Tomorrow, January 22nd, marks my one year anniversary in Sydney – and I’ll be starting my day off in the same spot as I started it off exactly one year ago: Sydney Airport.
Astonishingly, in a whole year in Australia, I’ve yet to venture more than two hours away from Sydney. I’ve been as far north as the Hunter Valley, as far west as the Blue Mountains, as far south as Wollongong, and as far east as… well, the beach. But, I haven’t really been anywhere that’s more than a stone’s throw away from Sydney. I haven’t made it to Canberra or Brisbane or the Great Barrier Reef or even Melbourne. So, for my first trip, I thought I’d better make it a big one. I roped my mates Karen and Cade in and we’re on the first flight of the day to…
Perth is Australia’s fourth largest city with a population of around 1.7 million. It’s consistently ranked as one of The Economists top 10 most livable cities in the world, and it holds the distinction of being the world’s most remote big city. Nowhere on the planet is a city so big so far away from any other city of any significant size. To put it in perspective: imagine you live in San Diego. You hop in your car and start driving east. The next city you hit would be… New Orleans. Or, for you East Coast people, imagine you’re in New York. You start driving and… just nothing… until a little past Denver. Perth is really out there.
And those distance comparisons are only to Adelaide. Perth is even further away from Sydney. The flight is about the same as a flight from New York to Tucson or a flight from Seattle to Cleveland. Flights from Perth to Jakarta or Bali are actually shorter (and usually cheaper) than they are to Sydney. And, once Boeing gets their new 787 up and running, Perth will be the only Australian city with a direct flight to Europe. Currently, it’s just too far.
In addition to Perth, we’ll also be doing a little road trip around the southwest corner of the country. We’ll be hiking and wine tasting and beaching and singing dirty rap songs as we cruise around Western Australia. It’s 10 days in total – and it’s going to be a great start to my adventures beyond Sydney. Can you think of a better one year anniversary present that I could give myself?
I didn’t think so.
I won’t be posting while I’m out there… so see you in February!