As I prepare to wrap up my trip and begin the journey back home, I found myself reflecting upon my travels over the past month.
In general, no matter where in the world you go, time after time, I’m still amazed at how nice people are. From people like Peter and Alex who helped with much of the leg work for my New Zealand journey, to the guy who could barely speak English helping me figure out which bus stop I needed to get off in Auckland, to the friendly, talkative chap on the bus in Sydney who gave me a street by street account of the suburbs we were passing through, people all over the world are generally willing to help out with directions and such.
Some of the things I noticed this trip that in the past I rarely saw, were people using their phones to navigate. Instead of maps, you could often tell the visitors from the locals by the use of their phone as a guidebook.
It also seems that American’s are loath to trust another American with train directions unless they are in America. I’ve noticed this in London when I spent some time there, and again here in Sydney. As soon as you answered the American’s question about which trains to take, off they hurried looking for someone with an accent. The guy with the accent didn’t seem to mind when I helped him with the buses.
Where ever I go, you can count on rain. I now have fond memories of getting rained on in Austria, Belgium (more then one trip), Canada, Holland, Italy and the UK. You can now add Australia and New Zealand to the list. It’s not that I mind the rain, in fact it’s better then blazing hot. But it does get a little old when you are out in the rain for 7-10 hours touring around. At some point you are not getting any wetter, but you’re not getting any drier either. Besides, when using just a small backpack, wet clothes + your only dry clothes = only wet clothes. It’s no fun putting on clean clothes in the morning only to have them wet before you leave.
The other thing you can count on is no matter where I travel the dollar will fall as my trip goes on.
All is all it’s hard to complain about traveling and seeing other parts of the world. Be it city’s or countryside. Zoo’s, botanical gardens, maritime museums, scenic vantage points or running along the beach. Nothing shabby about that.
Plus I learned a new skill. Driving on the wrong side of the road! Round abouts rock and the US should have more of them. Maybe I’ll start a campaign.
Tomorrow I’m going to actually go back in time. I’ll arrive back in Arizona 35 minutes before I leave Australia. Of course, I’ll waste all of that time plus some waiting for the world’s slowest baggage handlers (Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport) to get my luggage to me. So much for getting a second chance at something.
Have a safe trip home! Looking forward to 2011!