"A Work in Progress" al2401's Profile


Finally took some time out from travel pages to do some work here. I think I'll keep the title because life is 'a work in progress'.

I have always been fascinated by lands far away - I remember reading books about Egypt; Sir Edmund Hilary and the Himalayas; Scott and Mawson and Antarctica etc. age 9.

Well, I am a bit ahead of myself. I live in Palmwoods which is a village at the foot of the hinterland range on the Sunshine Coast, south east Queensland, Australia. The area is famous for its beaches and laid back life style. Australia Zoo, made famous by Steve Irwin is near by.

I am a Medical Scientist and work in the laboratory of our local hospital. We are in a rapidly growing area so work is always busy and our lab is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Apart from travel I enjoy walking (to a destination not just around the block), dancing (ballroom), gardening, a good read and good food and wine! I am also a keen photographer.

Early travels

My first venture was between 1st and 2nd year of University. I borrowed my mothers car (legally) and went on a road trip with two girl friends to visit various relatives and friends of relatives in 'outback' Queensland. We learned about flat tyres, broken windscreens and the hospitality of the country folk. Took a few semi-decent photos and may post some if I can find the negatives to put through my scanner.

Next trip was the next year with one of the girls. We did an ocean cruise to New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. I learned that I enjoy new places and people but DON'T like cruising (not at 19).

After finishing University I left home and took a job in Cairns, far North Queensalnd - 1,000 miles away but still in the same state! Australia is so big and so far away from anywhere that Aussies are used to distance - so much so that we measure it in the time it takes to get there. So Cairns is 24 hours by car or 2 1/2 hrs by plane.

Cairns is a major tourist destination - so how come I saw so little while I was there (14 years)! The only time I saw any of the area was when visitors came. It was also my 'married' years when time was spent in home-buying and making. Holidays were normally spent travelling to Brisbane to visit family. In mid 1980's we took a month trip to the UK. This was unplanned (I didn't even have a passport!); my husband's aunt had died and he was executor and sole beneifciary; we spent the time visiting relatives in London, Essex, Yorkshire, Scotland and the Lake District.

In 1988 we spent one month travelling to Melbourne and back (with dog)[his idea] to visit friends (cheap accommodation). For the rest of the time we used tent sites in caravan parks (hot showers and clean toilets! - no holes in the ground unless necessary)[his idea]{well maybe mine as well!}

In late 1980's we spent 3 months in UK. Mainly a repeat of last vist with many more places. We hired a car - I was the driver as my husband could not drive a manual car (which was cheaper to hire). I learn't that if I can get out of London and get to Canterbury and Dover then I CAN DO ANYTHING!

Post married years

Well, my marriage came to an end;

In 1998 I repeated the UK thing and included EUROPE! Yes , it was the 9 countries in 20 days thing but it was my first time alone! The time in UK was great and I never got lost (OK - there was that time when I knew I wasn't where I was suppossed to be) and the natives were friendly (they were my cousins!). I enjoyed the Europe travel especially the currency exchange for each country (pre-Euro). BUT - I felt like I had seen it all before! (in everyone elses photos and videos) there was nothing new! I think that is why I enjoyed Spain the most - it was different to all the pictures I had seen before.

In 2000 I decided to escape Australia and the Olympics! I went to America and Canada - following the Rocky Mountains North from the Grand Canyon to Calgary. I went in late September/October which is one of the best times to see the mountains. I also stayed for 10 days with friends (I met on the Europe trip) in Colorado Springs. They took me into New Mexico and Santa Fe.

I learned that I don't like organised tours where you are one of 40 and have no voice!

2001 - 2005

During this time the travel bug was almost inactive. I was being very sensible and perparing for my retirement years. I consolidated finances, built a house and gained a masters degree so travel took a back seat. The travel bug would not remain dormant however and I broke the drought with a small trip to Norfolk Island. This tiny island in the South Pacific is relatively unknown to all but Australians and New Zealanders and I hope it retains its secret status. What a beautiful place! It is so small that a week is enough to see everything but it is a place you can return to. Not a great deal to do but the people are starting to develop more active pursuits - ocean kayaking, deep sea fishing, horseriding trails etc.

2006 - 2010

The travel for these years is well documented on VT

2006 - Tasmania, Australia
2007 - Egypt
2008 - Egypt & Turkey
2009 - Dubai, Egypt & Morocco
2010 - China


2011 - South America
Attempt #1 was made on 13th June 2011;
All ready to go, drove down to Brisbane to stay with my Mum and fly out to Sydney at 6am 14th. Got to Sydney to find the flight to Santiago was cancelled due to volcanic ash. 'Try again tomorrow'. Found a hotel, made many phone calls, cancelled my cooking school in Lima and met VT member JoSilver for a meal. Flight still cancelled 15th June so caught flight back to Brisbane. In touch with travel agent. Flight out on 17th is last resort otherwise I miss Macchu Picchu. Can go via LAX as business class (only seat left) but will cost $10,000!!!

Options after dealing with travel insurance - rebook trip within 6 months and leave within 1 year. ?postpone till 2012 and go to NZ later this year? TBA.

I have managed to rebook my holidays and plan to try again on 19th October 2011 - TBA!!

2012 - New Zealand with Mum


Yes - I got to Sth America and had an amazing time - got robbed in Buenos Aires (as you do) but now I know where the Australian Embassy is! That was 2011.

2012 saw the planned road trip of New Zealand. It was great and Mum and I are still speaking to each other! I learned that no matter how much you love someone 33 days constantly in their company is too much!

What's next?

2013 saw me in India, Nepal and Bhutan. India I sort of knew what to expect but Bhutan was absolutely amazing.

As this is my last chapter I will have to keep adding here.

2014 - I have plans for Norfolk Island in June, Cairns in September and Antarctica in November.

The Norfolk re-visit was great - Mum loved it. Will update pages soon.

  • Intro Updated Jul 15, 2014
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Palmwoods, Australia
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