Until a few days ago, I hadn’t realised how much I was hanging out for this holiday. I can’t remember the exact moment, or what the trigger was, but I suddenly had a moment where I texted my friend Sue, telling her how much I was looking forward to our forthcoming break.

We’re spending almost two weeks together, travelling around Western NSW, visiting places like Orange, Dubbo, Mudgee, Bourke, Parkes, Griffith and Canberra.

I have fond memories of visiting these locations, though noting it’s several years since I’ve visited many of them. In the case of Bourke, it’s over twenty years since I last visited the place where I once lived. I’m looking forward to catching up with people I know who used to, or still live there.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a “proper holiday”. Though sometimes I’m happy to take a work-related phone call while I’m on leave, this time around, I’ve been doing lots of preparation ahead of time so I don’t have to. Andrew and Rod – a secret, “Editor’s Choice” will be pre-recorded over the next few weeks. Two more to record!

I have been preparing for this holiday with the kind of research I would normally do for an overseas holiday. Friends and colleagues have shared their tips on social media, and I’ve been reading TripAdvisor etc with enthusiasm. Sue and I have pretty much agreed on a schedule which we’re sharing on TripIt which balances our need for a break, as well as some terrific exploration.

“I’ll probably blog a fair bit”, I told friends over lunch on Sunday. “I always find travelling a fairly creative time, and I really enjoy taking photographs and writing”, I added.

This is in contrast to my daily life where I still write a lot, but it’s often quite functional, because it’s work-related.

The balance between work and life seems to be going well. I’m getting up early most days, going for a walk, doing some work, and have settled into a good routine of working and then taking a break. Without the “distractions”, I’m finding that I’m getting more done, and my work has been of a higher quality. Still, there are parts of going into an office that I miss.

Early morning at the Expressway, South Dowling Street, Surry Hills
Early morning at the Expressway, South Dowling Street, Surry Hills

The other week a few of us re-connected in the office for lunch. We were all so incredibly excited to be wearing a) collared shirts b) high heels c) lipstick. (though not all at the same time!!!). Since it’s been several months since we’ve seen each other, so there was a natural inclination for a welcome hug which we all resisted.

And so much has happened since then, as we complimented each other on each other’s appearance. Oh, and an unexpected pregnancy in the office too. “I wanted to wait until I saw everyone in real life”, our colleague told us, adding that she was due in early January.

To keep a little bit social, I’ve caught up with a few friends in the last couple of weeks, and have made it part of my routine to pop in to my local pub each week to enjoy lunch.

Lunch at Trinity Hotel, Surry Hills
Lunch at Trinity Hotel, Surry Hills

2 Replies to “Countdown”

  1. I would be excited about your holiday too, my sister and I do regular “walking in our ancestors footsteps road trips” usually each school holidays. Our last trip was January and we are both chomping at the bit to be on the road again. We have been north as far as Inverell, south to Eden and west as far as WA The last trip was planned for the Tumut area but the closer we came the more we realised bushfires were causing a change in plans, we stayed at Wagga Wagga and travelled hundreds of k’s each day to satisfy my desire to walk where my ancestors had. Highlights for me were, Narraburra where ancestors owned a hotel, nothing there now except a historical marker, but I can’t describe the joy to be there. To finally find the Island in the middle of the Murrumbidgee where my ancestors squatted and had their home and crops burnt and their pigs shot when they were evicted made me shed tears. Coolamon, Ladysmith, Junee, Temora Museum, Jugiong, a quick visit to beloved Gundagai where we could hardly see each other through the smoke, a wonderful walk in the past, just some of the places that made my heart sing, and to have lunches in hotels your ancestors owned is a special treat. Think I need to get the maps out and start planning the next trip. Enjoy,I look forward to your photos and stories.

    1. Hi Gail, what a wonderful post, especially as I know both Eden and Wagga. I have ancestors at Towamba (near Eden), and I lived at Wagga for a few years. I really like your idea of “walking in our ancestors” trips. This is a great inspiration for my retirement plans. Cheers, James.

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