I do not recall when my fascination with Australia began. I've always been a fan of traveling and I think that Australia became initially enticing because I heard very little about it. There was always something mysterious about it. I wanted to dive in and figure out everything I could about the place.
I remember last year in World History II we never talked about Australia. I thought it was extremely unfair because Australia is a continent... and a country. I began raising my hand in class during different lectures to see if Australia has anything to do with the current topic- usually to no avail, but I was persistent. I do not know if the professor was annoyed by my questioning or if I entertained him, but he never told me to stop. Even now, I have friends who raise their hands and ask my favorite question: What about Australia? It makes me happy every time I hear about someone doing it.
So when the opportunity practically slapped me in the face, I could NOT turn down the chance to study in the place that had already made it into my heart. I have already started learning about Australia by reading Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country. We are required to read it before we leave for Australia and I am so glad we are... because it is really good.
The 8 pages I have read so far explain how interesting and unique Australia is. Eighty percent of all that lives in Australia cannot be found anywhere else in the world. All ten of the world's most deadly snakes can be found in Australia (my parents are NOT happy about this one).
The Aboriginal people are different racially and linguistically from other people group in the surrounding area. It is believed that somehow over 45,000 years ago, Aborigines were extremely advanced for their time and created some kind of sea vessel that transported them to Australia. When they got to Australia, somehow they forgot all they knew and stayed on the island without any trace of evidence that they ever tried to leave.
WOW... who knew all this and SO much more is in Australia? I know I didn't (except for all the poisonous creatures... my dad made sure I knew they were there... in a FAILED attempt to keep me from going).
And I haven't even mentioned the kangaroos! I wish I could hop around in a pouch, but I know that would land me in either the hospital or the morgue- the two places I hope to avoid on the trip. J
So, my lovely blog friends, I will leave you with a song by Dorotha Mackellar:
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.