Easter is a day for miracles. It represents a time of hope and faith, of rebirth, of new beginnings. It is only appropriate, then, that Easter Sunday became the day that we finally — yes, finally — purchased our round-the-world plane ticket.
I was truly beginning to believe that this day would never come. This week was one of extreme ups and downs in the world of trip planning, and I had all but lost my faith. Last week, I pleaded for something to get me excited about this trip again, and by Wednesday I was feeling optimistic that the purchase of the UK-based ticket was imminent. As I drove to work that day, Men At Work’s iconic, Land Down Under blasted from my AM/FM radio (no CD player, thank you very much). It’s a song that makes you want to get up and dance. I couldn’t help but smile as I sang along, and began dreaming about the Australia portion of our trip. Kangaroos, shrimp on the barbie, koalas, bloomin’ onions, people calling me “mate” and admonishing me to have “no worries.” If I could have transported myself to that faraway land on a magical boomerang in that moment, I would have.
I listened to the lyrics and, as if hearing the song for the first time, I realized it’s a song about RTW travel. Allow me to translate:
“Traveling…on a hippie trail” (Goa, India)
“I met a strange lady, she made me nervous” (any given hostel situation)
“Buying bread from a man in Brussels” (all I will be able to afford)
“He smiled and gave me a vegamite sandwich” (typical backpacker fare)
“Lying in a den in Bombay, with a slack jaw and not much to say” (so tired that I will lay my head wherever)
Honestly, I have no idea what this song is about. I am no good at figuring out the hidden meaning of song lyrics, but in that moment the song spoke to me. I realized it could become my anthem, my rallying cry; not just when I’m exploring the land down under, but throughout the trip. It got me excited about traveling again.
A few hours later, my hopes were dashed (yet again) when we discovered that the cost of sending our money to the UK via a Western Union wire transfer would run $540. In the end, we made the difficult decision to give up the ghost and eat the extra cost of purchasing our ticket from the US. We gave it our best shot, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
The good news, though, is that we have tickets! We’re really going on this trip! You can check out our Itinerary page for the final version. You’ll see some changes from the previous itinerary. We added some additional time to Portugal, India, Australia, and New Zealand, and deducted some time from Italy (mainly due to anticipated cost) and Easter Island (timing of flights). We decided at the last minute to swap Japan for Jordan. Our ticket requires us to pass through Amman (twice), so we figured, “Why not?” Our main excursion here will be to Petra. For any of you who are Indiana Jones fans, you will recall that the final scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade takes place at Petra, an ancient city carved into the rosy rock within a crescent-shaped canyon, where Indy finds the Holy Grail. Aside from being a movie set, Petra is one of the “Forgotten” Wonders of the World. We thought it was a good trade-off for Egypt, as it at least keeps us in the spirit of exploring the ancient world. And, as a “culinary tourist” with a particular affinity for Middle Eastern fare, I was delighted to read that Amman is described as a culinary crossroads for such cuisine.
The next post will feature the literary stylings of Maikael, our guest blogger. As the person primarily responsible for the transportation portion of this trip, he will provide an in-depth look at all the gory details of the past three months leading up to today’s purchase.
To celebrate closing this chapter of the trip planning process, we’ll be cracking open a bottle of wine from The Land Down Under over our Easter dinner tonight. Onward and upward — and Happy Easter!No comments