So Far, So Good

by Dave on September 11, 2009

SYDNEY – The first day in a new place is always about finding things. Finding our way from the airport to the hostel, finding local money, finding groceries, finding our way around and finding the things I thought we forgot to pack. Luckily, I’m traveling with a couple of very good finders. Annalise helps me finds things I’ve lost and Robin (we’re learning) is very good at finding where we are.

Even after 18 hours in airports and airplanes, Annalise and I fell into a well-worn routine. The hallmarks are the hand signals we use in crowded places and the roles we each assume as we tackle all the little challenges of travel. But the day’s nicest surprise was how Robin fell in with us. On previous trips, he’s shown us that he’s a patient and happy traveler. He doesn’t complain (ever) and always looks for ways to help. And as we wandered Sydney yesterday, he assumed quiet, but firm control of the map, suggesting routes and destinations, watching for bus stops and tracking our location. At the end of the day, his thumb hovered over the bus stop bell in anticipation of the stop nearest our hostel.

Personally, the flight to Sydney was one of the hardest I’ve experienced in five years of rigorous work travel. It wasn’t because the 14 hours we spent in United ultra-economy or the hectic week of preparation before we left. And it wasn’t like I had a new business pitch or angry clients waiting at our destination. No – it was I spent the whole flight worrying about Robin. After all,  it’s one thing to travel like this when you’re supposedly an adult. But it’s a whole other thing to drag a thirteen year old out of school and home and away from friends.

But the worry all evaporated as we all found our way on the first day of our trip. I know Robin is going to miss his friends and I worry that he’ll fall behind in school. But watching him as he learns to travel and explores new things makes it all worthwhile.

It was a good day.

In the next post – In search of the Wily Echidna ….

Share and Enjoy
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • del.icio.us

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: