Lazer Gun Show…

It started with a whisper and grew in size as it gained momentum like a train picking up speed along the tracks, clickety clack, clickety clack. An idea that would take the team on an adventure to parts and places they’ve never been before into the great unknown. Ok well maybe they won’t be going into the great unknown. Everywhere they’ll go will be populated so nothing is unknown at all, but it sounded good so bare with us as we hit you with this diatribe. For 10 days we are putting the team in a beat up Subaru Forester and hitting the wide open road. Starting in northern queensland (Townsville) we’ll drive all the way to Nowra, making plenty of stops along the way as we ponder life and all that surrounds us in this big brown land.

While a lot of people find traveling to be somewhat boring the team here at A Mind of Its Own are somewhat used to living an airport life, hoping on a bus or riding a train if they aren’t sitting in the driver’s seat of the company Prius feeling somewhat emasculated. There is nothing worse than sitting at the lights and performance car pulls up next to you, the throaty sound of the engine as it revs next to you. The engines power vibrating through the roads surface. Meanwhile you put you your foot to the floor and hear the whiz of the electric motor in your overpowered golf cart. Ah to be rich and or famous we could have a fleet of priuses to save the environment with despite the fact we have to mine rare earth minerals to make the batteries. No contradiction there at all folks, hybrid is the way of the future.

SO getting back on track, to start the journey the team decided to head back to where so many laughs and blogs were created throughout last year. Yes the journey is starting in the leafy gold coast suburb of varsity lakes. Namely the train station, fortunately there are no plastic fantastics or cashed up bogans about for the team to get distracted and write yet another blog around the latest plastic surgery or body enhancement craze. Oh in case you were wondering the latest craze is botox. For men and no not in the face or lips but right in the mummy, daddy button, yeah we live in a wonderfully fucked up world sometimes.

Varsity lakes train station, where we loaded up the teams supplies of bottled water, MRE’s and first aid equipment. Come on guys we are going north not to some unexplored area of the amazon. Finally we set out for Brisbane airports domestic terminal. The train ride is somewhat sobering after the blitzed feeling we are left with having just come from a team lunch down at Coolangatta surf club where one too many beers was consumed and a few jokes here and there were made about the impending travel. Nevertheless we made it to the train station and sat down for awhile twiddling our thumbs waiting for the latest version of the Bombardier train system to rock up.

Early as per usual the team waits around for hours in the Virgin lounge for their flight, is it the free beers or just being able to utilise the facilities? Good question but whatever it may be they are certainly making the most of it as they chill with plates of food and free drinks being downed like a bunch of bin chickens around the kfc dumpster after closing time. The old man is once again grumbling about his flight being delayed continuing his run of luck with flights into the New Year. The team are keeping their distance as the vein in his neck starts to bulge and his cheeks flush red with anger. Red Hulk could be making an appearance in the Virgin Lounge if he’s not doused in beer soon.

Having calmed the boss down with more beer and the odd whiskey we’ve been given the task of getting notes down for the trip and working out who’s doing what blog over the 11 days. So that being said we looked at stops planned along the way and groaned when we noticed that Kingscliff/Terranora had been included on the list. From Airlie Beach to Yeppoon to Kingscliff well now that’s a drive but there are places in between that we could stop at and check out if the boss wasn’t being so tight with the petty cash. Once we’ve hit Kingy it’s on to the new Sydney for a quick catch up with the Hemsworth’s and every other Australian Hollywood A lister who now calls Byron Bay home.

Once Byron has been tamed we’ll move on to the home of the Honey Badger and hopefully avoid the Bachelor fan girls lurking along the beaches of Port Macquarie in the hope of seeing him in his natural environment. It’s a hop, skip and a jump to the next destination on the road trip as we throw caution to the wind and visit the set of Mad Max. The stunning sand dunes of Stockton Beach which we will be calling home for a few days as we fall down, slide down, slip down and run down the dunes. Heck depending on the weather we may even throw a line in off the beach and see what we can catch. Who knows, we might land a tuna or two, chances are more likely that we will land a shark and have to cut the line but you never know until you try.

The next destination has yet to be decided but there may be a stop in Sydney and if not it’ll be a nice old drive straight on through to Nowra where we’ll spend a few days exploring the shoal harbour region and south coast before dragging the team back to work and making them earn a living which they will all hate. There are plenty of things to see and do and hey you can actually swim in the ocean down there. They still have sharks but other than that you are good to go. As our names are called over the lounge PA system, our flight has finally landed is available to board. Naps seem to be the entertainment of choice as most of the team can be heard snoring their little heads off in the rows to the left and in front. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Landing in Townsville the first thoughts are it’s a massive city, turns out that everything you need to see is within a couple of kilometre radius along the waterfront. But swimming is a no, no! If the crocodiles don’t get you, the box jellyfish, sharks or stingrays will. What a great place to live by the water that you can’t really swim in! Northern Queensland is more deadly than a redback on the dunny seat. We’ve only been in the airport for 5 minutes and we’ve seen more cowboys jerseys than home match and 1300 Smile stadium could fit. The hit of musty hot, humid death hits you as you leave the frigid comfort of the airport to what is one of the worst designed airport pickups you will ever see. It’s like a formula one race course.

Piling into the 2004 Subaru Forester that will carry us the some 2000 plus kilometers on our journey we notice two immediate things. One Townsville has more RBTs setup on a Friday night than they have police and two the airport is somewhat in the middle of nowhere compared to where the main part of town is, it takes a good twenty plus minutes to make our way to our accommodation for the night. The building looks quite recent, well compared to most of the apartment blocks we’ve seen on the drive in that look like they were built when Captain Cook landed on our our shores and claimed Australia in the name of the British empire.

What looked nice on the outside turned out to be a mattress on the floor and the world’s dirtiest bathroom. The tub was so dirty even the mould was growing mould and the team decided they’d rather hold it all in than risk using the toilet for fear something might crawl up from the sewers and make its way into their nether regions only to grow and reproduce like t something from a Science fiction movie or horror film. In what turned out to be restless sleep where we were all woken rather early by a little old lady making tea and flicking the light switches on and off like it was a laser gun show out at the army barracks. Safe to say there were a few tired heads the next morning.

As we sign off on another blog, we will keep all our faithful followers updated on the adventure via a weekly blog and if you can’t wait that long head on over to our instagram or Facebook page which will be updated regularly with photos and location updates. Once again we bid you farewell for another week and the first blog of the new year! We’re starting it off with a bang and hitting you up with a travel diary of sorts to keep you on the hook well in to the year and hoping you’ll want more and more as we tackle the best topics for 2019 and beyond. As always if you have any suggestions, comments or questions please hit us up, we are happy to take requests and tackle any topic, big or small there is nothing that can’t be given a mind of its own. So Asta man yana amigos!

West Coast Smoker…

We’ve all read an article about travel or a blog or two from an inspiring young writer about their trip to some exotic island where they sipped mai tais and lounged in the sun on a picturesque beach where blue waters lap at the shore. All the while wearing a tiny bikini or budgie smugglers and ruining the view that’s popped into our head. Well if you haven’t, we’ve just painted a beautiful beach scene in your mind. You are most welcome!.

At a Mind of It’s Own we prefer to do the opposite, we prefer to tell you about all the not so nice places to travel, or the nightmarish trips that white-collar workers are forced to take in aid of their company making another couple of bucks so the high-flying CEO can receive there million dollar bonuses all off the back of the little guys hard work. Yes workplace equality is alive and well across Australia, employees are more engaged and opportunities for career progression are running rampant like a dog on heat humping everything in sight. No that is not true equality still has a long way to go on the shores of this stolen land.

So this journey starts with a hundred-dollar juicer and ends with a rather long day to get into the nation’s capital. Do we start with the juicer or head straight into what will go down as the best corporate travel blunder to hit Australia since the politicians started getting caught taking personal trips on the taxpayers dollar. If you are a long time fan or reader of our blog you may have come across a couple of earlier blogs about work related travel. We get to go to all the most exciting places and meet some of the most interestingly mind numbing people you will ever meet.

In the past we’ve discussed the weird shaped owl statue that looks more like Penis in Canberra than an actual Owl. We’ve recounted stories about flights but what we haven’t actually done is given you a real life version of the John Candy classic Trains, Planes and automobiles. We apologise in advance to the train aficionados as this blog contains no train related material including stories about trains, actual train rides or the benefits of getting a train. There’s not even a guy wearing a train drivers cap directing people around like he owns the place.

However like the movie there were several modes of transport utilised to ensure that we reached our final destination. We would say we arrived at a suitable hour but as this blog started being written in transit and the clock ticked over to a new day before we’d reached where we needed to be. Unlike the movie there was no fat guy spouting comedic one liners to ensure it was a pleasurably funny journey from the outset due to travel issues. There was still some very good comedy errors that will keep out readers in stitches.

When one travels for work often they become quite accustomed to flying and the ins and outs of their journey. If you do it often enough it becomes routine and somewhat mundane. You know where the emergency exits are located and could probably put on your life jacket blindfolded with one hand while the other ensures your oxygen mask is on before helping others. Your seat belt is fastened low and tight and your tray table is away with your seat in the upright position for takeoff. The point Is you begin to become used to the little things like delayed flights and rude passengers on your flight but we’ll get to that later. It all becomes water off a duck’s back and part of the routine.

Still asking yourself why the juicer is significant in this retelling of actual events? Well it’s not but it did set off a chain reaction of events that lead to this blog being written. We started the afternoon getting a juicer no big deal everyone loves juice right and should have one in their home? Ok maybe not but that’s not the point. The point is that getting the juicer on the way to the airport made sense, plus we were doing the right thing by the company and save them some money not having to pay for an uber or taxi.

That was our first mistake and would continue to be compounded, we left the house early to stop and get the juicer there by saving the company money they would normally pay on parking or a cab. The knock on effect was that we were really early for the flight. A further knock on effect the flight is now delayed thirty minutes. Again no big deal and nothing that can’t be cured by a nice amber ale at the bar. Ok maybe two or three when you’ve got time to kill.

So having finally boarded and discovered what it’s like to be a sardine all stuffed into a tin can unless you’re lucky enough to be in business class where you seem to have a heap of leg and arm room to flap those wings around as much as you like.For the rest of the paupers however having to sit as still as possible in case they disturb the person next to them trying to sleep is a constant battle for flights longer than 45 minutes. The third class passengers on the titanic had more room to move around than today’s average flyer.

The flight crew go through the usual rig moral and safety demonstrations. Before the pilot gives his or her little introduction and before you know it you’re are zipping through the sky at 15000 feet or more. After a mini nap which was well needed, the guy down in 8D is making a dick of himself abusing the attendants. Credit where credit is due and we salute you and take our hat off to the young attendant who not only managed the situation but also the client as he continued being rude to her.

It’s about this time that most if not all of the flight are praying that the federal police storm the plane upon arrival to the gate, taser the bloke and drag him from the plane to a standing ovation. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen and the said gentleman will continue to abuse flight attendants for flights to come. So we toddle off the plane onto the long walk from one gate to another looking for some food in between the second flight of the day. With only an hour to kill while we wait time should fly, no pun intended.

Fed and feeling refreshed we headed to the gate ready to board our forty minute flight to the nation’s capital. That ripple effect continued chasing us, this flight two was delayed. No biggy, nothing to get upset about it’s only twenty minutes. Time continues tick by as patrons start to become increasingly frustrated at what is now an hour delay on a forty-five minute flight at the most.Finally we are asked to come forward using the lanes provided and board. Of course it’s one of those twin prop little things and can only be boarded via rear stairs which causes a further delay to having everyone safely in their seats ready for take off.

Thankfully everyone was keen to get going and take their seats as fast as they could in order to get the plane in the air and on its way. Now safely seat with our belts fastened low and tight, we once again sat waiting. Waiting is ok if you are told why you are waiting. As we clocked watched for the third time that day the pilot comes over the cabin and tells the now frustrated sardines that there is a slight technical problem and they need to reset the environmental control system. There was nothing to be alarmed about and the cabin lights may dim. Well they didn’t just dim they went completely out for about 30 seconds.

Safe to say all the passengers aboard the plane were now starting to think that they were not going to make it their final destination tonight. There was still hope though that they’d left enough time to organise a replacement aircraft but as we now stood around the terminal waiting for an update an update the possibility of that happening became slimmer and slimmer by the minute. The staff was extremely helpful and made sure all patrons were hydrated as they handed out bottles of water while assuring everyone that it wouldn’t be much long now.

They say a watched pot never boils well that may just be the case but we couldn’t help but check out watches as we waited. With the time creeping closer and closer towards a new day they finally offered up some flights in the morning and accommodation. As we lined up to get our accomodation and flights sorted slowly marching towards the desk now manned by four airline staff busy trying to sort out customers. Getting to the front of the line we are greeted by a friendly smile and told we are the lucky last person they have run out of accomodation after us and the only flights available are via Melbourne.

Listening to the small newborn cry in the ladies arms behind us it was an easy decision as we asked what was happening to the remaining people only to be told they would be taking a bus to Canberra. A bus a three and half hour bus ride. There was no way we could let the young couple with their small child ride a bus all the way to Canberra. If anything was to come out of this day it was a good deed done. With the bus due to depart at 11pm the calculations were done and preparations made for the long journey. As has been the theme through the whole journey the bus didn’t arrive until just after 11:30pm and start the journey until quarter to twelve.

Have you ever tried to sleep on a bus? All that vibrating, clanking, bumping and pumping of the ice-cold air conditioning do not make for an easy sleep. Even the most elite of special forces soldiers who literally train themselves to catch sleep whenever they can would have trouble sleeping on the bus. Like a flightless bird the bus hugged the road straining to gain as much speed as if could while 40 odd people tried their hardest to get some much-needed shuteye.

Finally in our hotel room after having to pay for our own accommodation which should have been sorted out by work, we looked at the clock once more. It was 4am as we jumped into bed to close out what had been the longest journey to the nation’s capital. Having thought that travel couldn’t get any worse all week our return flights a day later were both delayed by an hour and to make matters worse we are turning around to do it all again this week.

As we said we don’t like to give you the everything is awesome song and dance all the time, there is a downside to travel that those pesky bloggers won’t tell and that is quite often your flights will be delayed, cancelled or your plane turns out to be a bus. So from all the team at A Mind of it’s own we wish you safe travels and make the most of a bad situation like we did, write about it.

We Don’t Go In There…

This week we thought we’d start out a little different, rather than our usual hello and long-winded interlude to another episode of A Mind of Its Own, we thought maybe we’d just get straight into it and fire away at the subject that has weighed most heavily on our minds and wallets for the week. Then again if we did that this paragraph would become redundant and you’ve have to hear the writing staff drone on incessantly about how they weren’t given the opportunity to introduce their writing and this weeks stellar topic.

Continuing on with our travel theme we decided to actually take to the skies in an attempt to give our readers a more in-depth look at modern-day travel. In doing so we opened our wallets and let the moths take flight grudgingly. The Amex was swiped, our bags were packed and we took to the closest airport to board a flight bound for the City of Churches. Before we could that though we had to endure a rather hands pat down, explosive wanding and the worst part of all, the part that really got our goat and almost saw the Incredible Hulk make an appearance in the middle of the Gold Coast airport. Well we’ll get to that shortly for now we need to take a breath, relax and let you join us on our journey.

Around the world no matter what continent you are on, or where you may call home. The moment you step foot into the terminal its like you are entering mini city that allow for us to fly from A to B in less time than it would take to drive. A little like the towns that highways haven’t quite bypassed as of yet. Like any city, they have their own economy, their own vibe and most of all their own inhabitants. We are talking about the people who call these places work, not just the pilots and flight crews but the ground staff right through to the ladies and gentleman that man the information desks, shops and kiosks around the airport. Think of them like Santa’s elves if Santa was a multibillion dollar industry oh wait that’s a topic for another day.

Does that include the people trying to get you hooked on wine as you walk from gate to gate you ask? Yes it most certainly does, we call them the naughty elves and they are unfortunately apart of the airport community but really no different to the airport bars. They just soften you up with free samples first before they get you to open your wallet in order to pay for the monthly subscription of wine you’ve drunkenly been talked into before you walk past all their little storefront friends who lure you in for a look while you waste time before your flight boards. The more shops you walk into the more the suggestive the devil on your shoulder becomes reminding you of all the things you forgot to pack or might need on your journey. All the advertising doesn’t help either as it subconsciously erodes away the commonsense walls in your mind.

It’s no wonder that a trip to the airport often starts with a trip to the bank to take out a loan. Mostly for the time spent at the airport on either end of the trip no matter how short or long. So why is it that food and items are so expensive at an airport compared to heading down to your local Coles or Woolies and loading up the trolley?. After our arrival yesterday we were shocked and almost fell off our stool as the barman put down an eagerly awaited cold amber ale in front of us an promptly demanded payment to the sum of $12.50. Now before you ask it wasn’t a pint, it wasn’t a craft beer or an international beer. It was a bloody Great Northern and we found it very un-Australian to be paying an arm and a leg for a beer. Whilst paying that amount for any beer that is of a standard size is still ludicrous most people would be ok with paying it for a craft beer or a beer they may not have tried before maybe.

An Australian Beer at an Australian airport at those prices has us scratching our heads and wondering whether we need to start investing in airport shares in order for the dividends to fund a beer or two while we are there. Now it would be ok if the excessive pricing was kept to just alcoholic beverages however we soon discovered that price hiking expanded across any and everything. Head into the newsagent type store, books take a $3 to $4 dollar increase. Lollies increased by a dollar or two. The surf shops have everything at the recommended retail price not a dollar less. Even heading over to Hungry Jacks for a Whopper will cost you an additional $3 dollars more than it would if you were to head through drive on your way to the airport.

So what makes retailers increases their prices to the maximum chargeable amounts in the market. Some would argue the cost of rent is higher at an airport and others would argue that it’s the cost of staff and the weird hours airports keep. But the plain and simple argument we will make at A Mind of Its Own is simple. Costs of goods at airports are what they are due to supply and demand. They have a product, you want the product and it’s not like you can simply leave to go get it somewhere else unless you are hours early for you flight which lets face it most people are not unless they have nowhere else to go.

What are your alternatives you ask? Either plan ahead or take out small loan if you plan on spending more than an hour while you wait for a flight ensuring you fed and well hydrated. Perhaps stopping off at a shopping centre on the way might be your best bet to cover all your bases and ensure you save yourself a couple of hundred dollars and a trip to the bank before the creditors are on your case about repayments. Or you could just choose to drive if you’re heading interstate and have the time. God knows taxiing on the runway at Kingsford Smith Airport feels like you are driving down to Cronulla in order to get a big enough run up for takeoff.

Whatever your preferred method of travel, the one thing we have learnt this week is that airports are expensive places where supply and demand reigns supreme. If you are thinking about taking a trip, do yourself a favour and plan ahead. Like everything, money makes the world go round and the aviation industry is a multi billion dollar beast that sees you coming from a mile off, not just because the planes are big and rather noisy. So for another week we bid you farewell and hope you have a pleasant week. Please remain seated until the captain has turned off the fasten seat belt and when opening the overhead lockers, please take caution has luggage may have moved during the flight Thank you for choosing to Fly A Mind of Its Own.

P.S Keep your eyes peeled for another sneak peek chapter of Fire for Effect coming your way…

Art House Audio

A blank piece of paper to a writer is no different to a painters blank canvas. The endless possibilities of what could be, run through your head as you stare into the maze that is the amazing mind of the creative type. Looking for the one thing that jumps out at you to be splashed across the canvas. Luckily for you it’s that time of the week where you can shut down your own brain and let us take you on a journey through the wonderful world around you. Again we light up the stage with another worldly hot topic and throw caution to the wind as we venture down the garden path to bring you this week’s instalment of A Mind of Its Own…

Each week we endeavour to bring you something scintillating, something that stirs the imagination and gets the blood pumping as you put yourself in the writers shoes. Well maybe not the pair that are currently being worn without as our fluff ball intern decided he’d have a little chew on them, but in general we aim for an “in our shoes” experience throughout the entire post. So this week we thought we’d look into the wonderful world of technology and travel. We would have reached out to John Candy for some assistance on planes, trains and automobiles but sadly the great Canadian is no longer with us and hasn’t been for sometime.

We are pretty sure the inspiration for this one came from the ability to sit on the train and tap away on a tablet connected to a wi-fi network or mobile network being beamed from a satellite high above us in the earth’s orbit. It kind of makes us sad that, no longer do we sit and talk to our fellow humans around us while we travel. Instead we all prefer to bury our heads in our smartphones or tablets. Looking around the carriage there is not one person reading a newspaper or book well not a printed one that can be seen. Kids sit with their faces glued to screens watching Dora the explorer or Peppa pig while mum makes duck faces at her phone for her latest social media post or tinder profile picture.

As technology has advanced over the ages so have our methods of transportation. Gone are the days of saddling up your horse and riding for days on end to get from one point to another. Now you can literally be as lazy as you like and not have to lift a finger. A great example of this is the old Uber to the train station, the train to the airport, the plane to a new city, the monorail to the ferry, the ferry across the bay only to get the bus to your front door where your smart home turns on the lights, boils the kettle and tells you all you need to know about the day.

It does raise the age-old question? Ok maybe not age old but certainly a question that is being raised more and more in today’s society… Has technology made us lazy? Or has it made for a more interconnected world? What it has done is erode distance and time zones, allowed for remote work and created a blogger for every aspect of our lives. Heck there are a thousand and one fashion bloggers, millions of travel bloggers, technology bloggers, there are even bloggers on bloggers. But there is still only one A Mind of Its Own…. Wow shameless plug! Get around us!

With the ability to now document and comment on every aspect of life it starts to make us wonder whether George Orwell was more than just a writer? Visionary? Perhaps 1984 was more than just a novel and was a glimpse into what life will be like in the future. They say big brother is watching but with smartphones, tablets and the constant ability to capture everything from audio to video and upload it to millions around the world in seconds it does start to paint a picture that we are all part of the social media problem. It gives cowards the ability to abuse and hide being the keys of a message board while they victimise mostly innocent and undeserving people.

Have we lost touch with our fellow human beings? Have we lost our abilities to open and expand our minds? Are we conditioned to believe all that is before us and that the world holds no secrets that our minds can open? What a connected world does give us is a voice whether or not that voice is all in sync is a different story. No longer do we need to travel across the globe to see someone face to face, instead we can jump on Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp and thousands of other applications that allow for connect through the utilisation of data rather than down a voice line routed through copper wire to a local exchange.

There are so many advantages of living in today’s world and we are only just on the cusp of delving into what technology can actually do for us and for the world. We often wonder though, whether people weigh up the disadvantages or risk that come from introducing new technology in to the market? Is there some kind of FDA approval for technology advancements where they have to run through multiple batteries of tests and approvals before they can hit the market? The answer to that question would be a HELL NO, thanks to social media products can get a jump-start and companies have the opportunity to market them before they are even released in most cases if its something people really want they’ll get a teaser.

So what about transport and the transportation industry, we hinted that as technology has advanced so too has our methods of getting from A to B. Things have become faster, somewhat safer and in comparison to the average salary today a hell of a lot cheaper. Some would argue that is due to the automation of factories around the world and cars, trucks, trains, planes and boats now only requiring minimal human interaction in the construction process, others would argue its due to the cost of materials and the materials used in the production of these feats of mankind.

In every aspect of our lives we interact with technology throughout the day from the moment we wake up. We may not realise it but most things are interconnected these days. There isn’t a point that doesn’t touch technology of some sort. No longer do you need to hunt, gather or foliage in the woods. With a touch of a button most things can be delivered right to your front door. Again lazy or economic with how much we scream out that we are time poor these days?

Like a train off the tracks this one has gotten away from us, the intent was to look at the world of transportation and technology as they intermingle and instead you’ve ended up with an insight from the perspective of a confused technologist who has now spent way too much time on a train rambling on about the disadvantages of living in a modern society. Until next week be cool, stay in school.

Travelling Man in the back of a van…

Ok so there is no van, no car, no trains only planes in this edition of A mind of its own… In this week’s installment we discuss life on the road as I travel for work. You’ll get to see the confusion, boredom and often harrowing events many people experience who have to travel for work on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The costs involved and the time it often takes to get from one place to another despite using air travel to get there.

So where to and why you ask? Good bloody question not sure how I drew the short straw in the work pool of resources who could travel. Well I actually have a fairly good idea when the bosses in the ivory tower ask questions like, Do you have kids? A dog or cat? Anything that would preclude you from travelling once a month? And my answer is no,while my mind is thinking yeah my lack of will and pay. It’s almost as though they just handover the short straw with cheshire cat grins strewn across their faces. As to where that would be our Nation’s capital and the city of churches for starters.

Two visually stunning landscapes steeped in European design and architecture but lacking in terms of things to do once the working day has finished and are about as interesting as a documentary on watching paint dry. So we’ll start with Canberra, before any of you get upset, I spent a lot of time growing up there so I am entitled to my opinion when i say it was a lot more fun when you could buy fireworks without a license, porn was on sale on every corner and the politicians were all over each other like a rampant Red faced Barnaby Joyce.

To start with unless you are flying from Sydney or Melbourne there are no and I mean no direct flights unless you have your own private jet, which unfortunately this aspiring writer has not managed to finish his book let alone sell a copy of it although, I have at least a couple of sales confirmed thanks to the family and close friends I’ve instructed to buy it whether its any good or not. They can always use is as a doorstop or the old regift come Christmas time. Now back to A mind of its own and our work travel segment.

For a Northern Rivers resident the fact that travel means I am on the same time zone each day that I am away is a complete thrill, heading into a different time zone just to head back to the time zone you came from is quite a funny experience. When you leave for the gym at 6am and arrive there at 5:30am it has people going hah?? And then there are the times your wife asks you what time you need to be at the airport for your trip and then finishes her sentence with “Our time or Qld time” it can often feel like you are in a time warp.

The good thing about flying out of Coolangatta or the Gold Coast Airport as it is better known during daylight savings is the hour up my sleeve. 6:00am flight, sure no problems I’ll actually be at the airport at 6am despite the fact that I’ve already been awake for 2 odd hours and it’s 7am literally a 5 minute drive down the road while my plane is taxiing down the runaway. It gets confusing, trust me on that one.

I am one of those people who likes to be early, I hate being late and I hate having to rush, a complete control freak when it’s my time. It often frustrates my wife as I rush her out of the house so we aren’t late to events or work. I think it started as a kid as my mother is always late and it frustrates the hell out of me. So arriving at the airport with plenty of time allows me to get a coffee and browse all the shops but let’s be honest Gold Coast airport does not have a great variety of stores to peruse while waiting for your early morning flight. What it does have though is a heap of tables and chairs which makes it ideal for someone like me who can use the time to work on their book or write the next installment of their blog.

Getting on the plane is always like playing a game of Russian roulette, will I or won’t I get a spare seat next to me, will they move me to an exit row? Will the person beside me leave me in peace to stream inflight entertainment or will that chat away incessantly for the duration of the flight not realising that I am not paying attention and in some cases have drifted off from boredom over hearing how they’ve adopted there tenth cat named Whiskers.

Or will i end up between two people who’s lack of thought for hygiene creates a fear of hippies and a want to provide the world with organic deodorant at prices so low you could barter for it with a leaf. I wouldn’t be the first traveller to have this fear and if I could afford it i’d be sitting myself up front clinking complimentary champagne with all the pollies instead of being stuck in cattle class with Arthur and Martha who run the local commune out the back of Byron Bay and haven’t showered since the revolution in the 70’s.

Sometimes I get my wish and I’m left to watch reruns of some tv show whilst snacking on my complimentary biscuit and water as we make our way towards Sydney or left to read the latest installment by Cussler, Clancy, Flynn, McNab or Ryan from my large selection of paperbacks waiting for a bookshelf at home that I have been to lazy to go out and buy.

The ride itself is mostly smooth as the gravity defying tin cans rattle through the sky at close to 1000 km per hour but when the weather hits it’s like being on a roller coaster at Movie World as the taste of your last meal hits the back of your throat and you frantically reach for the barf bag only to realise they haven’t replaced them. Then that awkward moment hits, your brain catches up to your body and you realise you have two options…

Either you become that awkward passenger that vomits everywhere or you swallow. For me dignity will always win over pride. Time to suck it up princess and swallow your own spew. I would love to say that i have never had to do this but sadly I have and as I sat there waiting for my flight back to Brisbane to leave the runaway swallowing my stomachs own fireball concoction somewhere in the skies over NSW someone I know was suffering the same fate.

I’ve often questioned if heaven is real and the more time I spend at airport I start to feel it might be. Not being remotely religious I imagine that waiting to get into the pearly gates is a lot like waiting an hour or two and in some cases a whole day for your connecting flight. The patient people are allowed access and the frustrated and infuriated people who are anxious to get home or to wherever they are going are denied access and sent below to the fiery depths of hell or in this case to fly with Tiger Air and take there luck on whether the flight will actually leave or not and if it does will it be on time.

Second flight in and I suffer the same issues, people on planes annoy me… Just take your seat, sit down and be quiet for the duration of the flight. Take a nap, relax but do whatever it is that you need to do not to annoy me as I try to enjoy my trip. Oh and if I could have the window seat that would be greatly appreciated I’m sick of the cabin crew hitting me with the drinks cart as they hurtle down the aisles passing out light snacks with the captain speaking in the background about how long our journey will be and what time he or she will have us disembarking at the gate.

Another thump into the tarmac and we are on the ground. A short taxi later and we’ve arrived at our destination. The wing bridge is moved into place for passengers to disembark through to the terminal. For those that have baggage they head to the carousel and wait, wait, wait and some more waiting for the flashing light to come on and the thing start to spinning around like an appealing ride with bags as obstacles to hurdle. I tend to just stand around watching people, some refreshed as they start their adventure others exhausted from the 40 minute flight.

To the cab line I march with self importance, all suited and booted looking sharp as a tack I must say. Wheelie bag in tow looking like a real professional who knows what he’s doing. Fake it till you make it they say well I guess you could say that’s me in a suit. Having to wear them is not exciting it does not make me feel important or special but I do it as first impressions last. Suits are not the ideal travelling attire just FYI, give me a pair of trackies and a t-shirt anyday.

It’s the cab trips I really love, I’ve always been interested in a Cabbies story particularly our friends from overseas and what brought them to Australia. Dishing out nicknames like Trent and Wok a cab ride can be as fun as you want to make it. A lot of them are quite happy to have a chat and surprisingly my attitude towards conversation is completely different to the one i take when I step onto an airplane. My favourite question of “do you use Uber?” in recent years often sparks an interesting conversation and to my surprise after a little encouragement 90% admit they use Uber rather than grabbing a cab. Why because they don’t have to wait for a random cab driver to drive past or call the cab company and order one only to be told there is a wait and have to call back in 20 minutes and ask where there cab is.

Once at work the fun of meetings begins, I’d love to say it’s all boozy lunches and dinners with clients but sadly it not, usually it’s sitting around in a conference room giving or going through a presentation or sitting in a secure room pouring over documents that you can’t make copies of but can write out by hand if you so choose to. These are usually followed by more meetings and just to add on we have a few more meetings about the meetings.

By the time the day is done we have a little time for going through the million emails that have piled up through the day and returning a few phone calls of the people who have called more than once. A quick flick through instagram to see if anyone has posted anything more interesting than photos of lunch and breakfast and it’s usually out to dinner where if work is paying you know I’m hitting the bar for a few beers.

The hotel, motel, holiday Inn, well thankfully i don’t have to stay at a motel or the holiday Inn. The accommodation or diggs are usually quite good, minimum queen size bed, little desk, fridge and bathroom what more could you want? Foxtel is usually hooked up and if you press your luck you might get work to splash out for a movie or two on your expenses. Very unlikely and rare that happens.

I’d like to say i venture out and see a little more of the Nation’s Capital as it continues to expand out and try and steal more of NSW’s land while I’m visiting but the truth is i tend to stay in my little bubble close to the office where i know an escape to the airport is only a cab ride 10 minutes and a stress relieving walk to beer is just across the road in the hotel bar.

So with the Nation’s Capital all stitched up as a place famous for scandal, penis statues, expensive ugly pieces of art besides its roads, porn, fireworks, politicians and public servants who have more flex time built up than a brick wall it’s on to the city of churches. Another thrilling plane ride dodging conversations and poor hygiene with the men and women who oversee the flights in there bright colours layered on lipstick and often over the top put on smiles. Really who wants to deal with the drunk guy in 3B who asks for a tinny of your best beer and winks like a creep everytime. I can guarantee there is one on every flight.

Founded in… well who really cares when it was founded. As always some stuff happened, the white man went there and treated the indigenous people poorly and a city was formed. Upon landing in Adelaide it feels like it was founded only yesterday. It’s a little backwards and like stepping back in time. I almost feel like i should be climbing out of an old twin prop and hailing down a horse and cart for the long journey into town. Where I’ll walk into my hotel and some child will call me governor and offer to shine my shoes for a penny.

Ok, ok it’s not that bad they have colour TV and all the mod cons and some new looking buildings in amongst all the churches and early european settler design and architecture. There cricket facilities are amazing and there love of Aussie rules is second to that of only Victoria. The mighty Crows and Power can be seen idolised throughout the city. They have an amazing array of homeless people who get up and down the main shopping precinct begging, busking and often running from the law as they nick something from a rack hanging close to the front of a store.

Like Canberra there is a little bar scene popping up with Whiskey bars and microbreweries. The problem is trying to find them, it would seem they are that trendy they don’t have signage or a door on the street. Head down the back alley worrying about whether you’ll be mugged and you just might find on of them. I just can’t help thinking that everything would look so much better with a lick of paint. It reminds me of a big country town whenever i am there.

No matter where i venture the people are friendly and there is always something interesting going on. If there isn’t I am sure I’ll attempt to make it interesting by imparting myself and my knowledge on the people around me whether it’s wanted or not. That’s one of the great things about being in Australia and being able to travel this great land, we meet so many people from all walks of life, who all have their own stories or stories from others they’ve met along their journey through this life.

It’s not the travel that kills me, I actually like flying and have always been amazed by the science and engineering that goes in to lifting those giant birds into the sky and keeping them there. It’s the things to do once my working day has ceased. Part of it is that travelling also throws my routine right out the window. Despite my best intentions of packing running gear, I can never seem to pull myself out of bed when I am away to do anything. It could also have something to do with trying to gain entry into the beer olympics with my coworkers and suffering the effects the next day but that’s a blog in itself.

At the end of the day my favourite part of any trip is the moment those wheels touch down and home is within a short ride home. I love the flexibility of being able to travel but i also love where i live and the person i share that house with. Work travel is good it breaks up the monotony of the Monday to Friday grind.

I can image with children travelling for work would be difficult not only would you be leaving your partner alone to look after the kids but you could also be missing out on key moments of their lives. So for me I’ll get the travel done before they arrive and no we aren’t pregnant I’m just pointing out that it would be and is easier to travel when you don’t have children, young children.

Whilst some weeks its a pain in the backside most of the time it’s easy and provides me with material for my book or this blog in which you can choose to laugh at or ignore my banter in which i poke fun at place and people I’ve met along the way. Until the next blog which i have no idea what it will be about but I’m sure it will have A Mind of it’s Own…