Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm Not Visiting Australia Anytime Soon

As I have written before, I have a plan to see all seven continents and all fifty states before I die. Well, I have a plan to see all seven continents and all fifty states that’s contingent on my not dying in the next five years or so. I’ve been to 39 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, and six continents, so it’s not unreasonable to think I can make it, unless I get hit by the Hypothetical Evangelists’ Best Friend Bus tomorrow.

We even had a plan to see the last continent, Australia, next summer. My nephew was getting married in Hawaii, where he is stationed, and as we were making tentative plans to go, John said that as long as we were going to Hawaii, we might as well go on to Australia. (There is a reason I love the dude.)

Alas, three weeks later, the wedding was off, and the combatants, uh, former lovebirds, are no longer speaking. I did mention a few times that we could still plan a trip to Hawaii and Australia anyway, but we didn’t get any further than discussing it.

Then came the news that a friend of mine is getting married in Colorado. The wedding is at the end of next summer. We are friends because we belonged to a weight lifting email list. A smaller list of five of us spun off from the larger one, and while the larger list is no longer active, the rest of us keep in touch weekly. I’ve actually met bride to be and one other member in real life. It would mean a lot to the bride to have us all at the wedding, and fortunately, we are all able to go.

Denver is to the west of us, but not so far west that it leads you to think that once you’re there, you might as well hop on over to Oz. Colorado is right next door to Utah, one of the states I haven’t yet been to, so I’m hoping to convince John to come with me on a drive to Mountain Meadows to see the memorial to the Baker-Fancher party. Maybe I can point out Utah is closer than Australia.

Okay, so Australia isn’t going anywhere. We, however, were going somewhere last night, a party sponsored by some engineering group that John belongs to. John bumped into a former coworker, Li, and as I sat on the other side of John at the bar drinking Diet Coke and trying to make out their conversation over the live music, they talked shop. Suddenly John turned to me and said, “Li is going home to China for a visit in 2013.” As I was about to wish Li a happy journey, John added, “Do you want to go?”

“Sure, why not?” I said, since “Sure, why not?” is pretty much my standard response to all proposals of travel coming from my husband, especially in bars. “When in 2013?”

“Oh, late,” Li informs me. Okay, lots of time to pack. Our itinerary includes Beijing and some other city I couldn’t make out over the music but I have lots of time to find out picky little details. 

So how far is China from Australia, anyway? It never hurts to dream.


  1. Okay, so Australia isn’t going anywhere.

    Technically it's moving north at about 1cm per year, but yeah, probably not enough to worry about.

    As to how far? Well direct flights from Beijing to Sydney are about 12 hours, but you could of course break it up a bit by flying to Bangkok (~4 hours 30 mins) or Singapore (~6 hours), and then have a slightly longer (~8 hours) flight to Sydney. Of course I'm assuming you want to see Sydney here - if you're after Melbourne add an hour, Brisbane subtract an hour. Red Centre, go to Sydney and then add about 2-3 hours.

    Hong Kong is another good option, the flight to Sydney's only about 9-10 hours and you could travel from Beijing to Hong Kong overland.

    I love fantasy travel planning...

  2. That's interesting about Australia moving. Of course, it makes sense with plate tectonics, I just hadn't thought about it.

    Flights from Honolulu to Sydney are around 10 hours, so the Beijing flights are comparable. Unfortunately, I get the impression that the reason we are being asked along on this trip is because they can get a package deal of some sort with enough people going, which means if we add on a side trip to anywhere, it will mess up everyone's budget, not just ours. My husband said something about it being "like a charter", whatever that means.

    I'm excited about going to China, though, especially with people who speak Chinese. I'm sure we'll get to Australia someday, too. We'll give it time to move a little further north, that should help.

  3. When you do end up visiting Australia, feel free to ask me for advice about what to see. There's a fair few bits that Aussies know about, and non-Aussies never hear about.

    (Heck, I'd even take a weekend to act as a Melbourne-centric tour guide for you...)

  4. Thanks, deird. That's a generous offer. It's likely to be several years before I finally make it to Australia, but it would be nice to have some insider tips when I do.