Today's the day I fly off to Sydney, Australia for a week's vacation. I haven't left the US since 2003 when I visited the Philippines, as well as Singapore and Malaysia.
It seems that every two years I take a major trip that involves an airplane: in 2007 I went to Portland, OR; 2005 I fortunately got to see New Orleans 5 months before it was devastated. In 2003 was the aforementioned Asia trip, and I also got to visit the East Coast as well. In 2001 I visited the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia as well as Hong Kong. In 1999, New York City. In 1997, the Philippines. 1995, Europe (England, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium); 1993 the East Coast and 1991 the East Coast and Canada.
This time, it's the Land Down Under. Why? Because it's far away. It's also the end of Summer there (though it's starting to get summer-like here). I'll also get to fly there in a Qantas Airbus A380, and thanks to the recession, I got a sweet promotional deal on my ticket ($877 RT)!
I plan to explore the city of Sydney on foot and transit (maybe rent a bike if I can) for three days, then rent a car - yes, I'll be driving on the left side of the road (wish me luck)! and visit the Blue Mountains National Park, and Canberra, the capital city of Australia (which is like driving the same distance from L.A. to Tijuana). Then I return to Sydney then leave on Friday the 27th.
I travel because I love to learn. I've discovered I learn way more traveling than sitting in a classroom. And like any place I've never been to before, I have no idea what to expect aside from any preconceived notions I might have. But once I'm there, they will all be shattered, replaced with experiences that become memories upon my return home.
Sydney, like Los Angeles, is a diverse metropolis of 4 million with many immigrant communities. One of my hopes in Sydney is to stumble upon a community there that seems to resemble East Hollywood. I've already gotten some leads via some Internet forums.
This being the 21st century, though I'll be some 9,000 miles from home, I'll still be tethered to the world I know through technology. I will hopefully update this blog while I'm there, as well as my Facebook and Twitter (twitter.com/elsongs) profiles. If you've been there before, feel free to send any tips my way!
Until then, G'day, mate!