The Eighth Wonder of the World

We pictured our little cottage as a real palace. We had an impression that it was the eighth wonder of the world. Three comfortable beds, where you can stretch out your legs and fall asleep in a horizontal position. After three days spent mainly on the plane, the word “bed” was synonymous with the word “salvation”. What isn’t without importance, our wonder of the world was of a gigantic size. I mean it didn’t fit into one room… We had two rooms separated by the few meters long kitchen. A split for parents’ room and kids’ room was apparent and, fortunately, there was no contester within our family who wanted to oppose… I was sure, after three days of exile, I finally reached paradise, heaven on earth. The night promised to be wonderful.

Do they ever sleep in a paradise?

And it was wonderful, indeed. Well, almost for everybody. There must be a balance in the world. Somebody mustn't sleep at all, so somebody else could sleep well. Unfortunately, this time, I was this “unsleeping somebody”. As a professional “sleep-faller” who usually doesn’t need more time to fall asleep than Usain Bolton to finish the 100-meter sprint, I was totally surprised that this time it was me who couldn’t sleep. Unfortunately, something temporarily broke down in me and for all the treasures of the world, I was not able to fall asleep. The 100-meter sprint changed into exhausting marathon performed by a mediocre runner who will never reach the podium. I felt as if Mr. JetLag beat me with a hammer all over my body. When it looked that finally my brain will go into standby mode, another persistent thought slipped into my head and didn’t want to leave. I tried all known methods of falling asleep, including chilling down the head, mindfulness, sheep counting, and breath pausing, but unfortunately, my sleeping soul was somewhere far away between Holland and Australia and it still could not reach the body of the host.

At 5 am – after sleeping this night not more that one hour – I finally gave up. I got up, went out on the house terrace and started to write a blog… Next day, when I read these notes, it became apparent, that at least one-half of my brain was mired in a deep coma…

So here I was – after three sleepless nights – I welcomed the first actual day of vacations…

We start exploring Australia

Litchfield camping, australia

In the morning, after delicious breakfast, we packed our travel equipment and we went to a meeting with an adventure. That was AUSTRALIA! We dreamed about this trip for over a dozen years. We planned the trip to Australia for the first time in 2000, but unfortunately, in that year, Australia was in a frenzy of preparations for summer Olympic and the prices of anything that even barely overlapped with tourism soared so rapidly, that we – as new graduates from Polish universities – had to look for a different place for holidays adventures. Australia was definitely not a place for budget holidays. So we chose Peru for 2000 vacations and – as it turned out later – it was the last holidays without the kids on our shoulders…

Anyway, now we are in Australia as a family. The whole team of Stones on the other end of the world! The trip itinerary is slightly stretched as we are aware that we will not come back to Australia soon. We start our family trip from Litchfield, a place about which we read a lot before leaving Holland. There are so many things to see, there are so many creeks and waterfalls to take a swim in… It is high time to get into the car and enjoy!

Stones are not made of stone

Oops, I forgot to write about one important thing. Our younger son – Greg – less than one day before our flight to Australia, broke his arm while playing with his friend on the skateboard. I still remember as we discussed with the doctor in Antoniushove hospital in Leidschendam near The Hague if it wouldn’t be more responsible to cancel the whole trip and stay at home. It was not a simple decision. It was really difficult to control our emotions. Especially, that we started our family trip from Amsterdam and we had plane tickets for MH17 flight, which less than two weeks ago, tragically ended its route in Ukrainian and Russian conflict and still the whole Holland was grief-stricken and mourning.

We are THE STONES, but we are not made of stone, so all these “signs” influenced our emotions and imagination…

Fortunately, in the end, the left side of my brain managed to speak loud enough to be heard. Given the green light from the doctor that it was safe for Greg to travel with a broken arm, we decided to realize our dreams and start the Australian family adventure.

I will tell your later how we managed to travel with the “single arm” kid through the deserts and oceans of Australia. Now I can tell you only this – it was a real FUN…