A Travel Tale From Down Under

by Marcia Yablon | 11/10/97 6:00am

This summer my family took a trip to Aus tralia. They teasingly told me that if I "wasn't too grown up to vacation with them" I was invited along. I decided I was no where near too grown up for an all-expense-paid trip and selflessly agreed to the free food, hotel and airfare. I stated that I would be more than happy to follow them to the country where beer is pronounced as a two syllable word and you can ask for it at 18. This trip was not my first time traveling with my family. During previous trips we often had disagreements and miscommunications which taught us all the importance of being able to compromise. For example, on this trip we decided we would try to travel relatively lightly and everyone agreed to only take one bag. Even mom agreed to the one bag plan -- one bag for her clothes, one for her shoes and one for her toiletries. Like I said, compromise is the key.

Another key thing to remember is that when traveling with your family you are constantly with your family. This point may seem obvious, but after being away at college one has the tendency to forget what it is like to be the child. My parents, like many other parents I have observed, have me and my sister fixed permanently in their minds at the ages of 8 and 11. Naturally this results in shock at the mere mention of bars or clubs but it goes much deeper. For instance, my mother believes if she didn't remind me to eat I would starve. She also believes that I am completely incapable of dressing myself warmly and therefore always comes prepared with at least three extra sweaters. She will bring these sweaters even on the hottest days on the off chance that "ninety and sunny" really means "thirty and snowy."

My parents are even more protective of my sister. It may have to do with the fact that we once left her in a train station in Italy; ever since then she must be in their direct line of vision or they get panicky. In spite of all of this I had a wonderful time in Australia. I also learned a few things on this trip that I thought I would share in this article.

The top ten pieces of good news and bad news of traveling to Australia.

  1. The good news is after a 20-hour flight you are finally in Sydney; the bad news is your luggage thought it was a 6-hour flight and is in L.A..

  2. The good news is this time your luggage arrived at the same airport with you. The bad news is you have to wait for the plane to unload the luggage for an entire women's lacrosse team, 40 girls who all have two bags and three lacrosse sticks, before you can get it..

  3. The good news is you cross the dateline and gain a day; the bad news is you are jet lagged for a week and a half.

  4. The good news is there are many nude beaches, the bad news is only old fat people use them.

  5. The good news is your hotel has a TV; the bad news is it only has one station showing all cricket, all the time. The really bad news is you watch it everyday for a week and still can't figure out the rules to the damn game.

  6. The good news is they have American-style cuisin;, the bad news is it's McDonald's.

  7. The good news is they speak English; the bad news is you still can't understand them.

  8. The good news is winter is Australia is about 65 to 75 degrees; the bad news is the only clothes you packed were for a Dartmouth winter.

  9. The good news is you look left and see no cars coming; the bad news is they drive on the other side of the road in Australia

  10. The good news is they don't have the Brady Bunch; the bad news is they still know the Marcia Marcia Marcia Joke!!!!