Livin' in a land Down Under
One of things I love about what I do for a living is traveling to new places. The way that I pack my gear is in a way that I can grab it and go whenever an opportunity arises. Sometimes that’s just going out to check out a waterfall a few mins from home and sometimes that’s getting the call to travel literally to the other side of the world.
Late Thursday night, Jan 10 I got an instagram message from a friend and I immediately called him. He said “hey, I know you are travel ready, I have a project I need you for.” (I was thinking maybe shooting something in Birmingham or somewhere in North Alabama.) He continued….”there’s this project I need shot in Australia, The Northern Territory to be exact. Another thing, I need you to go in 10 days”. I thought about it for about 20 minutes and decided it sounded like an opportunity I’d be crazy to pass up.
So, January 20 I boarded a plane to head to Dallas. When I left Dallas I got on the Qantas flight direct to Sydney. This flight just a few years ago was the longest commercial flight in the world, 17.5 hours. I flew through Monday and arrived middle of the day on Tuesday.
I arrived in Sydney, transferred to Darwin and the next day got on small 6 seater plane to head to Ngukurr, Northern Territory. After 26 hours in the air + layovers and 3 days later I had arrived in my destination. I met with two locals, Lindy and Naomi who were my guides for the week. Ngukurr is a Native Aborigine community way out in the bush. We met and talked to many different people and filmed them doing some of their daily activities. One of the main parts of the project was to film them speaking in their native Kriol tongue. Life there is very different than most of the other parts of Australia. There were lots of things that reminded me of being in Africa but there were many modern conveniences afforded them by living in a first world country. After our 3 days in Ngukurr we began our journey back.
I spent my final full day in exploring the Darwin area. There’s so much history there because of their involvement in WWII. If you’ve ever seen the movie Australia with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, we ate dinner out on the end of the Wharf where they drove the cattle onto the ship. This same Wharf was what was bombed during the Japanee attack on Darwin just after they bombed Pearl Harbor. After a full day in Darwin it was back in to the air. I departed Darwin at midnight Saturday night to make the trek home.
A whirlwind trip with some amazing memories and capturing stories many people will never hear in person.
-Approx 23,000 miles in the air
-50+hours in the air + layovers
-3.5 days on the ground in Australia.
-I did get to see Sydney Harbor and the Opera House….from the air.
I definitely did not take the road most travelled while there. Many people have told me since I’ve been back that they have always wanted to go visit Australia. My response has been “me too, I’ve just whet my appetite with the small taste I got.”