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Monday, March 14, 2011

In a Land Down Under

My Australia obsession is at an all-time high this week, and I'm seriously considering a visit. It's just a very expensive, very long flight, and I'm not a huge fan of flying. If Australia were like an hour away, I'd probably live there already.

Here's fun fact (although I'm not entirely convinced of the factual nature of this fact): When I was a small child, I really wanted to move to Australia. My parents told me that before they knew they each other, they had both separately made plans to move to Australia, but at the last minute, these plans changed. (I don't know if they were really "plans" so much as "briefly wanting to," but this is the story as I remember them telling me.)

Anyway, I became convinced that in a parallel universe, my parents had moved to Australia, met each other, and still conceived me. So in another universe, I'm Australian. And thus began my unnatural feeling of kinship to a country that is very, very far away.

Everything in Austrailia is just awesome. Every creature there sounds like Eric named them. (Wallaby? Koala? Didgeridoo? Okay, so the last one is an instrument, but still) And they all have bizarre super powers. Platypi lactate and have venom.

Then there's the luscious Sydney Opera House. Toilets flush in a different way. Heath Ledger is buried there somewhere, or his ashes are spread out in Perth or something. And there's the coral reef.

And everyone has fancy Australian accents. New Zealand is semi-nearby, and Peter Jackson has repeatedly shown me how gorgeous it is there. Isn't Flight of the Concords filmed somewhere there? And I've seen Muriel's Wedding and A Cry in the Dark like twenty times, so I'm all caught up on Australian culture. (It's all ABBA and dingos, right?)

So yes, Australia is crazy awesome. And if I went this summer, it would be winter there. (But I don't know what that means in terms of weather). BUT its still crazy expensive, and the flight is so long I could be incepted seven times over. (If you haven't seen the hit film Inception, that reference I just made was really funny). 

So people of Australia, and the general Oceanic community - what do you think? Is Australia really awesome enough to risk crashing into that weird island from Lost on the incredibly long flight over? And what are the chances of me running into Daniel Johns on the street? And do you guys really have gold eagles the size of city blocks like in Rescuers Down Under?

106 comments:

  1. Do go check out Queensland when you go. I've heard it's beautiful and my friends from Brisbane keep trying to kidnap me.

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  2. You've obviously forgotten the downside to Australia:

    EVERYTHING HERE WANTS TO KILL YOU.

    I mean it. We've got serial-killing hitchhiker stalkers, jellyfish with lethal tendrils 40 feet long, sharks, swimming knives, crocodiles, 8 of the world's 20 deadliest snakes, drop bears, kangaroos can break your ribs with a single kick, the ozone layer has a massive hole right over us so the SUN CAN FRY YOUR SKIN... Oh, and we also have random floods and tropical storms.

    The list goes on.

    That said, we are the awesomest country ever.

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  3. Amanda, you could probably buy a ticket to Australia just on the profits from book sales you made today. Just go already. You deserve it. Do some research while you're there and write it off on your taxes. :)

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  4. Pip Hunn is my new hero.
    Just get up and go. Don't even pack.
    Live by the seat of your pants and have an adventure. And take Lisa's advice. You could totally write it off if you call the adventure "inspiration" for your budding career.

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  5. Yes, Australia is awesome. I can totally vouch for it. Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are all awesome. There are also deserts and rain-forests and apparently Tasmania looks like Europe, but us Mainlanders tend to avoid the place.

    Sure we have some pretty dangerous snakes, but unless you wander around in the desert you're unlikely to meet any.

    If you come in our winter, Sydney and Queensland will still be relatively warm (but the latter will be wet). If you go south of Sydney it will get cold, but not like snow cold.

    So, yeah. There's some random info on Oz.

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  6. @Pip I used to watch these show on Animal Planet called "The World's Deadliest" or something, and each week, they would profile the top ten deadliest animals of a certain species. But every time it was a venomous animal - like the deadliest ants, spiders, snakes, or fish - at least 7 or 8 of the top top ten deadliest creatures were from Australia. And I thought that made it even more awesome.

    But with that said, what the heck is a swimming knife?

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  7. Check out TravelZoo Top 20 (if you haven't heard of it before) if you're worried about ticket prices. Once in a while, they have RIDICULOUS deals on flights out to all kinds of places. I've seen them offer round trip tickets to London for $600, 8 day packages with airfare and hotel stay in Ireland, and I know I've seen some amazing deals for Australia come up now and again. They e-mail the deals to you once in a while, no spam or anything weird that I've noticed!

    My father has been to Australia four times. Last trip, he brought back a eucalyptus didgeridoo, and can play it. Most soothing noise in the world for me. The energy that goes into playing it is amazing. So if you get to go, definitely find people who play the didgeridoo.

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  8. Australia is a wonderful place (I mean, I live here!). Sure there's some nasty creatures but we're not dying in droves here so it can't be that bad.

    I'd suggest visiting ~April or ~September. If you come over here between September and April you'll find it horribly hot and likely enduring some manner of a natural event (bushfire, cyclones [ hurricanes going the other way, makes them even MORE angry ], drought or flooding).

    It is a lovely place and the people are quite used to US/UK/CA people so you won't feel out of place.

    Don't feel freaked out if everyone talks about their thongs, they refer to FOOTWARE (flipflops), not underwear :D

    Gotta go, time to catch my 'roo ride into town :p

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  9. Okay, I live here, so I'm biased, but it's pretty fab. You could write your trip off as a tax deduction, simply because there are so many fabulous settings/locations you'll never find anywhere else. Consider also, the indigenous culture and their dreaming stories, which might feed your imagination. Stay in an honest-to-god treehouse, visit a place where the tidal changes encompass kilometers at a time and generally let yourself soak in something different.

    I'd agree with pldaniels and say come visit in September, that's Spring, so the weather is gentler

    Whether now or at another time in your life, be sure to visit.

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  10. You should watch Dance Academy, an Australian tv show (not reality). It's why I fell in love with Australia. It's not legally available in the US yet but it's on YouTube.

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  11. I'm a Melbournian and I love it here. I'm not so much into cities but like the country and the beach. If you head down to Gippsland (2 hours from Melbourn CBD) you will have both country and beach within minutes of each other.
    On Phillip Island (which is in Gippsland) are the little penguins and you have to drive carefully as wallabies are all over the road at sunset.

    Oh - and careful of wombats. If you hit a wombat with your car, your car is likely to come out worse than the wombat will. But they're very cute.

    Tasmania gets a bad rap, but it's really awesome, especially for history about convicts and settlements. And if you like historic houses there is this AWESOME historic house in Tassie called Woolmers, swear to God it is like 4-5 generations of hoarders lived there and just up and left one day. The house is filled with generations of belongings - including a cupboard full of rolls of wallpaper. Not your average historic house. Tres cool.

    My opinion is: Do come! Brave the flight! Be incepted!

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  12. I've never been down under, but I can tell you with a certainty that every Australian or Kiwi I have ever met was very cool. I mean sure, of course everyone is cooler than Americans, but Australians are especially cool.

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  13. LOL...the factual nature of this fact. I must use this someday! Its something my editor would say in a normal conversatation.

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  14. Flight of the Concords is filmed here. They're just from NZ. I heart Jemaine Clement and wish we were friends in real life because I love listening to him pronounce words with the letter "e" in them. I love NZ accents!

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  15. Yeah, what is a swimming knife?

    I'm a Sydneysider and I definitely recommed it! Oh, and I agree with whoever said not to come between September and April - you will fry. It gets quite humid and hot, not something you'll relish unless you're used to it... And even then... :S

    I don't know about 'mainlanders avoiding Tassie' though. I've been a number of times and I LOVE it there. If you do make it to Tasmania (it is definitely worth seeing for a totally different impression of Australia) be sure to go to Port Arthur, one of our most notorious convict penitentiaries. Check out through time ghost tour too, it's not in the least tacky and it's really fun. I'd recommend staying in Hobart too. :)

    And if you're in Sydney and you want to go see our beaches, don't go to Bondi. It is our main tourist beach and it's kind of smelly! :P

    You should totally come... Because Australia is awesome. :)

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  16. Congrats on becoming a blog of note!! I can see that you have a good following and solid content.

    I will make sure that I follow you and keep up with your plans for Australia. Its a GREAT place and I was able to visit when I was younger. One day I plan to take my kids back myself.

    Good luck

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  17. I would like to exchange links with you. check out my site:
    http://thosearemydreams.blogspot.com
    thanks for considering my site for a link exchange.
    Rachel.
    peru1@shaw.ca

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  18. I've never been to Australia but have always wanted to go. It looks so amazing there...

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  19. You should go while you are young or risk living with the regret of not going ALL of your life...

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  20. Hahaha, my mom just went to Australia. Of course she forgot to take me though.... (Ohmygosh! Your blog is a blog of note!)

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  21. I am a person who is looking for a place on earth :) or perhaps someone who can not sit still long in one place. Australia is on my list of places to bring me sooner or later.Greetings from Poland! :)

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  22. hello everyone, i am new to blogger and if u want to view or comment on my new blog(s)

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  23. Great blog, Amanda. I have also wanted to go to Australia in ,y lifetime but your obsession is definitely worse than mine :)

    I also encourage you and other commenters to check out my blog at getaclue123.blogspot.com

    -PC

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  24. HOORAY!! Finally, a blogger/writer from MN :D

    Stephanie
    http://stephanieeverswrites.blogspot.com/

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  25. Did you see the History channel program last night on the salt-water crocodiles, Great white sharks and box jellyfish?

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  26. You should find a way to go! Don't let the fear of the flight hold you back. Take it easy on the caffeine (it can make anxiety worse however I still partake) the day of travel that way you can sleep on plane. Have fun and explore and come up with a great story for all of us to read. Then, just like the others said above, you can write it off. I am having fun just trying to imagine what kind of story you might write after being in an exotic place!
    On another note it would be awesome if you saw Daniel Johns! Not really familiar with Silver Chair but I love love Ana's Song - Open Fire.
    Plus he makes me feel kind of dirty but the good kind of dirty, you know?

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  27. It's so easy to dream about traveling or living abroad, but takes a lot of balls to actually get up and go. I'm working on that get up and go part too...

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  28. ...i invite you to join globalove think tank.

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  29. I went to Australia May 2009 and it was the best experience of my life. Despite the 13 hour flight it I'd so worth it. Everybody in America needs to go over there bc their wat of living is so different from ours. It just seems so relaxed! I was going to go back this last December but I ended up breaking my wrist so that ruined everything =( anyways the weather is awesome Sydney is beautiful ans the gild coast us to dye for. Go while you still can you wont regret it I promise =)

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  30. Are you shittin me? You have the money now. Or if you didn't collect your money yet go when you do collect your hard earned moolah! Danielle Notaro come check out my poems& vlogs (I'm just starting to upload. I am a computer idiot) on You Tubey if you have de time:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/danpeak?feature=mhum

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  31. Sorry for the misspelling to my phone likes to auto correct my words. Its the gold coast not gild lol.

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  32. Great obsession. I always have dreams (day dreams) of moving to a different country. Mine is Belize in Central America. It's very cheap. If a retiree takes their retirement, 401K, and what other money hey may have, they could be millionaires in Belize. Plus it's absolutely beautiful.

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  33. AHHH! I've always wanted to go to australia and this just makes me want/love it more!

    Heather
    mysummerdayz.blogspot.com

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  34. Dylan Moran said something funny about Australia: http://en.sevenload.com/videos/f4kflTJ-Dylan-Moran-on-Australia

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  35. well done on the blog of note. I would love to visit Austrailia one day as well as visit many other countries, but just to be a warm climate would be nice at the moment.

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  36. First of all, well done on the blog of note.

    In response to the blog, I don't think I will ever visit Australia. I get travel sick walking to the supermarket, so a 36 hour plane journey is probably going to be a no go.

    The life there seems amazing, nobody goes to work, everyone just has BBQ's and hang out on the beach and in coffee shops (I must admit, all my knowledge of Australia is from Home & Away and Neighbours) so I'd imagine it would be an amazing place to live...just a shame I doubt I'll ever make it there alive!

    Jon
    http://hyperpringle.blogspot.com

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  37. Well, with all the dangerous stuff in Australia, if you do go down under, get a life insurance policy and put my name on it, lol... :P

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  38. Good blog! Is fantastic! I´m following you!

    Please, follow my blog:

    http://questoesdefutebol.blogspot.com/

    Tank you!

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  39. Amanda, travel the world when you are young and can enjoy it. Thing is, none of us know the time and day of when we will die and that's the simple truth. You could live to be well over a hundred or you could die later today...you just never know. My point is that if you have the financial means you should go and experience life and do all of the things that you can do while you have the health to do them. Seize the day!

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  40. I'm a huge Anglophile, so I understand where you're coming from, liking another country so much. If I suddenly won the lottery, I'd hop in a plane to London in no time!

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  41. Great article, I loved reading it! Like your style of writing

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  42. http://talentosdesign.fundacionbancosantander.com/ES/verobra/Give-break

    vote this pleassseee

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  43. Australia is great, though I have to admit I've mostly been to Geelong (a place no one outside of Australia knows) and Melbourne.

    In Geelong I was staying with the people who produced my first film (long story, not important) but in Geelong, my wife and I just got off the train, picked a hotel, and stayed there. It was cheap at the time (about 9 years ago) because every US dollar we had was worth about two bucks there. I doubt this is the case now.

    Anyhow.

    There are about a billion things to do in Melbourne, to the point where you don't even have to plan in advance to find cool stuff to try. We hit the Gaol (they do ghost tours!) the aquarium, and ate a WHOLE lot of really cheap and very awesome food from around the world.

    We also took a bus tour where we got to hold Kangaroos, check out Koala bears in the semi-wild, and see the penguin march, which is awesome if you love things that are less than a foot high that come wandering out of the water every night is massive bunches. It's kind of amazing.

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  44. Yes, yes it is awesome.
    I often think to myself that I'm so lucky to have been born here, I couldn't think of anywhere else in the world I'd rather be. Sure I'd like to visit some other places, Paris, Egypt etc. But I'm very happy to call Australia home.
    There are, however, a few thing sto remember before you come here and when you are deciding which part of Australia to visit: EVERYTHING HERE CAN KILL YOU!
    For my info on this, please visit my blog post dedicated to this very thing.
    http://ablogfulofboredom.blogspot.com/2011/01/happy-australia-day-you-beautiful.html

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  45. What does ABBA have to do with Australia?

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  46. Have travelled and lived in many different parts of the world and there is no greater place than Australia! Dont hesitate to visit - you will end up wanting to live there!

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  47. Australia is definitely on my travel abroad list. Also, I heard somewhere that voting is mandatory by law. Could be wrong though. Still its an awesome place and I'm a sucker for the accents.

    Lauren
    http://collegehistorian.blogspot.com/

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  48. CONGRATULATIONS on being chosen a Blog of Note! I really like your blog!!

    Steve
    Common Cents
    http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

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  49. Hells yeah you should totally come on down. And then you could make a photo montage and put it up on your blog.

    And not to sway you any further but I may know where Daniel Johns lives (and his favourite restaurants). Wow that sounds completely weird and stalkerish. But this information will greatly increase your chances of running into him on the street.

    Also, since Silverchair are taking their sweet ass times releasing a new albumn you should totally check out another aussie band, 'birds of tokyo'. They are good for what ails you.

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  50. Your blog is unreal!!! I love it!

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  51. @LaurenLiz: Yes, voting is mandatory here. Sadly, a selection of decent political parties is not!

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  52. Beautiful site - must be a huge job to create/maintain, right?

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  53. Being in other places is always awesome, beit Oz or Italy, but getting anywhere both sucks and blows. Airports are a chore. Flying, especially long flights, is tedious to say the least. That said, BEING in all of these great places is wondrous.

    How about making a deal with yourself: no Internet, no movies, bring your laptop and write for 10 hours. Just think how much you could accomplish in such devastating boredom!

    Go for it! Expand your horizons! It will give you a scenic backdrop for some future novel. Heck, maybe you can get a tax write-off for your business research. :-)

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  54. I was born in NZ and spent a lot of time reading coffee table books on Australia. Then one day we packed up the house, the three kids and moved to Australia with a 20 foot container. Never regretted it.

    Sure things bite over here like ants and other things but after some time spent being very jumpy with a can of bug killer in one hand, I've settled down and really enjoy it here.

    Just do it as Nike would say.

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  55. I just read all the comments and I see I'm late to the tax write off party (you do have an accountant now, right? If not, post haste!)

    I fly weekly and I hate it! Being a total control freak, I hate putting my life in the hands of a Ralph Cramden of the skies (nothing personal pilots! You have, in my hundreds of flights always gotten me there without incident - but I still gate flying.) I always look at the pilots when I get on the plane and fervently hope I can see that "just laid" look in their eyes. I have hysterically funny stories about a couple of my fear of flying freakouts (I'll spare everyone), but I still fly all over the world weekly. Seeing other places, cultures, lifestyles, and humanity is good for the mind and soul.

    Do it. And enjoy it!

    And to those who are giving her a hard time about spending her hard earned money, she's being smart. All this is new to her and it's better to gave and spend selectively than to just buy. Look at all the celebs who are broke!

    Amanda, I have to say that you are an incredibly bright, level headed woman. I'm impressed by everything about you. Your parents must be so very proud of you.

    (typed on iPhone, forgive any typos.)

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  56. Do it, it's awesome here and would be definitely worth the trip - road trips are a must.

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  57. I live in Australia. I love Australia. I have no doubt that we are the luckiest country in the world. ( even though I was born in NZ and the kiwis would take me to task on that one) But it's not just a myth. You should definitely come.

    We have our bad sides but generally we're a laid back and friendly people. The snakes just make it more exciting.

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  58. So I would love for you to know that your the first person I am following on this mysterious website i've just been introduced to! feel loved....

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  59. Tudo em 1 só geração.

    O Maravilhoso Carpinteiro que se fez pecado no inferno é Completamente Benígno e está Justificado pelo o Deus Vivo Espírito Santo Marcele Castro Da Veiga, que o ressusitou dos espíritos mortos que estão nas profundezas da morte no abismo das trevas.

    1. Em uma só geração induzidos ao erro os inocentes Eva e Adão caíram e morreram eternamente, mas.

    2. Em uma só geração o Novo Adão Etéreo, resgatou do erro eterno, a Eva e a fez Nova e se levantaram.

    3. Também em uma só geração no tempo final se Manifestou o Casamento Celestial Eterno, Uma Nova Terra/Céu/Cosmo Incorruptíveis são Confirmados para sempre, em Fiel Puro Amor, no Único Deus Vivo Espírito Santo da Justiça.

    - http://wwwrebentocom.blogspot.com/2010/12/tudo-em-1-so-geracao.html

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  60. I want to go but the flight is a bother. I have a bad back and the thought of spending that much time on a plane makes me shutter.

    I might have to make it a trip where I globe hop until I get there

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  61. I don't know because I've never been there, though I would love to go see Roger Federer play at the Australian Open tennis competition someday soon.

    We sometimes have misconceptions about living in other countries somewhere along the lines of "oh, it must be better than HERE, anything is better than HERE" but in reality it might be no different.

    Australia would be great to visit, but to move there, or indeed anywhere, is a much different story.

    Congratulations on being awarded the blog of note, and do take some time to check out my blog too:

    www.duncaninkuantan.blogspot.com

    P.S. I moved from England to Malaysia!

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  62. You should definitely go--just make a longer trip of it, and take a rest in Hawai'i on the way there and back. I lived on the Big Island for years, it is the best place in the world (unless you're really into, say, Australia, and then maybe it'd be more like second best).

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  63. Wait... our accents are "fancy"?

    LaurenLiz: Voting is most definitely mandatory over here as soon as you are over 18.

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  64. We would love you to come. And I note that none of the bloggers have referred to our capital - Canberra. It has its moments too. About a kilometre from home we regularly get kangaroobies. Love the.
    Congrats on the blog of note.

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  65. No Mr.Ledger is not buried anywhere. If your not a fan or a friend or a co worker then stop being so disrespectful. I worked with the man. He was an awesome human being, not many people actually live up to the hype that is always said about a person who has died. He does. People who knew him and cared about him end up finding these disrespectful comments. How would you like someone to talk about your loved one that way? He was not an "it" or an "entity" he was a human being. Jesse

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  66. @Jesse I'm a massive Heath Ledger fan. Like to a crazy unhealthy extent. I don't know how talking about where he might be buried is disrespectful. I didn't suggest vandalizing or even visiting it. I was merely saying that Australia was awesome simply because it contained his remains. If anything, that shows a bizarrely high level of reverence, not disrespect.

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  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  68. C'mon over Amanda, we'll have you over for tea :-)
    We can show you the pub where Jack Thompson drinks (just up the road from me), and where they film Home And Away (OK, that's more of an British than American fixation!).
    Daniel Johns' hometown Newcastle is a stone's throw from Sydney, just up the road really.
    FYI The Flight of the Conchords guys are New Zealanders (but anything halfway successful is immediately claimed as 'Australian' - it's a national rule - he he he).
    If you spend enough time walking around the right parts of Sydney you'll see all kinds of famous people.
    I tripped over to the UK twice last year - epic flight! - but I filled the time by catching up on loads of movies and lots of reading. Worked out fine, it's not so bad BUT if you can spring for a bigger seat, do it. Foetal position in economy is not so great :P

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  69. Hi there,

    If you can try to see some films made by Rolf De Heer.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolf_de_Heer
    I really like them, most of them, and they are in many genre not always the same thing, repeated continually...
    When I moved to Australia I was there for a few hours totally jet lag and I was made to watch the film Bad Boy Bubby, that was the start of a very pleasant discovery.
    And between all his films, it give a pretty just view of Australia, in a certain way...
    And yes, ABBA is still very popular in some part of this big country...
    Have a good day,
    Me.

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  70. Personally, I think crashing into the island from Lost would be a perk rather than a downfall...but that's just me. Anyway, you win for the reference to great TV.

    I say go for it! Dreams are meant to be followed...just watch out for all of the stuff that wants to kill you. Like you said, platypi lactate but are venomous. It's like an evolutionary joke, and the punchline is death.

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  71. I was fortunate enough to live in Sydney for four months during my junior year of college. I took some classes at "Uni" and worked at a radio station: 2RPH (Reading for the Print Handicapped). I did a ton of traveling and had an absolute blast: saw "Falsettos" and Wynton Marsalis at the Opera House. Experienced Gay Mardis Gras on Oxford Street. Had fun poking around the red-light district. Went hot air ballooning and camping, rock rapelling in the Blue Mountains, and snorkeling off the Great Barrier Reef. Petted kangaroos, met some fine Aussie blokes, and climbed Ayers Rock (am I convincing you to go yet? GO!) :)

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  72. Hi Amanda,
    I live in perth, western australia and I love it here! I have travelled far and wide throughout the world and I am always amazed at how lucky I am to live where I do. Yes, we have lots of things that can kill you, but I live in the suburbs near the beach and the worst I have to deal with is a few spiders every now and then. The killer snakes, sharks etc are NOT just roaming about trying to eat unsuspecting americans! :)

    I totally agree that you could incorporate your books into your trip and write the whole thing off on tax. With all you have earnt this financial year, it would probably be a good idea to claim as much as you can to get your taxable income down.

    I am involved in the writing community here in Perth, and could definitely help you to get some writing gigs happening over here. I have lots of resources on writing residencies, signings etc. I did a residency myself last year at the state writers centre and ended up meeting lots of people that could help you out.
    Flick me an email through my contact page if you're interested :)
    Jess

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  73. you should defenetly check it out... i went two years ago and i fell in love with it.
    sydney is really all its cracked up to be.
    trust me, the 12 or 14 hour flight is worth it!

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  74. Just go it is only 24hrs to get there. I am an Aussie (pronounced OZZIE not aussi!) who now lives in Bordeaux, France. I know what the flight is like with 2 kids under 4, so I can comment! Do your research before you go or don't but just go, experience it for there is something about both your parents and you talking about it that makes me think it is something you have to do!!

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  75. I've also always wanted to go to Australia but I'm a big guy and flying would be very uncomfortable. I wonder if they have any cruise ships that make the trip. Anyway nice to hear its not only me with an obsession with down under.

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  76. Australia is pretty cool... I've only been to Melbourne but I absolutely loved it. I live in NZ, we are the opposite to Australia in the sense that there is really nothing that can kill you here. No snakes, no crocodiles, no huge spiders. The most vicious animaal we have is the possum (which the bloodly ozzies brought over haha). Flight of the conchords is awesome. Brett and Jermaine are gods. If you have the chance to do it, JUST DO IT. Don't think about it. Make some memories, you are guranteed to NOT regret it...

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  77. Howdy Amanda,

    Well by now I think you've figured out I am Australian. Born in the Barossa Valley..so that is a nice stop . South Australia if you like wine..yum..I do. Now I have lived in Melbourne as a wee pup and then South Australia, then Sydney ( awesome but at the time uber expensive) now QLD. So any book tours QLD would be a lovely stop. I have been to Alice Springs which isn't quite how they portrayed it in Kangaroo Jack...lol!! a very humorous movie but sorry it's not dirt it's very civilised. I have climbed Ayers Rock..ginormous and a must. Basically it sounds like you want to come here, so you should. Now I don't think my accent is anything other than ocker but apparently we do sound funny. My fave word is Crikey, ( thanks Steve Irwin) I live about 1hr from Australia Zoo have seen the wonderful guy when he was alive. So sad when he passed. Funny thing is I want to go to USA...lol!!! But yes Australia is wonderful and I live in a nice seaside area, but in the forest and yes we have lizards slowly wandering down the road that brings you into my forest estate, Kangaroos visit the school about 700 metres up the road, I have had a snake inside my house when they were first churning up the forest getting land ready. It's kinda part of where I am. Not all places of course get the animals as we aren't city. But it's kinda nice seeing Kangaroos. Not so good when walking up Noosa forest being under a Koala when he decides to pee over the walking track. ( true story) Bush turkeys inhabit my area, family of ducks wander around. But yes I would like to visit USA..lol!! I think I am rather spoilt where I am. I think one day both of us will get to visit where we want to.

    p.s. A book tour..now that would be fun:D


    Michelle

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  78. Come on over - you can stay at mine! Melbourne is a blast - a fan, Yasmin

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  79. Well, I am TASMANIAN, and it has some of the most unblemished, naturally beautiful, breathtaking scenery on this whole planet. Unless you have travelled though, you really can't appreciate what a paradise it is. We don't experience extremes in weather conditions as the other states do, and our rainforests can provoke and awaken every sense in your body. The smell of them is just to die for. Apparently we have the cleanest air in the world to breathe, and if we come across Huntsmen (harmless spiders with legs as long as your fingers), we just squash them with our thongs! Come stay with us and we'll show you the hidden paradises that most tourists never even know about :) Check out these famous images of Tasmania, and you'll see what I'm raving about; http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an24314453
    Fiona x

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  80. When I was a kid, I wanted to move to Seattle because my favorite bands (Queensryche and of course most of the grunge movement) all came out of the NW. I still would like to go see the Space Needle, but it's more of a "like" and less of an "I NEED to go there."

    I would LOVE to see Australia, and New Zealand, particularly the hobbit town they have out there from when Lord of the Rings filmed.

    Nick
    One More Day

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  81. Time will pass sitting on a plane or sitting in front of a tv. Australia is a really long way. Once you're here distances between cities are great. It's easy to enjoy that travel time if you spend it doing things you love like reading or watching movies.
    With your love of australian music, have you listened into "triple j"? It is the national youth radio station. They unearthed "silver chair" and loads of other awesome Aussie talent. You should be able to stream it. Think of all the fancy Australian accents you'll hear!

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  82. Here are the directions to Heath Ledger's family grave markers ... http://www.ehow.com/how_5936494_heath-ledger_s-grave.html

    Please come to Oz and I will take you there personally! ;-)
    Anita

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  83. As a recent immigrant, I have to say, Melbourne is a lot like Southern California... except you can't get a decent taco for under $12.

    So go ahead and come, but bring money! :D

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  84. Customize stylish and cheap t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirt on waazula.com , start now!

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  85. If you love the Opera House you should come down to Sydney at the end of May/start of June for the Vivid Festival http://vividlive.sydneyoperahouse.com/
    Plus The Sydney Writer's Festival is on end of May and another festival called Creative Sydney is on early June. Reckon you'd love Sydney too, get down here!

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  86. Here's a tip if you do visit Australia - try not to refer to it as "down under". Many Australians find that quite offensive.

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  87. Oh I'm Australian and I don't find 'Down Under ' term , offensive at all. I didn't realise we did. I think it's a very affectionate term. I have lived all over Australia and I quite often use it myself. I thought we were a lot more laid back than to worry about something like that:D

    Michelle

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  88. p.s. Now if you told me to "rack off you toss pot", then that I would find offensive...lol!!!


    Michelle

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  89. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  90. oh...sorry p.s.s.

    "Throwing a shrimp on the barbie"...now seriously who ever has done that ?? Google what a shrimp looks like..I used to catch them down the Murray River in shrimp pots and use as bait..seriously...people we don't cook shrimps, they are the size of my thumb..ugh!!

    I binned this message and edited I spelt bait wrong..didn't want to look like a wally wanker:D

    Michelle

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  91. A little tip for flying from the US to Australia .. stop over along the way. Fiji is always a good bet :)

    *from an Australian

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  92. We went to Australia with the Oprah Adventure (my mom and sister won the trip-- I tagged along) and yes it is definitely the most beautiful place in the world. Sydney is amazing! And, oddly enough, the people there are the nicest and most beautiful people I've ever met. Anywhere! It's like you are walking around in a movie or something. Very surreal. The only downside (and a big one) is the flight over there. MISERABLE. But if you can afford to fly first-class (and from the NY Times piece, you probably can :), it's definitely do-able. Unfortunately, I was in coach hell for almost 20 hours. IT SUCKED!

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  93. I had to chuckle at Boredom Blog " EVERYTHING HERE CAN KILL YOU!" lol!!

    It is true we have deadly everything..but if you can handle sticking your hand into letterbox with care...red back bite not so nice...walking through shrubs to beach..brown snakes..oo bitey and hurty and dangerous...we have all the dangerous spiders..why?? But !! I have survived and I have seen them all. Couple faves of mine, local state primary school and brown snake sunning itself and I come stomping along, it's on the dirt path...I scream it slithers off and parked cars with parents waiting have a giggle at me. All part an parcel of Australia. I have a photo of red back inside my middle childs bike helmet ( funnily it is a spiderman helmet..well not funny) if he had put it on without checking...I shudder to think. I took a snap shot as you do as a reminder to not leave things lying around outside as scarey things like to sleep in them:D

    Michelle

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  94. I shall put it on twitter if I can work out how to do a pic on twitter:D

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  95. Hiya

    I've just found your website through a good friend of mine. Wow you have a huge following. I'm a new zealander living in Australia.

    I recommend if you come to Oz that you visit New Zealand too. Both places are stunning and well worth the visit.

    Angel

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  96. Hi Amanda. I'm from Perth, currently the hottest capital city in Oz (and no Tabitha, I've never met an Aussie who was offended by "down under" - I wonder where on earth you heard that?)...

    Every day is well over 30 deg Celsius for the last couple of months, yet on the east coast, the poor buggers are drowning in floods! Roll on winter & some rain!

    Anyway, you should definitely come "down under" - it is a special place in the world (and I have travelled overseas a fair bit, so I came make the comparison from experience) and has many great things to see & do.

    Our beaches are spectacular, the climate is (generally) very nice (not too many snow storms, etc), the people are friendly & the food is good (but expensive :-( ).

    As for the length of the flight - I agree, it's a long time & not comfortable, BUT if you pony up the clams for a business class (or first class) seat, it is well worth it. Seriously, you're making some good dollars by the sounds of it, so a splurge on 1 big holiday this year is fine.

    Make it work related & claim a tax deduction... :-)

    You only live once (unless you believe in reincarnation) so get onto a plane and come on down! I guarantee you'll love it.

    BTW, congrats on your success. Well done on taking action - you deserve every success you get.

    Eran

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  97. Australia is the place where I really dreamed of living. The place is so fabulous and awesome especially in Melbourne. And I like challenges that is why I am not afraid of the adjusting period. I am used of that already. We used to transfer from one place to another. And I am glad cos I have the chance to met other new set of friends.

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  98. Definitely come to Australia. I used to live in Minneapolis! Have lived here for 12yrs now. Havn't been back to the states for 6yrs. Miss family but love living here. Sunshine Coast is north of Brisbane. We have the Australia Zoo near us. Beautiful beaches, gorgeous surfers(gotta get out there in the early morning) awesome sunrises and sunsets. The state of Queensland itself is huge so make sure you make plenty of time to visit and make it worthwhile. The distance between cities is far and lots to see in each area. If you want any help planning your trip zap me an email! Be happy to help. Come visit, no time like the present! Who knows whats around the corner of our lives. Why wait, do it now! Live lady!

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  101. Just wanted to say I live in Melbourne Australia and i love your work!!! Hope you do come :)

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