Exotic destinations

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Exotic destinations

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Apparently, living in the Galapagos Islands was not exotic enough. So we moved to Darwin.

Whenever we told anyone that we lived in Galapagos, we got every kind of look. From amazed looks to pity looks to bewildered ones. Not many people could understand why we had chosen – of all places – to live there. For good or for bad. And, to stay there for almost 20 years. But then, when we told them (the people) that we were relocating to Darwin we got sort of haunted looks. Galapagos was isolated enough but besides submarine algae eating iguanas and giant tortoises we were safe. The vampire finches did draw some eyebrows, but not many knew about them (or the fact that they lived in the northernmost islands – accessible only after about 24 hours by boat – and that they enjoyed Nazca boobies blood on top of all) so we were not really in danger of anything. The endemic daisies did not pose any danger at all. Medical care, on the other hand – could pose a real life threat.  

We were moving to Australia where everything is dangerous and poisonous. Dear friends keep posting links to my Facebook page about the dangers of living in Australia. In the Northern Territory, where even true Ozzies call it the Outback. Snakes, spiders, box jelly fishes, blue ring octopus, kicking kangaroos, crocodiles – BIG ones, too. Little they knew about dropbears, though. Someone just suggested that during this Easter we go looking for dropbear eggs. The only egg-laying mammals are in Australia, after all. So it could be easy to buy…

So after accumulating stuff for all these years in a 220-square meter house, we decided to pack everything and leave. We said bye to our dear friends, had a ‘cheers to that’ beer with everyone (got tipsy quite often!) and had many attempts to learn to say ‘G᾽day mate’ with an Ecuadorian accent.

It was difficult to gauge what was coming and what wasn’t. We did four – organised – garage sales and many give-away events. At the end, we packed our life in nine 23-kg suitcases and started a life-changing journey across the Pacific. And after 96 hours of travelling time (which included overnights in Guayaquil and Los Angeles), we got to Darwin. Only to be greeted by warm smiles, beautiful blue skies, palm trees and a cold Darwin stubby. The first Aussie word to learn was a ‘ute’ which was fully packed with our checked-in and carry-on luggage leaving little space to feel the heat or to wish for anything else.

It has only been two weeks since we arrived but we feel at home. We feel welcome and happy. Our ‘index of gross happiness’ is at its highest… few picnics, good Australian wine, cycling around the well-kept bicycle paths surrounded by manicured lawns and nice shady trees, peak rush hour is about 15 minutes of easy traffic. Really, there is not much more we could wish for. Our far-away loved ones yes, but – at least – Skype brings them closer…  

Life is good in the Australian Outback...