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Old 07-19-2008, 11:27 PM   #41
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I think anyone who takes the time to fly to Australia and only stays for 2 weeks is crazy. It takes too much effort and is too expensive to go for that period of time. We are off to Australia this week, however we are going for a month. Obviously being Australian we don't have to worry about accommodation etc. as we have family to drive us crazy and provide us with a bed in return.

Some comments on this thread. We have done a lot of long haul flying and I used to suffer from jetlag quite badly. However, I know take a homeopathic product, link below, and it really does work. Take one tablet on take off and then one every two hours for the duration of the flight. Melatonin did nothing for me, but this product does.

Jet Lag - what is jet lag, who gets jet lag, reducing jet lag with No-Jet-Lag.

If anyone is looking for something different to do and to get a bit of a flavour of the outback, I would suggest the Kimberleys, specifically El Questro. The link is as follows to give you an idea of what it is like.

El Questro - A Million Acre Wilderness Park

Someone mentioned going on the Ghan, well that can be a bit boring because after 5 minutes all the scenery is the same. If you do the Indian-Pacific from East Coast to Perth, make sure you go during wildflower season.

The cheapest domestic airfares in Australia are with Tiger Airways. They are the low cost subsidiary of Singapore.

Welcome To Tiger Airways

Whitsundays, specifically Hamilton Island is a lovely place to go. Actually I don't think you can go wrong if you go to any of the resorts up the Queensland Coast.

The Whitsundays holidays & booking centre - Whitsunday, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland Australia

One last recommendation, if you are going to Australia it is helpful to stop off in Hawaii on the way. We usually do so as that allows us to depart Hawaii at lunchtime, the flight to Sydney is only 10 hours so by time you arrive in Sydney, having watched 6 movies you never wanted to see, it is 7 or 9 pm. (depends on daylight saving) so you are ready to go to bed. Also customs and immigration is quicker and the bags seem to come out faster as it is one of the last flights to arrive so everyone who is working wants to get out of there so they pull their fingers out to get the job done.

I find it so funny that people think Australia is so far. For us, 14 hours is a short jump. I remember when we lived in London and door to door it used to take us 36 hours to get from the UK to Australia. Now that was absolutely awful, I remember getting off the plane at Singapore on one of my trips back to London and just about breaking down into tears knowing I had to get back on that darn plane.
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:52 AM   #42
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... And if they're still in the same house they were in 12 years back and didn't make changes, the bedroom has mirrors on the ceiling! (They claim it was from the previous owners.)

The idea gains merit...
That or they really like the song Hotel California.
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:14 PM   #43
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Kron,

A bit more elaboration on why so many posters urge you to spend mucho money on a trip.

After reading a bit more of your posts, I figure that you are in your 30s, a bit younger than the "spendthrifts" who urged you on. This being a meeting place for self-proclaimed LBYM'ers, which is one of the reasons I joined, I have been wanting to tell the following story, which I am sure is not unique.

My parents both loved to travel. They had clerical jobs at the local state university, which did not pay much. The reason they stayed with the jobs was so that their four children could afford to go to college. The state gave huge tuition discounts to not just faculty's children, but also staff members. All of us got graduate degrees from the same university. Maybe we could get to go to more prestigious schools, but we had no money. We all stayed at home while attending school. But I digressed.

Making little as they did, as LBYM'ers, my parents were still able to save. Never knowing how to invest in mutual funds or stocks, other than buying CDs and EE-bonds, they still managed to save enough money to make 3-4 European trips in their 50s. This worked out well, because my father's health deteriorated in his 60s, right after he took retirement. Had he delayed his travel until he retired, he would not have the chance. He died when he was 74.

I was fortunate to make a decent living. We never really had a budget, because we never spent it all. After all the promotions and raises over the years, we have not changed our lifestyle much since we were in our late 20s, other than an occasional splurge, like a $100+ bottle of cognac. We were busy with our work, and raising two kids, so only took some domestic travels. When we were still both working full-time, I figured we saved 50% gross.

While we were dealing with my father illness, I also happened to read a story of a couple in their 50s, who always wanted to visit Venice, but kept delaying it for one reason or another. Then one day, the wife had sudden abdominal pain. It was intestinal cancer, if I remembered correctly. The treatment did not work, as you can predict. The husband later made the trip alone, as he promised her.

And that was the impetus for me to take my first ever European trip, planning the itinerary on my own. And I did that in 2003, after our start-up business folded, and my portfolio had dropped 50%. I had all the free time in the world, having just fired myself from the failing business. Other people would say I was nuts, but I had my health, and I still had some money. Well, 50 cents on the dollar anyway.

We enjoyed our trip, and I came back with a much better perspective of life. I owned up to my investment mistake, and made amendments. I got a part-time job, and had more time to read, and traveled some more. If you read my posts, you'd see that I like to jest, to tease people. I was not always like that.

Back to your case, it looks like it is not that "trip of a lifetime", as you thought. Obviously, you can go later at a more convenient time. There are less expensive alternatives like others have suggested. I think all other posters would also retract their recommendation that you go. See how these travel lovers always jump at the chance to tell people to spend money on travel. They are afraid that they've got more dough than what's left of their life. It's that simple.

PS. Some people do not like to travel, even when they have the money. Some of my friends have a very narrow comfort zone. It's their choice, and I wouldn't urge them on.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:06 PM   #44
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I think anyone who takes the time to fly to Australia and only stays for 2 weeks is crazy.
Wonderful info on Australia, thank you DM! Filing / bookmarking for future reference.

I agree with you about staying longer, for reasons of (a) sanity and (b) carbon footprint. However I am currently collaborating with some Australians who think nothing about going to Europe or North America for a three day conference!
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:07 PM   #45
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A bit more elaboration on why so many posters urge you to spend mucho money on a trip.
Even after being on this board for 5 years, an ongoing puzzle to me is why people are so free to urge others to do anything. I have done so myself; mostly but not entirely asking people to think of other alternatives to a hasty and (in my estimation) ill prepared jump into ER.

What makes us think that can know much about someone else's life? I was married for years, but if I saw a truck coming down the road about to run over my ex, nothing I could say was likely to get her to willingly move off the road.

A story I believe I have told before illustrates how differently people evaluate their experiences. I met a woman in her early 50s a few years back. She had been widowed and left pretty much broke at 42. Her brother offered her a 4 year college education at any WA state school she could get into. What did she do? Got a BA in anthropology! What job did she get after graduation? Waitress in Ellensburg!

So I am thinking, ay-yi-yi, what a horrible waste. Then she told me that the years she spent studying anthro were the only really fulfilling years of her life, and that she would do it again without any hesitation. It was worth it.

This really hit home, because I have the usual male fault of feeling that I know best. This didn't really cure me of this, but it whacked off (some of the) more obnoxious manifestations.

People really are very different from one another.

Ha
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:41 PM   #46
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This really hit home, because I have the usual male fault of feeling that I know best. This didn't really cure me of this, but it whacked off (some of the) more obnoxious manifestations.

People really are very different from one another.

Ha
Realizing that, it does not mean we shouldn't share our life experiences. As adults, we are ultimately responsible for our own decisions. Sometimes a person may lean in one direction already, but is not sure about it. Seeing another person survives the same decision may help them.

About travel, some of my friends just will not go overseas. So, I just have to discuss travel with like-minded friends. Have found plenty here in this forum.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:52 PM   #47
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I think anyone who takes the time to fly to Australia and only stays for 2 weeks is crazy.
We did that!

In fact, even we covered northern NZ in addition to Sidney in less than 10 days. You see, I couldn't get away from my small business, which later went belly-up. Of course, at the time I wouldn't know all that hardwork was for nothing. My wife had been at her megacorp long enough to have 4 weeks vacation/year. 4 weeks!

Well, at least the tickets were free, awarded to my wife from her megacorp. Business class too! Darn, what would that cost nowadays?
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:52 PM   #48
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Even after being on this board for 5 years, an ongoing puzzle to me is why people are so free to urge others to do anything. I have done so myself; mostly but not entirely asking people to think of other alternatives to a hasty and (in my estimation) ill prepared jump into ER.

What makes us think that can know much about someone else's life?

People really are very different from one another.

Ha
Thanks for the reminder, Ha, speaking as someone quite guilty of this sort of thing. It is so hard to remember that not everyone comes from your background, experience, time horizon, etc. Good to remember.

But, one of the good things about travel is that it can be helpful in reminding you of this. We need to be exposed to those who are different than us. We should have the opportunity to be challenged by ideas and values that are not our own.

It does seem to me, taking up your thoughts and running away with them, that the amount of "moral outrage" I'm capable of drumming up has slid down the scale pretty dramatically. I am not quite so willing and ready to offer up some moral adjudication to my fellow man as I might have been in the past. Maturity? I dunno, let's hope just a bit more kindness has seeped into my bones over the years.

I still will tell everyone who will listen to do the things now that matter to you; don't wait for some perfect time in the future, be it for travel, education, love, what-have-you. Do it now, time is shorter than you think.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:27 AM   #49
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Wonderful info on Australia, thank you DM! Filing / bookmarking for future reference.

I agree with you about staying longer, for reasons of (a) sanity and (b) carbon footprint. However I am currently collaborating with some Australians who think nothing about going to Europe or North America for a three day conference!
We've been guilty of doing the long haul for a short stay. A couple of times we have gone from California to London for a wedding, leave California Thursday arvo, arrive Friday in London, go to the wedding on Sat and fly back Sunday.. Another time I flew to London for a day from San Francisco to look at a rental property.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:34 PM   #50
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Which is why travel lovers who have ER'ed and have money have the best in the world. Have both time and money, will travel... Well I am not really short of money (yet), but seeing the market tanking takes a bit of pleasure out of traveling. The past few years, I used to tease my still-working friends that we went on a trip, and came back with more money in the account than when we started. Don't we all miss such nice bull market...
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