Travel Karma and a trip to Australia

I believe in travel karma. Putting out good thoughts or vibes so that I have good luck while on the road. It worked all the way across America and Europe and meant that every plane, train, bus or ferry left and arrived on time.

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Though somewhere, somehow the travel karma may well have run out. I've just travelled 17008 km from London to Sydney and not a single delay but here I am less than an hour from my destination and I'm stuck.

Everything went smoothly- perhaps too smoothly considering I've lost a day somewhere. Even the bureaucracy of Shanghai airport with its multitude of forms and risk of bird flu passed with the minimum of fuss. I was channelling my positive vibes the whole journey, hoping and wishing for a smooth passage, but now maybe my jetlag has clouded it.

Sydney airport, my first port of call in Australia , my first experience of Oz and like all first impressions I want it to be a good one. I've waited a year for this moment, so close to my final destination and an announcement comes over the tanoy. Flight ZL0828 to Dubbo , New South Wales will be delayed.

They can't even tell me how long the hold-up will be! I just want to get to Dubbo, to see the people that are waiting for me at the airport and 23 hours of flying is more than enough for anybody! I can't even get outside to experience the heat for the first time.

Finally, hours later than expected, I touch tarmac at Dubbo airport. This wasn't until another plane was flown out to replace the one I was meant to be on. Flying is daunting enough without being told that your plane is unsafe to fly on.

At last my Aussie experience can begin in earnest.

Dubbo- Aboriginal for red earth- may not be where everyone's idea of a starting point for travelling Australia . Many may never have heard of it or just pass it by but for me, it was the ideal place to kick off.

Three days in and I've adopted the Aussie salute - to swat the constant harassing, buzzing flies away from my ears, had a boomerang lesson and ‘Skippy Watching'; Spotting a mob of kangaroos boxing on the local golf course. Felt just like Steve Irwin.

I was even properly initiated into Aussie culture and hospitality at my first ‘Barbie.' I witnessed first hand the behaviour of the Aussie male. The men, I was informed, stand round the Barbie, watching the meat cook, drinking cold beer from stubby coolers, discussing footy.

Where I come from footy can only mean one thing, soccer. Now I have to differentiate between league (Rugby League) rules (Australian Rules) union (Rugby Union) and soccer. It's all just a bit confusing. Just when I was getting the hang of everything someone says ‘fair dinkum.'

‘I'm sorry what did you say??!' I retort never having heard anyone say this before.

“Fair dinkum. It means ‘is that the truth.'

Well you learn something new every day.

So while my travel karma may have deserted me at Sydney airport leaving me cursing Australia , it returned over the next few days to give me the start to my adventure I'd always wished for. I couldn't have asked for a better way to get to know Australia .

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