Acclimating to Australia
Acclimating to a new country can be challenging, even when the native language is English, especially after a long flight and crossing many time zones. The first leg of my trip, to Australia, took 30 hours, and includes a 15 hour time difference. But it was made so much easier by my lovely hostess Lenore, her housemate Lindsey, and 4 legged friends Lucas and little Patch!
Lenore picked me up at the airport, and whisked me off to the local market where she presented me with a fresh young coconut to drink, which I swear was like a miracle tonic! Fruits and veggies of every shape and color provided a palate for creating pictures, and the sweet scent of produce was a welcome change from the canned air of 3 airplanes. Friendly vendors (from Romania, Germany and Asia, as well as native Australians) greeted me with welcoming smiles.
I’d heard that Australia has more poisonous critters than any country in the world, and although I haven’t seen any snakes or spiders yet, Lenore did point out several huge trees full of thousands of large bats, hanging like large dark leaves from the branches and tiny geckos chattered and skittered across the walls in her home. Green ants raced up and down the trees, the ends of their bodies like tiny jade beads. Yes, I know they’re not poisonous, but still…
We took their dogs for a walk by the river and enjoyed dinner by candlelight outside on their patio, a nice change from the snow I left behind. Departing temperature in Michigan, 27F, arrival temp in Australia, 86F!
Being a tourist often means staying in chain hotels, eating every meal out in restaurants, and racing around from museum to architectural wonder to iconic landscape to squeeze everything in. Being a traveler means traveling slowly, meeting local people, and noticing the small things, like different fruits (dragon fruit, lychee, monkey bananas) and flora (giant ribbon rooted trees, exotic flowers), and critters you don’t see back home (giant bats in the trees and wild kangaroos!) If you’re lucky, you’ll meet locals to share a cup of coffee, a meal or just a conversation with. This I’ve found to be a much better way to get to know the heart of a place than getting a list from a concierge, who may be paid to recommend certain places. Take your time and travel slowly, if at all possible.
First day in Australia? Amazing!! Thank you, Lenore! I am very grateful for safe travels and the love and support of family and friends, old and new, including my lovely host!
Helpful hints for acclimating:
1. “No Jet Lag,” homeopathic tablets that help you do just that, have no jet lag! They can be usually found in drugstores, health food stores, and travel shops.
2. If on an overnight flight, try to sleep, don’t stay awake all night on a movie marathon, just because the movies are free and you haven’t seen that new Woody Allen movie yet.
2. Set your time to where you land, and forget about what time it is back home.
3. Stay awake, unless it’s bedtime at your destination. Adrenaline from sheer excitement will help. Take a bus or walking tour of the city, check out a local market, enjoy dinner, take it easy, just STAY AWAKE until an appropriate bedtime if at all possible.
4. Talk to the locals. They’re your best source for great information, regarding places to dine, stay, shop and sightsee.