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Friday, May 15, 2009

From here to there and back again

Do you ever get the sense that you haven't been anywhere after you've travelled somewhere? And yet when you return you feel as if you have been 'away'? I did a whirlwind trip to Perth this week to spend time with my Mum for mother's day (last Sunday in Australia) and her birthday (the day after) and to see my sister, brother-in-law and my niece and nephews before we leave Australia again in less than two weeks. It was one of those trips where I feel as if I've spent more time travelling than I spent 'there'. Which is not the case at all. Although I did spend most of a day getting 'there' and a whole night returning 'here', including a couple of hours on a bus and several hours killing time in the airports at each end. Travel days like these - when you spend a whole day travelling and yet you're still in the same country - remind me of just how vast Australia actually is - more so than all those ten hour days on the road we did in the outback during this neverending research trip. Why is that, I wonder?


jen laceda said...

This is exactly how I feel when I travel around Canada.

Lara Dunston said...

Strange, hey?

Dr Sandy O'Sullivan said...

That's just how I am feeling right now... driving hundreds of miles to hang out with fantastic people makes it a LOT better, but its still hundreds of miles. I have to say though if I was flying I would really feel that way. I wish I could drive everywhere... you get to see the landscape between. Not an option with Perth but! But yeah, I am heading off today to Pittsburgh! After spending a few days in New England and I have to say if you have to spend a lot of time driving around, New England in Spring is a pretty good way to do it. Not to mention Harvard, Yale and the wonderful people there etc. But for the next five days I am visiting museums, so not so much connecting with people (its not appropriate in the context of my research for this bit of it) and it might be a bit odder because of that... know what I mean? Then a massive conference with thousands of Indigenous people... and back to the museums for another week... so in a way its all about the pace changing, and I always find that easier in a trip... but if I could travel the world and not fly, I would be soooo happy. Do you think I could convince my institution to let me travel by sea (bugger, I need to work out a really, really good research project that would work that angle!).

Check out my blog... I'm updating tonight, but there are some bits up there. I'm a bit limited by an ethics application in what I can actually put up there, but I want to put up more and will tonight!

Lola said...

Absolutely hear you! I get that feeling a lot as well

Lara Dunston said...

Hi Sandy

Yep, much prefer that we drive rather than fly when we have the time of course. But this was just a quick trip, but what I can't get over is how much more the long flights communicate the distance of Australia to me more than the driving. If I took the same flight from Dubai, I'd be in Istanbul or Athens rather than just another part of the same country. Know what I mean?

So glad to hear the trip is going well. I'll check out the blog now.

I did the same kind of thing when I did my Masters in International Studies/Latin American Cinema in South America in 1996 (I think!) - I'd spend a week or two at a film festival, a week in a film archive, perhaps a week doing interviews, and then I'd be bumming around travelling for a few weeks trying to get a feel for the country and so it continued for that year.

Looking forward to hearing more!

Lara Dunston said...


Oh, I'm so glad I'm not the only one! Perhaps it's 'big country air travel syndrome'?

Prêt à Voyager said...

due to my mere 10 vacation days a year at my job, i often find myself only taking 3 day weekends to go somewhere or visit friends. i do feel like i spend more time trying to get there than actually there, but at the same time, i'm always amazed how much i can fit into a short amount of time. and as long as i'm visiting friends it's always quality time.