Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Australia Countdown Begins

In about two weeks, I’ll be heading to Australia on business, visiting the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef and then stopping over in Sydney for a combination of work and pleasure.

It’s been three and a half years since my last trip Down Under, a ten-day jaunt to Sydney that I spent brooding over my then-boyfriend not being Mr. Right and what I was going to do about it. I’m so thankful that I’ll have the opportunity to revisit one of my favorite parts of the world, this time with a clear head.

Along with my excitement about seeing the Great Barrier Reef and great state of Queensland for the first time, I’m eagerly anticipating my reunion with the two people responsible for my love affair with Australia -- my dear friends Suzanne and David.

All Smiles in Sydney: Australian friends Sue and Dave during my first trip Down Under, January 2002

I met Sue and Dave back in ‘94, during a whirlwind Contiki bus tour across Europe that covered something like 18 countries in about as many days. We all hit it off immediately and managed to stay in touch over the years.

After Sue came to New York twice -- including a memorable New Year’s Eve that found our faith in humanity restored when a cab driver returned the wallet she left in his car -- the time finally arrived for me to go Down Under. For the first time in seven years, Sue, Dave and I were all together again, effortlessly picking up where we had left off.

When I said goodbye to them at the end of my January 2002 Australian jaunt, I had a feeling it wouldn’t be for long. Sure enough, I returned in May -- just in time to celebrate the birth of Sue’s daughter, my gorgeous goddaughter Isabella. My five month stint as a Sydneysider brought us even closer and afforded some great times with Dave in Canberra, Australia’s capital, with his growing family.

I can’t wait to see Sue and Dave again. In the meantime, I have another reunion to look forward to -- with an Aussie old flame who’s heading this way for New Year’s. I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2009!

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