[tweetability]The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. - Augustine of Hippo[/tweetability]

So as I sit here writing this I am surrounded by clothes and essentials, my passport and documents and a seemingly endless list of things I think I need to take with me. Tomorrow I leave for Australia.

It’s been six years since I last visited, a portion of my family have been here for over 20 years. It’s also been two years since I took longer than two days off work. I have habit of getting so caught up in work it is often a stretch of years between holidays for me. The last time I went I was just 20 years old, the furthest I had ever flown was four hours on a school trip to Russia with 40 others. This times it was 24 hours and I would be alone. It was a sudden and unplanned booking and I left myself with just a three week turnaround time to get my things sorted before I left.

The next two months changed my life. I’m not talking in some massive or dramatic way, but a subtle shift in myself happened. I had taken control of myself, travelled for thousands of miles with hundreds of strangers who didn’t speak the same language as me. While in Australia I travelled around, with people and alone, financed myself, budgeted, planned, jumped out of a plane at 14,000 ft and became, in a cliched sense, a man. It was the first time in my life, stepping back off the plane in the UK that I felt in charge of who I was.

Now, as I sit getting ready to repeat this trip again, I can feel the little nerves building in my stomach, the excitement shifting through me and the profound sense of peace at the thought of being back there. This is what travelling does to you, I think.

[tweetability]Travel far enough, you meet yourself. - David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas[/tweetability]

By travelling you get to test what you are capable of, and most of the time this isn’t even an intentional test, you just do these things natural because the ability is within in you. Travelling opens us up, literally, to an unseen world. It is hard to be truly open minded when you body and eyes and not been opened further than the tiny corner of the world you live in - this is not to say you cannot be a good, if not great and profound person if you don’t or can’t travel, it just adds a whole new perspective.

I found this picture online several years ago and it has been my twitter background ever since. I absolutely love it and the sentiment behind it. It asks to many things; quit your job - take that chance, be brave, do what you need to do to be happy; buy a ticket - not necessarily physically, it;s about being your own rescuer, make the choice; get a tan - learn, grow, change and develop; fall in love - be open to absorb the greatest wonders available to you; never return; I don’t think this means literally, I have always taken it to mean once you have practiced the other four, you cannot return the same as you were before, you are a new, richer, wiser version of your former self.

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”  - Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32)

So over the next 6 weeks, The Science of Appearance will be taking on the Down Under, we’ll be looking at Australian brands, places and people, with a bit of regular content thrown in too.

I can’t wait to share this journey with you.

Happy Monday, Guys.




Written by Neil Thornton
London-based coffee drinker. Editor by day, blogger by whatever time he finds spare.