(featured photo: a snapshot from our time in China, which I was decidedly NOT mentally prepared for)
At work, I have a creative writing job. That makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the working world. Because I like writing very much. And word on the street is that I’m good enough to keep a job as Creative Writer for many years. (Also, I am a Tameable Creative. I have worked with many extraordinarily talented brilliant writers who were untameable… and I will always love them and be in awe of their ferocity. I am different from them, because I have proven to be oddly content in the corporate world.) So, sometimes to shut out office banter and focus, I will listen to various random playlists on Spotify. I lean toward the female vocalist realm. One day I was listening to a playlist entitled “badass women” and suddenly I realized I was playing one song over and over again. It was Middle Kids. I found their EP. I listened to it over and over again. I looked them up. They’re from Sydney. How’d I manage to latch onto a band that’s from the country I’m heading to very soon?
Later, the same thing happened with Camp Cope, a Melbourne band.
I’m becoming drawn to the Australian (female) artists.
This is great! I’m clearly getting into the correct mindspace to make the most of our upcoming travels.
(Unfortunately, they’ll all be touring North America when I’m in their cities. Dammit.)
I haven’t always been so successful at getting into the correct mindspace. The months before we went to China, I was busy helping with a local festival. While I am SO GLAD I did that (yay community! <– that’s a genuine ‘yay’, btw)… I did learn a LOT about myself. Mainly that I suck at delegating. Anyway, because I was trying to do everything myself, I had NO TIME to learn anything about China. I remember telling Andrew that I’d just learn about it while I was there. And boy did I ever. But because all that mental-prep time had been taken up by other things, I didn’t handle my time right. I could’ve gotten a lot more out of China… SO MUCH MORE… if only I’d paid attention. Read a few stories, histories, travelogues. I regret my lack of mental preparation.
I wasn’t particularly pumped when we booked our tickets to Australia. I feel like everyone I know, who travels, has been there already. And everyone’s kind of obsessed with it. Remember the 80’s? Remember YOUNG EINSTEIN? I was a kid when that movie was released and I thought everyone was into it. But most people I talk to these days have never heard of it. Anyway, I didn’t see that movie when I was a kid, we were pretty sheltered. And yet I was very curious about the things I was being sheltered from… such as cool movies. 🙂
So… step one for me, regarding mental Aussie prep, was watching Young Einstein. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. It combines the goofiness of the 80’s with a sort of very warped history lesson and click that link above, it guides you across Australia. At one point I looked at Andrew and said, “Wait. Why does he have to cross a body of water to get to ‘the mainland’? I thought Tasmania was in the middle of Australia!”
To which Andrew responded with horror, “ERIN! Look at a map!”
At which point I realized that Tasmania is an island to the south of Australia. Thus is (was) the extent of my Australian ignorance.
And at that point I declared we must go explore Tasmania. So we totally will. I’m amped.
Andrew tends to read books pertinent to our upcoming destination, so he’s procured several books about Australia, which I mentioned in my previous post. I really loved Peter Carey’s 30 Days in Sydney, I love how his writing makes me want to cry (that is called pathos). I mentioned this to my Australian friend Fleur, whom I lived/worked with in our single days in Banff, and she told me that she has read Peter Carey’s novel The True History of the Ned Kelly Gang. I relayed this to Andrew, and he then purchased this book as well. I am in the midst of reading it and am utterly captivated and devastated and I am completely loving it. Now I understand why Ned Kelly is an Australian legend. I feel this is an important part of going-to-Australia preparation.
If you click that link above and watch the awesome Young Einstein “journey” sequence with Icehouse’s Great Southern Land in the background, you’ll see Uluru — that mysterious giant red rock at the centre of the Australian continent. We will go see it. Travel has taught me that often things that are legendary… are legendary for a reason and I will be impressed by them. So I’m ready to be floored.
This also speaks to my refusal to act too cool to be impressed by anything I’m seeing.
I’m investing a lot to get to these locations, and I’m gonna be STUNNED every time, and I will luxuriate in how stunned I am. I have never been “too cool” nor will ever be. I love being amazed by things, life is too short not to be amazed.
So excited! Okay now I have to go pack. YAY!