Road Trip - On the move

On the Move

Far and Wide

Every place has a story, and to understand the story of that place you need to travel to its city’s historic sites, national parks and see its geographical features. Last year was a gift as I travelled far and wide. The pleasure of moving has always provided the opportunity for me to pause, discover and marvel.

I enjoy train travel and have always wanted to visit the Northern Territory, so it was with great excitement that I boarded the Ghan last Easter. We started our holiday in tropical Darwin then slowly made our way through the red centre of Australia visiting Katherine Gorge, Alice Springs and Coober Pedy. As an Australian it was a great cultural experience and deeply moving. It reminded me about what it was to be an Australian no matter where you come from we all embrace the land.


We are all one

Feeling reconnected to the land and going slowly soothed my frayed nerves but by September I was ready to go abroad on an all-female bus tour through historic walled towns and wineries in the South of France. I came away with a greater appreciation for French wine, provincial food and ended up with an extra suitcase full of souvenirs.

From buses and trains to walking a sacred pilgrimage called the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain I was inspired to keep working on my dream back at home. Christmas came around fast and the trip I had been longing for was in sight. Who wouldn’t want to cruise around in the Pacific Ocean and visit five spectacular volcanic islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. Hawaii was the holiday to end the year on a high. From spectacular sunsets with tropical breezes and drinks, Blue Hawaii fulfilled its promise and although there will be other treasures to discover this place was truly marvellous.


Back to Work

Today is my first day back at work after 6 months of long service leave. Familiar faces filed into Cato Hall. There was time to engage in lively conversations, sharing holiday stories while waiting for the campus principal to address us. New staff were introduced, and old staff like me welcomed back. We were greeted like Rockstar’s but the glam quickly faded as the business talk began, bending my mind back to curricula, policy & procedure and pastoral care.

After a day of meetings, I felt like a zombie, and this was an easy day!

Believe me when I tell you the teaching profession is very demanding and although I have loved it for 25 years, waiting for the weekends to have fun has made me reassess my work life balance. To clear my mind and soothe my soul I often find myself driving to peaceful places like the little vacation spot we discovered on the Mornington Peninsula.

Being such a big country Australia was divided into states and territories, all connected by a network of roads and railway lines. From big cities to sleepy suburbs, rural towns and going country, our roads take us everywhere we want to go. The exception is Tasmania which you will need to get to by Ferry from Port Melbourne which makes the journey fun and more like a pleasure cruise out Port Phillip Bay and across Bass Strait.  


Road Trips

Who doesn’t enjoy a good old fashioned road trip to blow out the cobwebs and refresh the mind?

All the places I love to visit have one thing in common: water. Melbourne has Port Phillip Bay and I love to drive past brightly painted beach boxes, whitewashed jetties. Native bush and beach are a winning combination.

This week I enjoyed a quiet road trip to one of Melbourne’s popular holiday destinations, Rye foreshore on the Mornington Peninsula. Generally driving is short, sharp and decidedly monotonous but today’s driving was for pleasure. I was seeking relaxation. Time to allow my mind time to unpack the previous days and process my thoughts.

Travelling south on the Peninsula link freeway was the quick route. Just me and the radio to keep me company. A day at the beach was just the tonic I needed. My plan to enjoy the last day of freedom under a blue sky, laying on the warm sand, reading my book alone. Hearing the swish of water around the pylons and watching paddle boards and kayaks off in the distance helped me into a calming meditative state.

When the day was done, and I was ready to leave I decided to take the scenic route home. A day in the sun meant the car was hot and stuffy, so I opened the windows for some fresh air. Still wet from the beach I decided to cruise home slowly and let the warm wind rushing in through the driver’s window to circle around me like a summer breeze.


Heading Home

Following the curved road which wrapped itself around the bay I passed through Tootgarook Capel Sound Rosebud and Dromana. All the places look the same, but each suburb has its own personality. At Dromana there is a turn off to Arthur’s seat and although I was tempted to take a side trip up to the highest lookout on the Peninsula which has a spectacular view of the bay and city I continued the drive because I felt content behind the wheel. The afternoon was slipping away fast and I wanted to get a glimpse of a sunset over water so I took a side road that connected up with the Nepean Highway and headed for Frankston Lookout, a much more convenient place to stop and on a direct path home. As Frankston curved into view, so did the city skyline. My timing was perfect to see the setting afternoon sun.

The yellow sun turned into an orange disk as it moved slowly across to the west. As it slipped over the horizon the day faded to blue for the remainder of my trip home. As the steering wheel of my car turned my silver Subaru up our driveway darkness fell across the sky. The day was done, and the road trip was over, and a couple of cold ones were wating for me.

I feel gratitude for what was and excited for what is to come.

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