First Impressions

Rock Carving in cliffside along the Ayung River, Indonesia

I was finally here. I rushed through the doorway and the humidity hit me like a brick wall after the cool pre-packaged climate. The air was scented with something exotic and unfamiliar and my eyes widened as I looked around frantically, trying to etch every detail into my memory. I had arrived overseas for the first time in my life.

Ash had convinced me to step out of my comfort zone and journey over to the perennial Aussie favourite holiday destination – Bali. We didn’t select Bali so much as it selected us. Ash had received a free accommodation voucher entitling us to either one free night of accommodation in Australia, or three nights in Bali- it only seemed like the best value to head overseas!

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While this was my first trip outside of Australia, Ash had already been overseas a couple of times, although never to Bali. To give me some more piece of mind with all the arrangements (being the mild control freak I am!), Ash organised a travel agent friend of his to preplan everything for us.

And that’s how one very early morning in March 2008 I found myself excitedly boarding a plane to set foot on foreign land and experience a new culture. Clutching my brand new passport like a life preserver, I followed Ash through the shiny maze of customs, duty free and departure gates.

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As we approached Bali I pressed my face to the window, keen to take in the tropical island we were going to spend the next week in, spying turquoise waters and lush areas of greenery. Entering the airport, it was a stark contrast to the glass and metal of Australia, instead filled with wood carvings and tropical plants. It was immediately obvious that this was a defining moment in my life, when I first stepped onto foreign soil. I’d been bitten by the travel bug and hard!

What was your first overseas trip like?

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