Currently, we need permits to cross from one state to another within Australia. If you live in Victoria you are persona non grata interstate. Think …… The Black Death. Cross border travel permits are few and far between. There are exceptions. I’m thinking here of the member of a wealthy, society family man with a truck license who was allowed to travel across borders and rent a plush Gold Coast home. He can now swim and surf his way through lock-down with his family while Melbournians have to be inside their homes by 8pm for night curfew. Perhaps the freight he is hauling (an essential service) is the family dog and jet ski?
But we will be let out at some stage. The skies will eventually be full of planes. We might complain less about the length of queues at Heathrow and kids will limit the amount of ” Are we there yet?” on family trips. There will be a time when Jetstar flights from Bali spew out hundreds of holiday makers returning from Bali with scorched skin and braided hair wearing Bintang singlets. There will be times when at Easter in Victoria, we pile our cars with camping gear for the last fling trip to the coast before Melbourne’s winter hits.
Prehaps we’ll tip toe into the world with cautious optimism. Others are already packed and ready to adventure as soon as borders open with a renewed zeal and lust for life. So the big question is….where will you travel once borders open?
Here’s my shortlist.
- Stanley, Tasmania
My usual spring ritual is to head to Tassie for a week or so every spring. It’s stunningly beautiful with gentle weather and still chilly evenings. I head to Launceston in Northern Tasmania. Pick up a car and then stay at the wonderful Brickendon Farm – a working farm dating back to the early 1800’s, outside Longford with farm cottages that look out on the big wide rivers and mountains. This is my base for a few days as I catch up with friends, have dinner at the local pub, visit Ross, Campbell Town and travel through the back country around Cressy and Poatina. The lush farms, staggering mountains and historical Georgian manor houses of the area are breath-taking.
Then I head to the seaside town of Stanley weaving my way through Westbury and its village green and Deloraine, a pretty little town hugged by the Western Tiers mountain range. Stanley is an old fishing village, reminiscent of parts of Cornwall. The Nut is a huge rock formation reaching out to see. I stay in a cottage by the beach, buy wonderful bread, cheeses and wine from the local providore and spend a few days walking beaches, catching up with friends who own local gallery and generally breathing the clean air. Its bliss. If its crayfish season I treat myself. It’s a great place for photography and writing and marvelling at nature’s gifts.
I have unfinished business in Scotland. I left my heart there and need to head back for an extended period to further explore and revisit the jewels such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and the islands of Skye and Mull. I want to rent a place for 6 months and soak in this wonderful country, explore its mountains and sing its songs. There is so much more I need to see. This goes beyond a little holiday. It’s an urgent driving force to return to a country I discovered only last year but a country that spoke to me in its gentle lilt.
3. The Baltic States – Latvia and Lithuania
Last year I revisited my childhood sites in England with 70 year old eyes. It was wonderful and I’ll return to the Midlands and London as soon as I can. But the final piece of my history lies in the birthplace of my parents in Latvia and Lithuania. My first language was Latvian yet I have never been there. I want to understand more about the places that shaped my parents and their lives. I want to walk through birch woodland and see fast flowing rivers. I want to mingle with blonde, arctic blue eyed men like my father. I’ll walk its charming old cobbled streets in medieval towns. I want to hear Latvian choirs and buy beautiful Lithuanian linen. I’d like to feel the undertones of these places and get in touch with what my parents knew as children.
So that’s my short list. I feel I still have places I must see soon while I am fit and able to travel, hike and cart around a suitcase. It’s likely 2022/23 will be the time for the big adventures..until then I dream. What about you?