Newcastle, Australia

The past couple weeks have proved to us a theory we’ve had about travel for some time. It is that the people you meet in a place are way more important than the place itself. What makes travel so addictive are the experiences you have, learning about how other people live, understanding their perspectives about the world, and enjoying life for a few moments from their shoes. This is also what makes some forms of travel almost pointless, particularly those that shelter you from the realities of life in a place. Cruise ships, guided tours, fancy resorts, and all inclusive packages offer what we call the “Disneyland experience”, meaning they offer comfort, but eliminate most of the great things about travel and should be avoided (in our opinion).

So we’ve continued our road adventure south along Australia’s east coast. We’ve spent most of our time with friends, old and new, who live along this coast. Even the new Aussie friends we’ve met here treat us like we’ve been friends since birth, which is something we don’t experience often, and is also one of the reasons it’s so easy to feel at home in Australia. It also helps that Aussies naturally live adventurous and active lives outdoors, meaning that daily experiences bring something new and exciting every morning.

Here in Newcastle we’ve been hanging out with our new friend Woffa. Woffa and his buddies invented something they call “Greatest Day of the Year”. They pick one day in summer and try to pack in as much adventure as is humanly possible in a 24 hour period. So they go surfing, motocross riding, skate boarding, go cart racing, lawn bowling, wake boarding, and at the end of the day they jump off the roof into the pool, then go out to the pubs to celebrate. Why we never thought of Greatest Day of the Year ourselves is probably because we’re not Aussie, but that sense of spirit and adventure is something we’ll try to take with us when we leave. Our Saturday with Woffa and his mates turned into a “mini Greatest Day”, and we’ll try our best to make it back for the real one in February on our way back up to Bundaberg.

For now, though, we need to keep moving south because this country is huge and our time is limited. Sydney is the next stop on our itinerary and we’re only a couple hours away, so back to the wagon we go.


  1. Pius Ching

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the importance of people you meet in your travel, and that they are more important than the places visited. I can’t agree with you more. I am traveling in Suriname right now! While it is not quite as exotic as places you’ve been to, still it is not exactly a destination for the typical ‘tourists’. The Surinamese are so friendly, and so willing to share, causing me to resonate with your comments on people. Good luck with your continuing adventure.

  2. maria

    all so very interesting – the pictures – your thoughts
    we are learning so much from you – thank you
    and Happy Holidays