Tortoise on the Move

March 30, 2015

Alice Springs and the Stuart Highway

Simpsons Gap
thorny devil

Thorny devil at Alice Springs Reptile Center

Day 4 began with a much-needed sleep in (or whatever you consider waking up at 8 am). After breakfast, I went out for a quick grocery run before a few of us from the tour walked to the nearby Alice Springs Reptile Center. Like the reptile center in Canberra, this one also had a plentiful supply of native Australian reptiles, including a previously injured monitor lizard that was free to roam the indoor areas. I’m convinced that if I ever came across a brown snake or taipan in the wild, I’d probably pass out or have a heart attack, but I did take a liking to the bearded dragons outside. The highlight, though, was the thorny devil in another outdoor enclosure. One of my friends said it looked like a Pokemon in the photos, and that’s probably the best description of it.

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March 26, 2015

Gallery: Red Centre, Northern Territory

Kata Tjuta sunrise

It’s better to have seen something once than to hear about it a hundred times.

This is a collection of photos from the first three days of Wayoutback Safaris tour of Australia’s Northern Territory, specifically the Red Centre. Check out the blog post here.

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March 25, 2015

Red Centre Adventures

Red Centre tour group
Uluru colors

Colors of Uluru

Two weeks ago, I flew from my home on the Sunshine Coast to Sydney for a relaxing evening in Bondi before jetting off to the Red Centre of Australia. I didn’t know much about the Northern Territory before I arrived in Australia, but when I first read about Uluru, I knew I had to add it to my bucket list. The Red Centre is probably what you think of as the Australian Outback (although the “outback” really is far more expansive): red dirt, seemingly never-ending highways, and a plentiful supply of reptiles. Before I tell you about the tour itself, here are some quick facts about the Northern Territory:

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March 12, 2015

TBT: Hagia Sophia, Underground Cistern, and the Prince’s Islands

Ceiling of the Hagia Sophia
Prince's Islands Ferry

Prince’s Islands Ferry

The Throwback Thursday series is a collection of posts from my collegiate adventures in Turkey (2011), Italy (2012), and Peru (2013). The entries include the original posting from the trip with a few minor edits – italicized in brackets –   in addition to a few photos. It’s fun to see how I’ve changed since and because of these particular trips, so I hope you enjoy these little slices of my travel history.


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March 10, 2015

To Tour or To Plan, That is the Question

Low Head lighthouse, Tasmania
Plaza de Armas, Lima

Plaza de Armas, Lima

Confession: I’m a planner. I like to know what I’m doing, when I’m doing it, and that I’m getting my money’s worth. While I like to think I’ve chilled out a bit over the past few years and don’t have (as many) spastic breakdowns when Plan A goes awry, I do find quite a bit of enjoyment pouring through Lonely Planet books and my favorite travel blogs.

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March 5, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Turkish Baths in Istanbul

Hagia Sophia
City Wall

Old city wall of Constantinople

The Throwback Thursday series is a collection of posts from my collegiate adventures in Turkey (2011), Italy (2012), and Peru (2013). The entries will contain the original posting from the trip with a few minor edits – italicized in brackets) in addition to a few photos. It’s fun to see how I’ve changed since and because of these particular trips, so I hope you enjoy these little slices of my travel history.

My first throwback post will be from my second day in Turkey when my classmates and I decided to get Turkish baths. It certainly wasn’t what we expected…

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March 3, 2015

5 Reasons My Gap Year Was Everything I Never Knew I Needed

Sleepy Bay, Tasmania
Bay of Martyrs, Victoria

Bay of Martyrs, Victoria

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams

If you asked me when I graduated high school where I’d be at 23, I’d rail off a five-year plan that began with college and ended with medical school. If you asked me at the beginning of my senior year at Yale, I’d be far less sure, but still say something along the lines of “Probably grad school.” Never did the thought of a “gap year” cross my mind. It’s just not part of the American student culture. We go to high school, most go to college, some go to grad school… and then we get jobs where most of us end up with a grand total of 2 weeks of annual vacation. But one thing led to another and here I am in Australia on a gap year. So, no, 18-year old Me, I’m not in medical school. And, yes, 21-year old Me, you did figure out a plan for post-graduation, but, no, it’s not grad school (yet). A gap year was the answer I’d been looking for and everything I never knew I needed… Here are my 5 reasons why:

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