Just another day in WA
“For if every true love affair can feel like a journey to a foreign country, where you can’t quite speak the language, and you don’t know where you’re going, and you’re pulled ever deeper into the inviting darkness, every trip to a foreign country can be a love affair, where you’re left puzzling over who you are and whom you’ve fallen in love with...and all good trips are, like love, about being carried out of yourself and deposited in the midst of terror and wonder.”
Admittedly, these grand words by Pico Iyer might be too much of a mouthful when I start to reflect over my research stay in Perth. Yet, after almost half a year on the Southern hemisphere I can’t help but acknowledge how this trip has carried me out of my comfortable European self by depositing me in the midst of a foreign landscape of wonder (and just a little bit of terror considering that I've encountered venomous snakes along the way).
Today, I won’t talk about my research or work at the University of Western Australia. Rather, I’d like to take you on a journey through Perth and Western Australia - through the eyes of a traveller who has been left puzzling over who she is.
Locals are spoilt for choice
Even though Perth is one of the most isolated major cities in the world - it’s more than 3000 km to either Sydney or Indonesia - there is really a lifetime of things to explore. And that’s due to the huge variety of regions in Western Australia (WA). The state is almost seven times as big as Norway!
Similarly to Norway, the country offers extraordinary landscapes and sights. I’ve been hiking and road tripping my way through WA pretty much the same as in Norway. The difference though? I always apply tons of sun blocker and watch out for snakes!
Since arriving in Perth I’ve been able to enjoy the beach lifestyle and watch ocean sunsets with the most turquoise waters imaginable. I’ve explored natural bushland and hiked across mountain ranges of intense red. And I’ve pondered rosé clouds that got their beautiful hues from a lake that algae have turned pink.
Unforgettable moments in Western Australia
I’ve been carried out of my life in Europe - not only to step outside of my professional comfort zone to grow as a researcher. I've discovered that life in Australia suits me. And yes, I’ve turned a bit Australian along the way as well. I reach for my woollen jumper when temperatures drop below 25°C. I look astonished at some drops of rain that rarely make an appearance in this part of the world. And I cannot get enough of outdoor cinemas and ginger beer.
I am not sure if I have fallen in love with Perth during my research stay, but there is one thing I do know: Unforgettable moments aren’t a rarity in Western Australia. They’re a daily occurrence.