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Travel: the panacea for the soul

When your addiction is travel, the last eighteen months have been tough to say the least. Initially when Australia’s international borders closed, the optimists thought “What a great chance to see more of our own country”, and then we were quickly confronted with the reality of our “federation of states”- that they could all do their own thing! Imagine state borders being closed? Prior to 2020, the notion that this could happen would have been an absurd thought. Yet here we are in late-ish 2021, seemingly not all that much closer to the end of this interruption to our travelling way of life.

With three attempts to travel to the Northern Territory thwarted by lockdowns and ongoing uncertainty, we were about to give up. Then by stroke of luck by being regional Victorians, we were lucky enough to get a brief window of time between lockdowns to spend a week in and around Alice Springs, even if it wasn't the full itinerary that we had planned.

Alice Springs is an unusual little town. A gateway to the MacDonnell ranges to the east and west, the whole area has a beauty about it that is certainly not pretty, but a rugged, striking, majestic appeal that is so instantly identifiable as iconic Australia, even if you have never actually laid eyes on it before. Both the East and West MacDonnell ranges have some amazing walks, magnificent gorges and colours of rock formations that have to be seen to be believed. Amazing native vegetation that has evolved to withstand the harsh, desert conditions but thrive and provide a splash of colour that is not expected in such an arid landscape. All of this under a cloudless, enormous blue sky.

We honestly didn’t realise how much we missed travel until we were travelling again. It is easy to get stuck in the mundane day to day of COVID life, various lockdowns and restrictions and forget what a wonderful “panacea to the soul” that travel can be. When you need to refill your cup, there is honestly no better way. To disconnect from the daily grind, explore new and interesting places, delight in nature’s beauty and appreciate the simple joys of a walk, a sunset, or a panoramic vista is something that we have previously taken for granted. The “new travel normal” means being flexible, spontaneous and taking a chance on travel when there is a small window of opportunity. To us “planning types” this is a little confronting, but it is the seemingly the only way we will be able to get away and “feed our addiction” in the short to medium term!

We are so fortunate to have been able to get away and are so grateful to the Northern Territory government for having such reasonable border restrictions. We know that many of the StuVac family are currently in lockdown and unable to travel, and we feel for you all. No doubt like many of you, we are fully vaccinated and ready to use these “vaccine passports” as soon as possible. Just give us the nod Prime Minister Scomo, and we will be off!!!!

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