This month all of the travel stories will come from me. I have been to Australia twice, and had two very different, but amazing experiences.
My first trip was when I was 15 with People to People, a student ambassador program here in the US. I went for 3 weeks with a group of about 30 students. The program was very structured (it needed to be with that many of us!) and had us starting in Sydney and working our way up the East coast of Australia ending in Cairns.
We saw all the sights, visited all the major attractions, and generally had a blast. The highlights from that trip easily include doing the Bride Climb at the Sydney Harbour Bridge, staying at an eco-resort, living on a ranch in the Outback for 3 days, and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. We also visited a pineapple plantation, got to hold koalas, and lived with families near Brisbane for a couple of days to see what it was like to really live in Australia. I could probably talk about that trip for days, but I will spare you having to re-live every single moment with me. Even though the flights from Atlanta were very long (30+ hours of travel time) it was so worth it. When I got the opportunity to return to Australia, I took it.
My second trip to Australia was the summer after my 1st year of Undergrad. I went to Georgia Tech, was in the band there (I play the flute), and got to be part of a group of about 30 students, directors, and family members who spent 10 days in Sydney and the surrounding areas performing as part of a concert tour. Over the 10 days we were there we did 2 or 3 concerts with Australian University bands. This experience was so different from my 1st trip. The 1st trip was a group of high school students. We were closely supervised and followed a packed schedule. On this 2nd trip, we were all adults (well, with the exception of the band directors’ kids) and we were really able to do whatever we wanted. We spent time wandering around Sydney, visited the National Maritime Museum, and took a dinner cruise around the Harbour.
I can’t wait to take a 3rd (and 4th, 5th, 6th, etc) trip to Australia, and check out the rest of the country! If you are looking at a trip to Australia, do it!