Two weeks and counting….

It’s almost mid-June and we find ourselves in Noosa, Australia on the Sunshine Coast. The realization that we only have a few more days remaining on our 6-month journey weighs on our mind. Over the past couple weeks our time has become less about sight-seeing and more about personal time. To give you an idea, last week we were in tropical Port Douglas, Australia (aprox. 80 km’s north of Cairns) where we spent six of our seven days on the white-sandy beach in 85-degree weather drifting in and out of naps, our novels, conversation, and the warm water. “It was magic” as the Ausies like to say.

Sunrise @ Port Douglas

What was also magic was our snorkeling trip of the Great Barrier Reef which we did on the other day. Nor Tina and I consider ourselves avid snorkelers but this is a natural wonder not to be missed. It was beyond description (on a side note, back in March I did a post about the Kauri tree’s in the Waipoua Forest, New Zealand. They are thought to be almost 4,000 years old and I asked if anyone knew of any other living organism on earth that could equal their age. We learned in talking with the on-board marine biologist that the Great Barrier Reef, which is both plant, mineral, and animal, is thought to be 6,000 years old. Not to be out done, the living reef in the Coral Sea is millions of years old.)

We snorkeled here, awesome
6,000 year old Great Barrier Reed

This week were are spending on the Sunshine Coast where we are going on walks, kayaking, and bike-riding. That may sound active but I assure you we’re taking it slow.

We are not sad to be returning home. Looking back over the past 6 months we feel extremely fortunate for the various experiences we’ve had. We’ve had the pleasure to explore many different places from urban-Stockholm, Sweden in the winter to seemingly untouched Tapotupotu Bay, New Zealand in summer. We’ve met many friendly people and now have a list of contacts from Insbrook, Austria to bear country, Alaska. We’ve paid witness to classical architecture in Venice, Italy as well as modern designs in Melbourne, Australia. We’ve viewed contemporary art in places like the Tate in London, England as well as the indigenous art of the Maori & Aboriginal people of NZ & Australia. We’ve tasted Tapas in Barcelona and “Fush & Chips” from the docks in Tauranga, New Zealand. There are many more memories that we’ll never forget.

tapas, beers and barcelona
Tapas in Ba"th"elona

But the trip has been valuable for reasons beyond new experiences. Taken out of our normal daily lives and placed into new environments Tina and I have had the unique opportunity to reflect on ourselves as well as each other. In our relationship we’ve discovered more about what is important to each other which will help us become better companions later on. Personally, I’ve had much time to reflect on how I’d like to lead my life and what I can do to take it towards this vision. In this regard the trip has been a blessing.

So although we will miss the thrill of a discovering a new place upon our return to our daily lives we do so with these personal discoveries which is invaluable. In addition, we’re very excited to re-unite with our loved-ones and move back into our own home where we can trade our backpacks for dressers and unfamiliar accommodation for our own bed (where we can dream up our next adventure).

Beginning on Thursday night we’ll be back in sight-seeing mode when we get to Sydney. We’ve heard it’s a beautiful city and look forward to exploring what it has to offer. We’re back in Portland on June 24th and look forward to catching up soon!

Don’t ditch the blog yet, there will be some more posts to come.