Australia from the passenger side

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For the first time ever, I found myself planning a trip to a place I had already been. I spent a summer in Australia as a 15 year-old, a backseat driver on a road trip from Newscastle to Canberra, then off to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef and the bluest ocean and most colorful reef I could ever hope to see. The experience was worthy of a front row seat in my memory for decades.

Twenty-two years passed, then happy accidents began to form – a dear friend moved to Melbourne the year before, my family planned a mid-winter trip to Hawaii and I overworked myself enough that I swung approval for a 3 week vacation. When in Hawaii…keep traveling south? It made sense to me.

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And here is where the story begins to repeat, with a view of oceans and red deserts and koalas out the window. I am still a passenger (should I take offense that my friends don’t let me drive on the left side of the road?), but I’ve spent my life looking out the passenger window and the views I have seen there are burned into my memory for life. It is the greatest gift for a traveler.

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