Our Original Plan

Enroute Melbourne, AU

So ends our time with Dan and our adventures in the land of the Kiwi.  But New Zealand isn’t the kind of country that goes out on a sad note or at least without some final amusing antidotes.  A fact they made sure we realized as got ready to board a plane and fly to our next destination.

“Wait, what!?  A plane!?  You guys use those!?”

Well, yeah, from time to time when we have to get somewhere in a relative hurry and there aren’t any ships easily available yes, we do.  We flew home that one time remember?

Heck this whole “sailing across the largest expanse on earth” all came together kind of by happenstance if you recall. The “original plan” was to fly to Australia.  ‘Sides we needed to get to our new job.

Yes, we’re working in Australia.

Dude, this should not be a surprise being as Greg specifically mentioned it over a year ago.  However, being as we kind of have a theme going here of doing odd and unusual things our objectives with working in Australia are a bit…skewed.

(yes, yes we know: you’re shocked.)

Instead of those relatively normal things we mostly do like Tiffany’s captain work and Greg’s old speaking company, we figured we’d attempt to use our jobs as a means to:

    1. Do some fun stuff we never got a chance to do when we were younger and all busy with being in the military and stuff.
    2. Meet Australians in their “natural” environment vice just a “transactional” one.

Our experiences with living in Mexico, sailing the south Pacific and spending a few months in New Zealand have taught us something about travel that, though obvious, we hadn’t spent a lot of time considering before:

You have a much different experience living in a place than you do visiting a place.

The mindset is different, both yours and the people you live with.  You’re not as rushed so the trip is less a mad dash to grab photos and check boxes; it’s more about taking your time to get to know the people and places around you.

The locals, no matter who they are, treat you differently when they realize you’re actually hanging around for a bit.  Friendships are made, cultures are shared and you get to know the interesting quirks that make us all so very fascinating – like why people in Rarotonga do their Christmas shopping in September or why the Marquesan people have considered forming their own country of only 8 islands and 8000 people. And let’s not forget the varying definitions for the word “interstate.”

Sure from time to time you get your butt handed to you in a game of ping-pong with an 8 year old on a remote desert island but hey, that’s all just part of the process right?

Also, joint activities over a sustained period with the same group really help in getting to know people.  We met one Kiwi friend though some temp work Tiffany got while we were in New Zealand and the other at a party thrown by some mutual friends.  Having repeated contact with the same group of people gives and opportunity for relationships to actually form and develop beyond the, what we have come to call, “transactional relationships” we all too often find ourselves in when travelling quickly.  A transactional relationship is defined as, “the only time interaction with the locals happens is when money is changing hands.”

Not the best way to meet people but we all gotta eat right?

So for our time in Australia we will attempt to get to know a few places very well vice getting a grand overview over the entire country.  To do that, we need to get into the local culture and what better way to do that than to work alongside the people who live there?  The idea is we find a job we normally wouldn’t do, meet people from a foreign country that we normally wouldn’t meet and really get to know them, their story and the place they come from on a more personal level.

Which is how we ended up in the Australian state of Victoria, in the city of Melbourne working at a professional race horse stable.

Hey, it sounded cool.


Want to more about the different philosophies of travel?  Check out our article on the differences between travelers and tourists.


About the authors

Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures.  If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!

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