Today I have just got back from a solo trip to Australia. Yep, over ten thousand miles, twenty four hours of travel, changing planes in one of the busiest airports in the world. Crossing the equator into the Southern Hemisphere, literally half a world away from home. Just me, myself, I.
And I've had a fabulous time, loved and cherished every minute. Had experiences I would never ever have dreamed would happen to me. Seen sights I never thought I would actually clap eyes on in real life.
I'm by no means a seasoned globe trotter, but over the past six years I've done my own little bit of trotting to Portland, Oregon (twice), San Francisco, Milan and now Adelaide, South Australia. I've met wonderful people, done amazing things. I've discovered that I love flying, koalas, real Italian pizza, Portland Saturday Market, Australian chocolate shops, pelicans, huge waterfalls, trashy American reality TV (oh, Say Yes To The Dress!!), Dubai airport and so many more things that I can't even remember right now.
For someone who had only previously travelled the UK (OK, extensively - from Lands End to John O'Groats and beyond, right up to Orkney. And that is not to be sniffed at. The beauty we have right here in our own corner of the world is awesome, and I am so often saddened by people who have never taken the time to explore it for themselves before hopping on a plane to Magaluf or wherever. And yes, wherever I travel I think my heart will always belong here in this little corner of my home land!) this is all quite other-worldly. It isn't something that I ever anticipated doing - apart from a strong yearning to visit Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush, that is (as a child my dad took me to a slide show at his photographic society. The speaker was a man called Alfred Gregory (later Sir Alfred) who had been on the 1952 Everest expedition and was, I believe, in line for the final push to the summit although for some reason it was Hillary & Tenzing who made it eventually. His photos and experiences captivated me).
Anyway, I digress!! As I say, I had never anticipated visiting all these places. And I do feel very blessed (I use that word rather than 'lucky' quite deliberately. Luck never really came into it. A lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears and simple choices about what to spend my money on did. OK, so I count myself lucky to have been born where and when I did, and to have had the life chances I've had, but I've not exactly sat back and waited for air tickets to distant places to land in my lap! Sorry - that was a wee bit of a rant, BUT I've no more money than most people and a hell of a lot less than others. This just happens to be how I choose to spend mine!)
Sooooo going back to feeling blessed and having these wonderful experiences, I do want to say 'Thank you' to the thing that made it all happen. To my initial reason for venturing beyond my own (beautiful) shores. To the thing that inspires me to continue to travel now.
In a nutshell, thank you tribal bellydance You quite simply changed my world.
Oh yeah, and while we're about it, thanks for the mild case of time zone adjustment that has me up writing blog posts at silly o'clock!
Yes tribal - you do indeed rock. Thank you for our wandering adventures together so far - and here's to many, many more!
Until next time, happy dancing - wherever in this wide, wonderful world you might be! And may you always see life with glittering eyes!
More to come soon on my fab dance adventures in beautiful Adelaide!