I have been neglecting the blog for a while. In truth, I really haven’t been feeling too inspired to write anything recently.
A lot of this is down to spending too much time worrying about promoting it on social media and writing SEO-friendly posts. I love writing but hate all the stuff that (supposedly) goes with blogging.
Having to re-write everything with keywords and then promote it all over Facebook takes away any interest I have in writing. I felt a lot more inspired in the days when I simply wrote what I was doing and didn’t worry about how many people read it or whether it was on the front page of Google results.
When I started blogging in 2005 (about ex-pat life in Spain; now there’s another lifetime) I existed in blissful ignorance of Google algorithms. I simply viewed the blog as another creative outlet.
So that is what I am going back to. Keeping the blog as a creative endeavour, where the main function is to showcase my love of travelling and trying new things.
Where I have been so far in 2019
I have spent the last two months wafting around Australia. I started in Sydney and the Blue Mountain area.
Then I went to Brisbane and took a road trip to Tambourine mountain with my hire-car Karla the clapped-out Corolla.
After Brisbane I spent a month in Adelaide.
From Adelaide I took a short overland trip with Intrepid, travelling through the Grampian mountains in a bus with 14 other people, finishing in Melbourne.
After a too-short time in Melbourne I then headed down to Tasmania. I am a bit of a completist and wanted to be able to say I’d visited every state. However I recently found out that the city of Canberra is a state in its own right, so I still haven’t done it.
What’s been happening
I started the year sick, with some unidentified illness that I brought back from Taiwan. After having spent almost a month ill I finally dragged myself to the doctor. My illness still didn’t get a name (I called it Hilda) but I am slowly getting my health back (although every time I say that I seem to get sick again). Meanwhile, however, it has left me weak, emotional and liable to burst into tears at the slightest provocation. Just what you need when you’re travelling.
If you have to get sick somewhere on your travels then Australia isn’t a bad place to do it. There is an easy-to-use medical system; you can book online and just go visit a doctor of your choosing.
It did, however, leave a giant hole in my February budget. I’m still arguing with the insurance company, but basically they never cover anything that’s likely to happen. Plus the illness-with-no-name is now down as a pre-existing condition, so I definitely won’t be covered next time I catch no-name illness. Ironically, their reason for not paying out was that there was ‘no diagnosis’. Don’t you just love insurance companies? Let’s name and shame: Travel Nomads.
It did make my time in Adelaide feel a bit like hard work. I had a lot of days where I simply got up late, went for brunch, went back home, had a nap, had a bit of a walk in the evening after it had cooled down and then went back home again. Not too exciting.
It didn’t help that my time in Adelaide incorporated the hottest day they’d had since records began, when the temperature tipped over 47 degrees. For anyone shivering in winter snow who thinks that sounds like great fun, let me tell you it isn’t. A pub in Adelaide offered free beer if the temperature went over 45. A huge queue formed, standing outside in the heat. Do the words counter and productive sound as if they go together here? I preferred to stay inside with my AC on.
I’m not planning to stay in Australia too much longer. It is too expensive. Tourist rents (since I’m not allowed any contract that goes beyond 3 months) are ridiculously expensive, unless you’re happy to sleep 15 to a room in a hostel.
Also, the rule where I have to leave the country every three months is making me feel unsettled. A sudden overwhelming need to ‘settle’ has come over me, although I’m not sure if it is just a side-effect of Hilda the no-name illness.
As I write this my ‘must leave by’ date is just a couple of weeks away and I’m no nearer to making a decision.
I did think that by this time we’d have some kind of resolution on exactly what’s happening with Brexit, and a clearer idea of what the new rules will be, however if anything we seem to be even further away.
Anyway, meanwhile, count this post as a warning that I will be back with more travel-inspired ramblings very soon.