I’m writing this article while overseas … well sort of … I’m actually sitting in Hobart, Tasmania where Nick and I are having a short break. It’s the first time we’ve visited Tasmania though it’s been on our wish list for a while so, when our trip to NZ got cancelled last year (like so many other people’s trips), we decided to set our sights on other cooler destinations south. Clearly we weren’t the only ones though; many others had made a similar decision, taking advantage of the open borders, for now anyway.
This is only our third day; we love what we have seen and experienced so far and we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the beautifully sunny and surprisingly warm weather with a cool light breeze. Looking at the forecast in advance, we both packed generous amounts of merino layers, little believing that 24 deg C would actually feel like 24 deg C (actually warmer than that) and are now thinking some linen would have been handy.
For someone like me who likes to have choice in all things, particularly when it comes to clothing (largely due to my dodgy personal thermostat!), one of the perils of travel is that sometimes I have the perfect outfit for the circumstances … at home! This version of me is far removed from the intrepid backpacker who happily carried her life on her back for 12 months, but then again that was 25 years ago and a lot of other things have changed in that time too.
Back to now.
Everyone so far seems very welcoming and friendly and genuinely delighted that the travellers are back visiting again and they are, in vast numbers. Crowds at all of the favourite sights are all being well behaved and following Covid regulations as instructed.
Yesterday we visited Mona (Museum of Old and New Art) which is just a short, scenic ferry trip away, which was intriguing, challenging, confronting and confusing by turns and worth a visit for the surrounds and the astounding architecture of the place even if the artwork is not your style.
Salamanca Markets this morning were fantastic. I have always loved markets of all kinds and seek them out wherever I am; I don’t necessarily buy much but love the hustle and bustle, the colour, the wonderfully fresh produce and eclectic mix of fresh produce, locally made items, stall holders and visitors. All senses being stimulated in a rich experience is such a pleasure.
This afternoon we ventured up to Kunanyi/Mt Wellington through the different styles of vegetation to the peak and made the most of the clear view and fresh temperatures again being enjoyed by many people and possibly the best view from any public toilet I have found yet. Add to all of that the variety of cafes and restaurants to suit most tastes and budgets, we’re enjoying our time so far, as you can tell.
What Nick and I both realise is how much we love to travel together and have missed it, not just the travel for work or a quick trip to Brisbane because that’s different but the longer distance and going somewhere new/different kind of travel; maybe you have too. We have been very fortunate to have been able to travel internationally before and intend to again, when we can. Having said that we also recognise that living in Mackay, like other regional towns, has a lot to offer and being based there has suited us well.
My point is that, many of us may have felt a little ‘stir crazy this last 12 months, so taking the opportunity to experience somewhere new, a change of scene, however short and wherever you can get to can really help to refresh, reinvigorate and restore some of our perspective on life. What re-opening domestic borders offers us all is the opportunity to explore more of Australia and support other communities to get back on their feet, doing what they do best, welcoming travellers of all sorts.
Where will be first on your list?