Out of 195 countries to choose from, why Australia?
Everyone has that certain place they've always dreamed of visiting. For me personally, that has always been Antarctica, but that obviously poses a few logistical challenges. Australia though, has always been a close second. Anna has always been the same way, just minus the Antarctica bit. So obviously, why wouldn't we decide to launch our expedition in Australia?!
A continent whose existence was shrouded in mystery and debate until the expeditions of Captain Cook in the late 18th century, Australia continues to be a land of adventure and intrigue. Once referred to as Terra Australias and hotly debated by armchair cartographers, it was once thought that Australia was a part of some massive southern continent that balanced out the weight of the northern continents. With the often dangerous and years long efforts of intrepid explorers and adventurers, the outline of Australia was slowly drawn, and the matter was soon was settled.
A land born of explorers, pioneers and adventurers, the continent posed many unique risks and challenges. From shocking deer-like animals that hopped across the landscape, to egg-laying mammals with leather beaks, Australia proved to be a land like no other. Faced with harsh terrain, massive spans of wilderness and desert, and the ability of every animal, plant and insect being able to kill a person in one way or another, the continent became a land of self-reliance, survival, and not at least adventure. Now being a couple who like adventure, it seemed to be the perfect fit.
A country of such adventure though, deserves an equally fitting expedition. Cue A & H Expeditions - Australia. In an expedition seeking to embody the same spirit as those first trailblazers who ventured into the unknown red dusty outback, Australia seemed a fitting start for our first official major journey. With a culture still seemingly shrouded in mystique, we also were inspired by the enduring legacy of traditions, especially those of the numerous Australian Aboriginal communities spread across the country. Arguably one of the worlds oldest living tradition, the practices and beliefs of the Aboriginal people can be dated back to the first settlement of Australian over 50,000 years ago.
A process still not quite known by researchers, the first settlers of Australia crossed thousands of miles of open ocean on simple open rafts. Perhaps by luck, or a knowledge in navigation still not known, the first migration of people appeared to have been a planned migration across the rough seas. In light of recent findings, if confirmed, will mean that present day Aboriginal Australians are the second oldest living population of people in the world (Nat Geo). A culture so richly unique, there is an immense amount that has yet to be learned, and an immense amount that we can learn about traditional viewpoints on ecological knowledge, faith and humanity.
By using this opportunity of our expedition, we can strive to broaden our horizons, and perhaps bring back invaluable lessons that have been passed down for centuries. Not only can we grow personally, but perhaps we can make even just a small amount of difference in the global community by sharing the stories of what makes us human.
So in a nutshell, that is why we've chosen Australia. A land of unique environments, climactic extremes, ancient cultures, and the total embodiment of adventure and grit, there seems to be no end to places we can explore and knowledge to be gained from expeditioning across the country. And besides, where else in the world can you hang out with kangaroos on the beach?