Friday, August 23, 2013

Office jealousy

My old friend Kieran and I started off our careers together.

Back in those days, we were just kids wearing unfamiliar suits trying desperately to be useful without being annoying to those around us.  It was a fine line we walked and it wasn't always walked successfully.

We've both moved on from our first job and onto newer and brighter things.

However, to my immense jealousy, Kieran's move has included something far brighter than anything at my new job.

Kieran's office includes a staff recreation room that seemed to have been created from a university student's dreams.  There is an open bar and food available for anyone who wants it.  However it is the entertainment available that is truly unbelievable.
There was the race car simulators they had.

The pool tables.  The table tennis.  The foozeball.
Then there was the open bar and the endless supply of food.
All free of course.

The stale biscuits in my office pantry didn't seem to hold the same appeal.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bracing mountain air

As part of my desire to see more of Australia, I had decided to actively begin focusing more of my travel locally.

Australia is a land of many wonders, but I had been clearly far too caught up in my own personal travel snobbery to fully appreciate what was there in front of me.

One place that I had not explored enough was the Blue Mountains.  I had been there previously a few years ago, but an injured knee had meant that I had been confined to the house whilst the others had went for their walks.

On a cold weekend, a group of friends and I gathered in cars and fought through the evening traffic to our destination in the mountains.  It was a surprisingly short drive and we were at our destination in under an a couple of hours.  It was dark when we arrived so there was no point in exploring at that stage.  We immediately began to enjoy ourselves and we woke with sore heads the next morning.

To clear our heads, we decided to go for a walk.

Only a short distance away, we found something incredible.
We hadn't seen any of our incredible surroundings on our trip in due to the darkness, so this morning reveal had taken us all by surprise.

We explored and we continued walking.  The scenery, all dense and green, was unexpected.  I still often think of Australia as a barren place due to my upbringing in the midst of the Australian drought, so I am continually amazed by the life that can often be found only a short distance away from barren hills and empty plains.
I need to see more of this country.  It is so unique and wonderful.  I pay it a disservice every time I ignore it.
Australians travel the globe far and wide to see and experience the natural wonders of our planet.  I love to travel and I would never discourage anyone from seeking out more, but there is a clear case to be made that there are incredible things to be seen only moments away from where we live.