Australia 2006

In 2005, a friend mentioned that they might be studying abroad in Australia and asked if I would interested in joining to help cut living costs (hell yes!). So after getting through all the hoops and hurdles of school tests, the application process, lots of paperwork, visa approval, etc I found out we were going in late December. So I decided up pack up shop, put stuff in storage, quit my job, and head off to Australia for a year with Kristen (WOOT!). I’ve decided to take this time to relax, focus on photography, cooking, and anything else that strikes my fancy. I have to live on a budget since I was only granted a “Visitor Visa” and as such, I am not allowed to work or generate any income. Unfortunately this prevents me from wandering too far from where I’m living (since I have to pay rent, electricity, etc), but to make the most of it I want to use this time to start focusing on starting up my own business (once I land back in the states). Wish me luck.

You can find my photo albums of Australia here

Stuff I Want Todo

Here I’m trying to keep a list of things that piqued my curiosity and perhaps followup on while in Australia

  1. SCUBA with sharks
  2. Learn to Kite Surf
  3. Go Exploring

Stuff I’ve Done

SCUBA The Great Barrier Reef: Iris decided it was time for a vacation and came down to Australia for a visit, part of our running around ended us up on the reef. You can read all about it here

Learn to Surf: When we first arrived and were staying at a hostel, I had the opportunity to sign-up for a class over at “The Spit”. It was a blast, I was standing on my first attempt and the majority of ones after that (I was so sore the next few days tho). More details here. Later on, I rented a surf board from a local shop and hit the waves for a while, since it was a lot deeper I was doing a large amount of paddling (wow, do your arms get tired fast). Unfortunately I discovered one of the downsides to this sport (no, it wasn’t the sharks, that is something entirely different). It takes a significant amount of knee strength. For me this can be a hazard because back in high school, I blew out my knees 3 times within 8 months in Jujitsu, and since then, I’ve been watchful on what might cause undue strain. Well I didn’t realize how much work my knees were doing and when a wave took the board away from me, my leg tried to stay with it and shifted my knee out a bit. I had to take it easy for a week or so after that. I’ll be giving it another go, but since the majority of the sport is the use of your knees driving the board in each direction, I think I’ll put more focus on other sports (like body-boarding) 🙂 I’m still thinking of kite-boarding but I want to get some feedback first.

Gone ZORBING: Take a large inflatable ball, put another ball inside of it, now crawl in, add optional bucket of water, go rolling down hill, repeat. Read about here and here. If you want to find your own, go here.

Visit Uluru (Ayers Rock): Ok, so this one isn’t “Done”, but it has been addressed. Uluru is one of Australia’s most recognizable landmarks (next to the Sydney Opera House) and is considered both a beautiful and spiritual place. I’ve been interested in visiting here and when Iris came by she mentioned that it was also on her todo list. Unfortunately as we got down to the logistics of her trip, it was going to cost too much to fly out for 1-2 days to see it. Uluru is in the outback (WAY outback, think driving from San Francisco, Ca to Austin, Tx). It would average about $900 just to fly to the closest airport and then we would have a 6+ hour bus ride to the rock. I might still have a chance to visit it while I’m here, but it will most likely take the form of a week-long road trip.

Visit Sydney: Done, as part of Iris’s vist, we flew down to Sydney, explored, climbed bridges and had great food. You can read about it here.

Learn Wildlife Rescue: So I found the oppertunity for a “Wildlife Rescue Class” here on the Gold Coast, hosted by Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. I signed up for the 8 week class, got a hands on (behind the scenes) look at wildlife here in Queensland. You can find a few blog posts here, here, and here, and my photo gallery here.

Learned Body Boarding: Since surfing was out, I still wanted to find a way to play in the ocean and body-boarding has given me that outlet. After renting some gear at the local shops and jumping into the waves, I was hooked. I ended up getting my own gear (since $20/day for rental was too much) and had lots of fun as the summer wound down into fall. Unfortunatly, as winter approached, the water cooled, and the fun waves kinda gave way to “lets pound you into the seabed” I hung my stuff up until things warm up again. (looking forward to Oct/Nov).

Leave a Reply