Friday, July 17, 2015

Look! A blog!

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged.   A very long time.  Well over a year.  And several of my friends, family, and co-workers have reminded me of that, which was surprising because I was pretty confident that the only person reading this was my mother.  While I always tried to blog regularly, life took over and it just slipped away from me.  What can I say?  I’m a very important person doing very important things.

Just kidding!  I was probably just busy watching funny cat videos on YouTube.

I last blogged about Russia which was a trip I took in October 2013 (yikes!)  That trip also included Finland and Estonia (which I previously blogged about) and Mongolia and South Korea (which I have not blogged about).  Since then, I have also taken overseas trips to New Zealand (six trips in total), Myanmar, and Bali (Indonesia).

Back in Australia, I finally made it to the last of the state and territory capitals that I had been missing:  Brisbane and Darwin.  I went on a big camping adventure in the outback, channelled my inner-retiree in the Gold Coast, took a road trip down the South Coast of New South Wales, and visited Melbourne once or twice… per year… or more.

But there have been two really big exciting developments missing from the blog.  First and foremost, I became an Aussie!  I was naturalized as an Australian citizen on August 15, 2014 – after roughly four and a half years living in the Land Down Under.  I am now the proud bearer of dual passports entitling me to be shifty when crossing international borders.

Secondly, I quit my job (yay!), moved out of my apartment, and said goodbye to all of my friends in Australia (boo!).  Last Sunday, I set out on a gap year:  a full year (give or take a bit) of travel around the globe.  That was the impetus for me starting up the blog again.  Over the next twelve months, I’ll be blogging about my adventures and even rewinding the clocks a bit and filling you, the readers (my mother and one or two others), in on all the exciting travels that I’ve failed to blog about over the past nearly two years.

In the meantime, here are a few questions you can ponder:

1.  Will I be able to survive a full year of travel?
2.  Just how many times will I get food poisoning?
3.  What is the most random country in which I will eat Mexican food?
4.  Just how long will it take until I pop some loud, obnoxious American tourist in the face?

As I write this post, I am on a flight from Singapore to Johannesburg.  The first few weeks of my travels will likely see limited wifi connections as I’ll be on various camping safari tours across seven African nations, but I will do my best to post when internet is available.  Until then, trust that I’ll be doing my best to type up blogs and have them ready as I go along.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to prepare for landing.


  1. Hi, Phillip,

    I read your post about Aborigines from 2011 (I was Googling "Bill Bryson aborigines" and you're at the top!), and I'd be curious to know if you've formed any further opinions about Aboriginal culture since you first wrote. I was Googling because I was curious to re-read Bryson's statements and I didn't have "In a Sunburned Country" with me. It's always struck me as odd that he, a very curious and observant writer, wrote and seemed to even think so little about Australia's native people while he was there. So since you've been living there, and you have the experience of being American (and you can contrast America's racial history with that of Australia), I'd welcome your opinion! (I'm American myself, never been to Australia, but would love to travel there someday.)

    All the best,
    Lori (near Philadelphia)

    1. Hi Lori, Thanks for your comment! I don't think Bill Bryson thought so little about the indigenous people, I think he was just stating his observations on them - without judgement. I don't think Australia has done as good a job with helping their indigenous people as the US has (though the US isn't all that great to be honest, and the Native Americans have their own set of problems that need to be resolved I think... though I'm no scholar!) The plight of the aboriginal population continues, and it's going to take a concerted effort on behalf of all Australians (both indigenous and not) to help raise their standard of living. Of all the countries that I know about or have traveled to, it appears New Zealand has done the best job when it comes to treating their native population with respect, though I reckon some there will likely have their own issues to state!