This year, my husband and I decided to travel far away to one of the places on our bucket list. We would celebrate our son’s twenty-first birthday with him (he was doing is college junior year spring semester abroad in Sydney, Australia) and then travel throughout the country – far from the goings-on in our lives back home.
And so on May 25th, we landed in Sydney – a truly beautiful city and walked right into The Sydney Writers’ Festival, which was enormous and just steps away from our hotel. As we strolled on the piers near the Rocks Section of the city, we were surrounded by publishers and authors at their very familiar looking cocktail parties.
Several days later, we were off to Ayers Rock, Australia’s most recognizable natural icon and I found an informative and relevant book describing this really phenomenal area, Uluru, Kjata Tjuta and Watarrka Ayres Rock by Anne Kerle (New South Publishing). What a great setting for a kind of Raiders of the Lost Ark type of story!
On we went to Adelaide where I again discovered that there is an annual arts festival – usually held in March – and which includes some of Australia’s most prominent writers.
We journeyed to the Barossa Valley, which is included in the very popular 1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz (Workman Publishing) and where we also spent the day at several vineyards, tasting all kinds of wine including a 100-year-old “fortified wine” (it is literally against the law to call this a port in Australia).
Finally, before heading back to Sydney, we spent two days on Kangaroo Island, a beautiful place filled with kangaroos, koala bears, all kinds of birds and seals, sea lions, whales, and wallabies. And on the last day, of course, upon hearing that I was a literary agent, our guide Jamie presented me with a signed copy of his wife Gaynor Bowden’s book, SHACK ATTACK! Humorous Kangaroo Island Verse (her self- published book). I had come full circle.
And so we had a true adventure in this fabulous place, but it proved one thing to me – one can never get far away from books and the people involved with them.
Where will you go on your vacation this summer?