I initially hatched the idea to take a trip to Australia back in 1992, thanks to my eccentric second-grade teacher. Mrs. Fraley designed our entire school year around her love of The Land Down under, from science units on the life cycles of marsupials, to traditional folklore myths and songs, to geography lessons about the Outback and what was known, at the time, as Ayer’s Rock. (She even took us to Outback Steakhouse, although I now know that place is anything but Australian!)
On account of being seven (and very middle-class) at the time, it took me exactly 20 years to take my first trip to Australia, where I saw koalas and kangaroos up-close, traipsed through the red sands of the Outback, ate real Australian food and hummed along to “Waltzing Matilda” the first time I heard it. I’m eager to return to Australia to cover the vast amounts of the country I missed during the month I spent there, but for now, use my travel pictures of Australia as inspiration.