Quite. I would like to thank you for bring them to my attention.
Why the hell do my responses always end up on top of the next page? Makes me look like I'm talking to myself.
Nah - I heard you from back there - it was your capybara calling timbre that got my attention...
Never saw this one the first time around.
Love the frog!
I may have asked this before, if answered sorry for asking again. I have an Australian friend who told me that Australians plain don't travel much. In America the "road trip" is pretty much part of the national character. Most every American has traveled to at least a handful of other states. She told me that Australians are much less likely to do that.
Mostly true? Sorta true? Totally untrue? Dependent on region? (She's from Melbourne, I believe.)
Totally untrue, I would have thought, Soz.
We have less states to travel to, though.
Perhaps this has confused her?
Maybe it is a Melbourne thing?
See what the other Ozzians have to say.
I always thought there was less of the North American sort of road trip because you have to go so much further in Australia to get anywhere else. Looking at the map on the first page reminded me of the difference of how the cities are spread around the edge the country.
Kind of the way a European road trip is a completely different animal, as the travel you do here from city to city takes you from country to country in Europe.
I was thinking that too, in fact the map is what made me think of it. That and the opening comment about desert. If you pile into a car in North America and just set off, you have a reasonable expectation of hospitable conditions and hotels and such pretty much no matter where you go.
But she was saying that they don't even fly anywhere. The conversation came up because her time in the Chicago area was the first time she had been out of (Melbourne? I really should remember. Whatever her hometown in Australia is.) We were asking her whether she was interested in exploring more of the U.S., and she just wasn't. She said it was an Australian thing.
I think it is a your friend thing!
Not fly anywhere?
Well, that is most certainly not my experience.
I am considered badly travelled in my group - and I have been to every state - travelled round by car and plane - first time I flew anywhere, I was a babe in arms.
You sorsoress, you are making sure that we will NOT be able to resist a trip to OZ. Of course, we already want to come, but now I'll have to save even more money for the pottery!
When we do come, do you think you could get some time off and join us on a trip to Alice Springs? That would be incredible.
Please continue. I loved the Dr. John Flynn story. He started a world wide phenomenon. Here in New Mexico, a group of old hippies have started a service in the St. Luis Valley for health care. It too is very isolated and the health care was almost nonexistent.
The school by air is also wonderful. Those kids remind me of ranch kids here in the western US. Very self-sufficient, but somewhat lacking in some of the arts that are more easily accessed in larger populations.
OK, Deb, keep it coming, this is beautiful.
Interesting point about Australians and travel within Australia. Think of a country the size of the continental US with just 20 million people and lot of nothing.
Travel by road in Australia isn't something done lightly and without major planning.
And aside from the dangers of collisions which are common to all nations with motor vehicles there is always the possibility of dying from the effects of being unprepared for the conditions and the climate. No hyperbole, travelling in summer in an isolated area without being prepared is foolish and dangerous.
We potter around our own areas but if we seek to strike out overland it requires a major effort and plenty of time.
A tangent, re Australia. I just read a book written in 1952 that was set in New Guinea with protagonists from Australia. Quite good, I thought, and so did the Edgar Award people as it got their first Edgar Award for Best Novel.
Beat Not the Bones
I picked it up because I will read any mystery/police procedural published by SoHo Press, which I've gotten to recognize in used book stores by the style of the cover binding; whatever the virtues of any given book in the series, there isn't much "cute" or facile about the writing; this is a plus to me.
I'm fascinated by the suggestion that Australians don't travel too much.
Certainly, within Oz, you don't just start up and drive, as Goodfielder says, unless you're travelling along the coast. There's a whole lot of nothing out there in the centre. There are deaths every year of people who head off improperly prepared - and that doesn't take into account the totally stupid - the Japanese fellow who decided to walk across - wonder what happened to him; and the stupid American fireman who thought heading off into the desert was fun. It took a couple of weeks and millions of dollars to find him, and he wasn't in too good shape.
However, most of us have done a fair bit of travelling within our own state (you have to go somewhere on school holidays!) and many of us have ventured even farther afoot. I even braved the Melbourne weather and MsOlga at Easter. (and I head Deb has occasionally ventured to that foreign state, Queensland!) I've travelled to and in each state (6) and territory (2) to some extent - and I don't think that's unusual.
With regard to overseas travel, Australians are everywhere. On a percentage basis, signifiantly more Australians travel overseas than Americans, and travel more widely, but, there are many more Americans. We're used to the huge distances, you see. Whereas many Americans bemoan the distance and time taken to get to Oz (I'm most active on a travel website!), and whether it's worth it or not, Aussies just get up and go if they want to. This probably reflects the "get-on-with-it" of our national character.
Interesting question, though..........
Thoughtless, stupid travelers die each year here in the States for the same reasons listed above. While there isn't as much empty land in the US, there is enough that a few come to the southwest thinking of Ansel Adams photographs or camping in the wilds of Colorado. There are only 2 million people in the entire state of New Mexico. The climate varies from desert to high mountains wher it can snow in June. There are bears and mountain lions. Cell phones don't work in the mountains. I guess some people don't think the prepare or are so stupid that they never consider something awful could happen. As Margo said, saving these idiots costs millions of dollars.
Hey Deb, come back!!
Lol - got work and a job application to write - and I haven't been good since Miranda tried to kill me the other night!
(Got herself locked out on balcony, and woke me up to let her in, and, while still asleep after doing that, I fell over a large, metal, coffee table - stuffed up my back and neck and am generally banged up! Damn cats. Tried to get back into bed tfrom the other side, and forgot about the damned table, cos I was still asleep.)
Possible reasons why Aussies don't travel in Oz too much...
Sorry this is a bit late but thought I'd put my own two cents in.
One reason why Australians don't travel too much "interstate" may well be the size of the states, not just the country. Oz is about the size of the US, but there are only 7 States (counting the Northern Territory, because it's big, and discounting the Australian Capital Territory, because it's basically a city). So divide America into seven regions, and think about driving withing one of these regions. I'm pretty sure you would cross several states in the US but still be in the same one in Oz!
Another reason has already been mentioned so I won't go into it too much - the time/expense/danger of travelling between most places. In the populated coastal areas on the east coast, you can be pretty sure of at least not starving to death if you get lost. But you really have to know what you're doing if you decide to drive far north or "out back", that is, away from the water. Apart from Adelaide (down the bottom), there's a whole lot of nothing until you hit Perth in the west, if you're lucky enough to find it. Emphasis on the whole lot of nothing. It's nothing. Nada. Zip.
Time is another factor. To go anywhere outside your state, you're going to want to leave a lot of travelling time. Add the cost and in some cases danger of this and the result is that not a lot of people with jobs/kids would bother unless it was to see relatives etc..., in which case they would probably fly. There is such a great diversity in Australia's environment that there's no need to get out of your state to, say, have a beach holiday, an urban experience, or visit a rainforest.
It's becoming increasingly common for older retired people to buy a caravan and go touring around Australia, indefinitely. It's more common for Australians to have visited overseas than see around their own country, so this is a great way to do this. You can keep going for years without repeating yourself.
Interstate relations is another reason. Young Tasmanians tend to want to escape to Melbourne, the nearest (and most influential for Tasmanians) big city. Melbourne and Sydney have a rivalry going similar to NY/LA, with Melbourne being the NY side of the relationship (darker, more arty, with Sydney seen as being glitzier and more prone to celebrity etc...). Sydney and Brisbane have a rivalry too. Hardly anyone lives in the Northern Territory and hardly anyone knows about Adelaide. I live in Tasmania and have travelled around a bit, but literally have never met anyone from South Australia (Adelaide). This state was the only one to be free of the convict 'stain' in the early years, so maybe they're a bit more snooty and insular. I don't know.
And Perth is literally like another country. It's so far away and there's nothing inbetween but road. It's the most isolated city on earth, by the way.
I'm mentioning just the main cities here because most of the Australian population lives in these centres. There aren't that many, and they're quite spread out.
One final point... it's interesting to me that despite these differences in distance and inter-mingling, there is a distinct Australian character and accent common to people all over the continent. It could be that we're such a young country (200 years) that big regional differences haven't had a chance to develop, but that seems to me remarkable also - that we've 'homogenised' in a way so much all over in such a short space of time. The only difference in accent I've ever noticed is that some in the north tend to pronounce "school" words as "skewl", while in the south it's "skool". The people in Perth for example, who as I've said have almost nothing to do with the rest of us (by necessities of distance), have exactly the same accent/character as Tasmanians. Just a better tan!
Another interesting point relating to the accent - it's almost exactly the same as New Zealand's except for one vowel difference ("fush and chups"), and yet New Zealand had no convicts and nothing but free settlers! So much for the so-called "criminal underclass" accent of Australia. Perhaps it's just something in the air of the antipodes that requires a certain accent?
Very nice post!
Do post more!
Welcome to A2K & have a great time here!
Hardly anyone lives in the Northern Territory and hardly anyone knows about Adelaide. I live in Tasmania and have travelled around a bit, but literally have never met anyone from South Australia (Adelaide). This state was the only one to be free of the convict 'stain' in the early years, so maybe they're a bit more snooty and insular. I don't know.
We're all up ourselves, best not to come here.
Tasmania is nice though. Been there a few times. Great beer.
Re: Possible reasons why Aussies don't travel in Oz too much
Tassie Boy wrote:
hardly anyone knows about Adelaide. I live in Tasmania and have travelled around a bit, but literally have never met anyone from South Australia (Adelaide). This state was the only one to be free of the convict 'stain' in the early years, so maybe they're a bit more snooty and insular. I don't know.
Of course they're more snooty - they live in Adelaide after all! Just look at our guru-in-training, dlowan! Right up there.....
Those crow-eaters sure are different! (and goodfielder!)
Welcome to A2K, Tassie Boy!
Apart from Adelaide (down the bottom), there's a whole lot of nothing until you hit Perth in the west, if you're lucky enough to find it. Emphasis on the whole lot of nothing. It's nothing. Nada. Zip.
Apart from some spectacular coastal scenery, whales in the Great Australian Bight (seasonal of course), some of the best surfing outside of Hawaii (watch out for the White Pointers/Great Whites though), Esperance (Western Australia) and Albany (Western Australia) - although Albany to be fair is a fair way south (but a really nice town and worth a couple of days there for sure). Oh but if you're driving at night (not advised) watch out for wombats on the highway, they'll turn your car over if you hit one!