Thursday 2nd April – Tuesday 7th April – 4 months, 17 – 22 days
It was lovely having Lena here, not only was it a great excuse to rent a car and go out to the districts, but there were some really interesting conversations about the different kinds of travelling that people do.
Lena commented at one point, ‘Those travel advisories, on the government travel website, that say ‘Reconsider the need to travel’?* To me, that is like a red rag to a bull, that’s how I know where I want to travel next!’.
It’s an interesting idea because I haven’t been that keen on travel in the past, and part of the reason I decided to do this volunteer placement was because I want to work in development… which involves being overseas. I thought perhaps I should find out if I actually like living overseas (note this is different to travel, although the two obviously overlap), because if I don’t, I should probably concentrate on something where I don’t have to travel and / or move overseas every now and then in order to get the right kind of work experience.
Working at AusAID made me really interested in the little developing countries in our near region, though. I’ve never been attracted to the idea of going to London or Paris or even Bangkok that much, although I’m sure there’s lots of awesome reasons to go. But the cultures and the people and the … lack of tourists and tourist culture. There is no easy patina over the top here and in other little Melanesian and Polynesian countries (Timor is neither, by the way), you know?
I think the travel advisory for Timor is harsh – I suppose the situation could deteriorate easily any time, and I don’t want to tempt fate by saying this, but I just haven’t seen any evidence for that recently.
- There are five advisory levels. ‘Reconsider the need to travel’ is the fourth and the fifth is ‘Do not travel’. Timor is at ‘Reconsider the need to travel’.