Our First Trip to the Eastern and Southern Hemispheres

Two weeks from today, Todd and I will arrive in Sydney! And the Monday after that, I will do my first restoration project abroad, in a park in Sydney with a group called Conservation Volunteers. They were kind enough to sign me up for a one-day project for free. They have longer projects as well, but travelers have to pay for those.

(I bought Merrell hiking boots—short ones—to wear to these projects and for walking in general. Conservation Volunteers suggested on their website that volunteers wear steel-toed boots, which seemed like overkill to me. This project is in a city park, after all. What are we going to do there that could require steel-toed boots? Cut down a eucalyptus grove? I’ve been doing restoration projects for years, up to elevations of 12,000 feet, and no one ever told me my footwear was inadequate.)

And we haven’t started packing yet—packing up our house, that is. We need to put everything in boxes, move it to the storage unit, and sell our car.

Todd, at least, has made a list of the things he’s packing for our trip. I will just take my computer and my camera gear and whatever clothes are left in my closet. That’s my approach.

The next week will be crazy. Saturday I’m doing a scuba diving refresher class after 8 years of not diving. (Our trip to the Great Barrier Reef is one of the few things we have organized; we’ll be out on the ocean on September 13th.)

Monday is my 53rd birthday. I’m dragging Todd to a hot springs—yes, in August. I love hot springs.

Tuesday I have to meet with a travel nurse to figure out which medications we should take to avoid getting malaria in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and India. We can’t just take chloroquine; we may need to take Malarone as well.

Todd has to see the dermatologist again, and I am visiting a lymphedema therapist to get one last treatment before our trip. This is the kind of thing that middle-aged people do before they travel.

The rest of the week, we will be packing and, eventually, cleaning our apartment.

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Kangaroo crossing sign by Robyn MacKenzie.