negative #5 - Now that I am here, I am stuck here. I am in Cairns, which is almost 3,000 km from Sydney. What does that mean? Well, it means a long, long time on the bus to get to the city I have to fly out of. I have a multi-stop bus ticket I have already paid for and have to use. So it’s not like I can cut Australia short unless I want to sit on a bus for a week straight
Alright, so that sums up my complaints. My “oh, feel sorry for me, I am stuck in Australia” spoiled-brat rant.
Now, the positives…
Positive #1 - I am now Advanced Certified in SCUBA. I just spent 3 days living on a boat in the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living organism in the world, diving. It was truly an amazing experience. Not because of how beautiful it was…or even because of what I saw…to be honest Thailand has much more beautiful water, and I saw a lot more there. What was amazing was the fact that you are out there on a huge dive boat, and you know there have to be hundreds of the same type of boats on the reef at the same time, yet you don’t even see one, much less hundreds. The water is like glass, and you can see all the way to the horizon…and no other boats. It really gives you an idea of how huge the reef really is. As for the dives…I did my first night dive, my first deep dive to 30 meters, my first dives without a guide. I saw sharks, rays, and too much other stuff to name. Pretty good time.
The boat got pretty wild as well. Last night the crew started drinking games and by the end men were in bikinis and the women were in nothing but board shorts…I could go further, but I think I should stop there ;-) I will say I did ‘French’ kiss a ‘French’ girl for the first time, so there’s always that. J
Positive #2 - This is my 6th continent! I have now been on every continent except Antarctica. I am pretty excited about this achievement. It means I have really seen a good chunk of this world.
Australia is huge. I know we’ve all been told that, and we all know that…but I really didn’t realize how huge. It’s the size of the US. Picture the US, but with 90% of the population living along the coast…and the rest pretty much uninhabited. That’s how big the Outback is. And that’s why it takes so much time to travel this country. I am covering such a small part, yet I will still be traveling thousands of miles.
Positive #3 - This place really is a party. The place I am staying in right now is called Gilligan’s. They call it a Backpacker’s Resort. These seem to be the new thing out here…replacing your average hostel. Gilligan’s houses 500 people when full. They have 4 and 6 person dorm rooms. A bed in one of these rooms costs you about $30Australian…so about $21USD. The rooms all have their own bathrooms; each floor has a huge modern kitchen and a gym. Downstairs you have a pool with a poolside bar, restaurants, laundry mat, salon, nightclub (each night different theme, live bands, djs, vip room, etc)…it really is a Backpacker’s Resort. They are a lot of fun, but the problem for me is I could be doing this back home…with more people my own age. The majority of the people here are in their early 20’s. And they dress to impress…I don’t have clothes for this stuff; most of my clothes are crap I bought in Bangkok! Oh well.
So that about sums it up. I am still happy I am traveling, and am still figuring things out along the way, and will never say I regret coming here…but if I had this part to do over again, things would be different.
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