Where are you off to next, Caroline? | LOH #116

In my time on Hive so far, one thing has become abundantly clear: I am very, very fortunate to live in a wealthy country, with a lot of freedom to safely travel.

What I look like when I'm feeling a little too lucky. (Photo by Jonas Verstuyft)

It's funny, in the land of Web 2.0 we are kept in such isolated bubbles of sameness that it's easy to not even realise how cloistered (sheltered) we are. Since I find the news to be a mostly fear-inducing-endless-stream-of-awfulness I tend not to deliberately seek it. But it would find its way into my Web 2.0 social platforms in the form of advertising from charities asking me for more donations.

It promotes "us and them", the "rich and poor", the "haves and have-nots" kind of thinking and keeps us separate... in our little isolated bubbles.

Hive somehow broke all that for me. Now I deep and meaningful conversations with a young man in Nigeria, I admire another man's work in Ghana, I love on my dancing sister in the Philippines, I found another part of my soul in Portugal, I am grateful to a philanthropist in South Africa and am regularly humbled by the things I learn from my sister in Pakistan. (And they're just the handful of people that happen to come to mind who also live in countries that are quite different to mine; there are so many more of you spread out all over the place!)

That's us, in my imagination, as we come together. (Photo by Mario Purisic)

While I'm still living in the same place with the same amount of money and able to do all the same things as I was before I found Hive 16 months ago, two things are now different:

  • I recognise my privilege and therefore my difference, and

  • I'm better able to connect with fellow Hivers (humans) around the world and I'm therefore, more than ever, able recognise my sameness with the other.

This is profound. I'm trying to do this justice with words but I fear I'm failing... (Photo by Hudson Hintze)

This was supposed to be a post about where I'm travelling to next but it seemed to demand a backstory... because as soon as I went to respond to this week's question by @ifarmgirl in the Ladies of Hive Community I realised my answer is sooooooo heavily influenced by the place I was born and the cards I've been dealt.

The question I'm (getting around to) answering is this:

If you are to take a trip this year to another place or country that you've never been to before, where would you go and what will you be doing there?

This is the face I pull when I'm daydreaming. (Photo by Tyler Casey)

There are so many ways I can answer this question mostly because I have so much freedom. And I really want to acknowledge the incredible amount of freedom I have instead of just taking it for granted. Okay, moving on. Caroline, answer the darn question already!

This year, my partner and I plan to travel a lot. He's been working for the same (great) company for over 20 years and here in Australia, that means he gets a paid "long-service-leave" holiday.

He loves travelling as much as I do. Maybe even more, if that's possible!

And while we could go overseas this year and might still, we've been talking about the many places we'd like to visit in Australia.

(Photo by Joey Csunyo)

We're expecting to do at least two trips to places we've been before: one to visit my family in Sydney and the other to go skiing in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales.

But other than that we have lots of options fuelled by his paid leave and our ability to both easily take time off work. (That, and Hive is so easily transportable!! 🤸)

So, to choose the places to go to here's how we'll probably do it:

  1. Is it hot? Go south. Is it cold? Go north! Is it spring or autumn? Go west! (Context: we live in a state of Australia that is quite warm and the further north you go the closer you get to the equator. We also live near the east coast, so we rarely "go east" as we only have a few small islands to choose from!)

  2. Once we've worked out a direction to travel that makes sense weather-wise, then we look at the parkrun map. We look at the part of the map we've already decided is good at that time of the year and then we work out way through the dots on the maps, mentally picking out the locations we haven't visited yet.

  3. Of the options in that area, we then mentally delete any towns that we think would be boring to visit. parkrun is a 5km free running event that's held every Saturday morning, but if we're going to travel up to 6 hours in the car or fly to another state or territory we want more than just a 5km run.

We really like parkrun, but we think it's kind of silly to travel halfway across the country to only run 5 km. (Photo by Greg Rosenke)

Things we like to do:

  • Swim at gorgeous ocean beaches (thankfully, we have a lot of these in Australia!)
  • Run and hike in beautiful places (specifically National Parks or similar protected greenspaces)
  • Eat at "hippy" cafes (as Brad calls them), i.e. cafes with lots of really nutritious and scrumptious food options
  • Visit local markets and Op Shops (stores run by charities that sell second-hand goods)
  • Stay in lovely accommodation that's within walking distance of the town or city centre (and the beach, if we're on the coast)

This is our ideal kind of view. (Photo by Sacha Verheij)

So, Caroline, where exactly are you guys going to travel this year? 😂

Good question! There are so many options!

Given those (self-imposed, well-thought-out) parameters, the likely destinations are some but not all of the following (we do okay but we're not rich enough to go to all of these in one year!):

In the warmer months:

  • Northern Beaches, Sydney, New South Wales (think Manly or north of there)

  • Torquay, SW of Melbourne, Victoria (near the Great Ocean Road)

  • Kangaroo Island, off the coast of Adelaide, South Australia

  • Perth, Western Australia (somewhere in the city on the river or at one of the beach suburbs)

In the mild, in-between months:

  • Stanthorpe, SW of Brisbane, Queensland (think: mountain country)

  • Canarvon Gorge, a day's drive NW of Brisbane, outback Queensland (this has one heck of a gorgeous National Park according to all who go there)

In the cooler months:

  • Elliot Heads, near Bundaburg, 6 hours north of Brisbane, Qld

  • Cairns, Far North Queensland

  • Darwin, Northern Territory (as an entry point to Kakadu National Park, which I've been wanting to go to my whole life)

I imagine that Kakadu looks something like this. (Photo by Karl Hedin)

So, that narrows it down, right? 🤦‍♀️

Let's see if I've actually answered the question... 🤣

If you are to take a trip this year to another place or country that you've never been to before, where would you go and what will you be doing there?

So, a couple of these places either Brad or I have been to before. But we may stay longer or in a different part of the city or town than previously and we've certainly never been to any of them together.

What we'll be doing while we're in each place depends on what's on offer. But parkrun is a given and swimming is very likely if it's an option and hiking is also extremely probable.

We may also do some extra runs while we're there. Correction: Brad will definitely do extra runs as he usually runs 6-7 days a week and I might join him for one of them!

It's also likely we'll eat at yummy cafes and explore funky shops and markets and op shops, and take long walks along the beach/water front and/or through town, and take photos, to share with you all on Hive, of course 😉

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