Since 2009, I’ve been flying to Australia for holiday each year (although I’ve actually been to Australia much earlier when I was younger). Out of these trips, I’ve visited Sydney 7 times, making New South Wales the state I been to most. My habit is to spend a few days in the city and the remaining days in a suburb or outskirts of the region as opposed to a day trip. Hence despite my repeated visits, each visit has a different highlight. Just as I prefer free and easy, I dislike travelling with a big group in a tour bus. I like to immerse myself in the surroundings and experience as much of the local culture as possible. A day trip is hardly sufficient to explore a place. Ideally, it is best if I can spend a few months or even a few years at a place. That is the true essence of travelling in my mind. Wherever possible, I like to explore on foot, whether in or outside the city, on the streets, in the parks, along the coastal beaches, in the forest, up a hill, dirt or concrete paths. It is a blessing to just walk and keep on walking. My love for walking has gotten me into a bit of misadventures too as I hitched a ride in the middle of a highway (though misadventures are also part of the experience of travelling). Alas, I have to give in to the vast landscape of Australia and admit sometimes I can’t go far with just my feet and that I could probably travel farther and further if I drive.
There is a practical reason why I tend to re-visit the same country and the reason is not because I have a particular liking for Sydney or NSW compared to other cities or states. Rather, the reason has to do with my need for ‘control’ or having to make a detailed itinerary that usually entails spending long hours and days to research on my destination. Often, I won’t get to visit every places I’d like to go during the trip and that will end up in the “to go” list for my next trip. Essentially, I keep going back to certain countries for the sake of convenience, since I would already have gathered some information about the place and have some idea about where I’d like to go, it saves me time instead of having to start my research from scratch.
People travel on leisure for different reasons: architecture, history, heritage, arts, culture, nature, wildlife, adventure, sports, food, shopping etc. I’m a little bit of each with a focus on experiencing and exploring by walking (and looking around for cats). I believe I travel with the hope of finding a place I belong, a place that I could call home ~ to find the most walkable environment, my most liveable place.