From tomorrow the blog will be on autopilot while Mr Dreamy and I take a well deserved holiday and spend a week on the beach in Australia.
Don’t worry, there will be plenty of posts, and even a ‘Rate the Dress’, but it will all happen without me.
This holiday is interesting, because I’ve lived in New Zealand for six years (seven if you count the non-continuous times) and I’ve never once been to Oz. I’ve even refused to stopover in Oz on my way to Hawaii and the US.
For someone living in New Zealand who travels a lot, this is very unusual. Oz is where Kiwi’s go on holiday, and for a bit of big-city, big-world right on their doorstep. There is a stunning Baha’i temple in Sydney that I would love to visit. People rave about Melbourne as a vibrant, artistic ‘Australian Wellington.’ There have been amazing costume exhibitions in Oz while I’ve lived here; great stage shows; once -in-a-lifetime concerts; but I haven’t gone.
I’m afraid of Australia. Really, really, afraid. I have Aussaphobia.
OK, that probably isn’t a real thing, but if it is, I have it.
It started when I was a child. I would have been 10 or 11 when I saw Walkabout. It’s a film about the Australian Outback, with stunning cinematography which dwells lovingly on the painted rocks, the vivid red earth, the limpid waterholes, and the peculiar wildlife. It’s also a really strange, twisted tale where adults go mad and attack and abandon children, and where cultural interaction results in death and destruction. All told with no dialog whatsoever.
It freaked the bejeezes out of me!
Everything good I have seen about Australia since then: The Castle (LOVE that film), Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, etc have not dimmer my horror of the place.
To add to that, Australia is full of things that kill you. The fresh water is full of crocodiles, the salt water is full of jellyfish and sharks and on land, to paraphrase Pratchett, the snakes are deadly but you don’t have to worry about them because the spiders ate them all.
And yes, I’ve been told that you don’t really encounter these animals in the cities, but I’m from Hawaii. I don’t expect anything to be able to kill me!
To add further horror, New Zealand TV is laden with shows about Australian crime, from ‘based-on-history’ dramas with names like Underbelly (yeah, like that’s ever going to be a good thing!), to true-crime documentaries that seem to feature an endless supply of psychopathic serial killers. I think they have those (the serial killers) in America too, but the last time I watched an American true-crime documentary they spend an hour figuring out that the deadly wildfire wasn’t set by an insane pyromaniac, but by two trees rubbing together. I’m the girl who doesn’t like Downton Abbey because too many of the characters are mean to each other. I really can’t handle shows that are all about morally bankrupt criminals!
But yet I’m going to Australia.
Why? Well, at first I suggested we holiday in every possible Pacific island. Mr D wanted Oz. He mentioned Melbourne and Sydney and I turned them down. Then his parents suggested a place near Brisbane.
Now, Brisbane is not commonly held to be one of the nicer, more enjoyable Australian cities, but when it was mentioned it rang a bell. Steph is from Brisbane! Steph of 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World! I adore Steph! She’s such an amazing inspiration as a seamstress and blogger.
If we went to Brisbane, I could see Steph! How fabulous! And so, for just long enough for the commitment to be made, the thought of meeting someone who I have read and corresponded with and learned from and been inspired by was more than the phobia.
Now of course, I’m about to board the plane (which I don’t like, but am not afraid of) and I’m a little less cheerful. But most fears are fine once faced, so I’m off to conquer my demons (or crocodiles) and to meet Steph, who unwittingly emboldened me to face this fear.
And that’s what the blogging world has been to me: people who teach and inspire, and support, and cheer you on, and just once in a while actually give you enough of a push, whether they know it or not, to be more than you thought you were.
There are so many places in the world I would now like to travel too, not because they are necessarily interesting or fabulous or famous places on their own (though some of them are), but because of the people I have connected with from those places. Needless to say, the people are so interesting and fabulous that they would make the visit worth it, no matter the location!
So next week I’ll report back on the trip, and tell you if I was just a silly wimp, or a wimp who knew what they were on about!