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August 24, 2008. Wot? No Odysseys for a few weeks? It's winter here and the weather hasn't been all that great. But spring is just around the corner. Soon, I will revisit Booroowhangary for the lotus (water lillies) and Tinonee Orchid Farm. They're close to each other so I'll combine them in the one Odyssey. I intend to do photographic justice to those magnificent flowers and bring you a feast of brilliant color. Gary

August 11, 2008. I expect that it's about a year before I depart this house for the "real" Odyssey, and leave everything behind... almost everything... anything that can't fit into a camper... all the big stuff like furniture, refrigerators, beds, sofas and whatnot. If it ain't portable, it ain't coming. It'll be just me and whatever four wheels can carry.

How's that for scary? Yeah, it scares me. No more mail box, no more fixed address, no more permanent neighbors, no more shopping at the regular supermarket where I know all the checkout chicks, no more neighborhood routine. Every day will be a new destination. All the people I meet will be strangers. My home will be a campervan. So if it's scary, why do it?

At my age, I have X years remaining. What does one do with X years? Spend them safely cocooned in the one secure spot where each day delivers a strict and predictable routine? Or does one use those remaining years to go on an adventure of discovery? My love of writing and photography tells me that I should choose the latter option. Scary it may be, but as a friend of mine says, the new routine will soon replace the old routine. In other words, moving from one place to another on a regular basis will become normal - it won't be scary any more.

How many of us get to wake up one morning and look out the window at Uluru? How many of us can build a little campfire and cook dinner under the brilliant outback stars? Those are the sorts of images I have in my head; scenes of exotic locations where I play an active part. This is not about watching a travelogue on television, or reading a travel magazine. No! This is the real McCoy. This is about smelling, and touching and experiencing Oz first hand. This is about chatting with the locals and learning something about their lives. This is about sharing stories with fellow travelers.

When I turn left or right from my driveway for the last time in about a year from now, there'll be no turning back. Australia is a huge country with millions of roads leading this way and that. How's that for a challenge? It gives a whole new meaning to "every day is a new day".

Scary? What is the opposite to scary? And which one would you choose? Gary


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