GOODBYE AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND, COUNTRIES OF OZ
It is early 10:00 AM in America, it is already 3:00 AM tomorrow, in New Zealand, 17 time zones away. Once again, I traveled to another place, a faraway palace. I spoke to people who use “s” where we use “z”, but they are otherwise not very different from us.
It took us took us 31 hours to travel from JFK to Sydney International Airport; that was last week’s Monday. It would have taken us 36 hours to return from Auckland, New Zealand. But we had added an extra 27 hours to the trip, during wish a canceled flight forced us to stay in Sydney and enjoy an extra fun day on the Continent of Oz.
I left the Cordis Hotel at 4:00 AM on Wednesday, I reached home at 2:00 AM, on Friday. We could have missed our connecting flight from Hong Kong, but the aircraft waited for our group for three hours. The power of club travel!
The goodbyes, hugs, and kisses would not stop at the JFK terminal. It was the annual tough separation that ended 11 thrilling days on the road. The limo took an hour and a half to drop me at home. The adventure was over.
At the other end of the world, in Down Under, Australians and New Zealanders walk upright, and they are not falling headfirst into the globe on your desk would suggest. They have conquered the land of the aborigines and transformed it into two rich countries, boasting among the highest GDPs per capita in the world.
The descendants of convicts, adventurers and migrants have united to create a society and an economy that rival with any other.
A visit to ANZ is a must for all would-be world traveler. But the Down Under adventure is unlikely to be an American’s annual fun trip. A 31-hour journey, from one airport to the next, is a damming challenge and an exhausting endeavor, followed by the longest recovery from a jet lag. However, a first is a must; it does confer bragging rights.
Tourism in Australia and New Zealand is more about nature, fauna, and flora. It is primarily about magnificent landscapes, amazing sights, phantasmagoric animals, exotic plants, on a backdrop of an orthodox history. Due to remoteness from other First World countries, daily life may be difficult and isolating, prices may be high or outrageous for the visitor.
They come mostly from Polynesia and Great Britain, but they also speak Mandarin and Hindu. They hate nuclear energy; they prioritize nature. They are kin at saving the Earth and they have the cleanest streets you may dream of. They are the face of the future.
I am back from a new trip abroad. I have reinforced my conviction that there is only one human race, with one single set of dramas and dreams.
The population of ANZ is more obese and is faring better economically, but their dreams remain similar and generic: a safer world and a better tomorrow for their progeny.
I am a citizen of the world. If a blue-watered Caribbean island is my homeland, the world is my patria, and Warrenville is my home… Yes, I have returned home to the rat race. It is so good to be back home.
Until the next adventure, that was The Traveller.
(The Traveller, October 12, 2018, Sydney, Australia.)
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