Welcome to my grand tour for 2017.

I turned 50 earlier this year, and this is my celebration. And, no, I’m not going to reveal the full itinerary in advance. You’ll just have to wait and see[1]. Yes, this is what [REDACTED] meant

For some time now I’ve been referring to [REDACTED] on twitter and here in the sidebar. That it was a major trip was probably the worst kept secret on the internet, but I had fun with it that way.  🙂

How is this going to work?

I’ve set up posts in advance that describe the plan for each day. These will automatically appear on the following day. That way the posts for each day will be in chronological order regardless of when I get round to updating them.

Speaking of which, at some point I’ll update each post to be my journal of what actually happened, along with any photos that I want to share. Ideally I’ll get to this before each post auto-publishes, but that will depend on time in the evenings and access to wifi.

So maybe yes, maybe no.

The other bit of housekeeping for the tour is that I’m going to try as much as possible to stay off social media. So I’ll be trying to stay off twitter and G+, and only interact with the world here via the journal of the trip. I may not always keep to that, but it’s what I’ll be trying to do.


I’m trying to keep my tech down to the bare minimum for this trip. This means no laptop, so my photo processing will be limited to what I can do on the iPad. Basically this means sharing the days photos as an album on Google Photos, and adding a link to the album here. Which is what I was testing way back in July.

In the longer term I’ll edit some more curated photos back into the posts to tell a better story.

Day 1 Plan:

  • Finish packing[2].
  • Get to the airport.
  • Fly from Canberra to Sydney.
  • Possible meet up with my elder brother and family
  • Overnight in the airport hotel since I have to be up early tomorrow[3].

Day 1 Actual:

I actually finished packing barring the tech and chargers yesterday. All I had to pack today was the the phone, iPad and the chargers for them. And, no, as far as I can tell, I didn’t forget anything on my checklist. That’s what checklists are for. We won’t discuss the possibility that I forgot to put something on the checklist in the first place.

So this morning was about completing my pre-travel rituals. To the extent possible I like to be completely up to date with washing etc so I’m (eventually) returning to clean towels and sheets, and that was managed minutes before a good friend arrived to take me to the airport. He’ll be hanging on to my keys in case our Sentinels of the Multiverse Oblivaeon kickstarter gets delivered whilst I’m away (don’t look at me like that, it’s possible OK?), and will also pick up Zombie Me when I return.

The flight to Sydney was on one of the Dash 8s, and a reasonably fast flight. Right now I’m in the Sydney Rydges Airport Hotel a short walk from the International Terminal. Initial indications are that the soundproofing is actually capable of dealing with being right next door to an international airport.

Alas the meet up with my elder brother won’t be happening. He’s in Melbourne for work today (unfortunate timing) and won’t be back until after I want to be sleeping anyway. So day 1 and there’s already been a change in plans. As they say: no plan of battle survives contact with the enemy.

I’m basically going to take a quiet afternoon today as I have a 4AM wake up call for tomorrow. Next stop, well, that would be telling but it shouldn’t be too hard for people to guess (the ones after that will be a little harder, at least until I really get going).

Travel Tips

Ok a few travel tips that I’ll be relying on, especially for the long haul flights:

  1. Noise Cancelling Headphones. I’ve been using these for years, the current set are Bose and they really do make a difference
  2. Comfortable fleece pants. I plan to sleep as much as possible, and these things (that I picked up recently) are great.
  3. Bizarrely, currency envelopes. I’m obviously carrying currency for the various stops and the bills came in these neat zip bags that I’ve since repurposed to hold other things. The one below is being used to keep the phone/tablet chargers and cables neat.

The Travel Essentials

Useful But Fragile


Not a lot of photos today – a couple of indulgences in the Qantas Club this morning, the hotel room, and photos of the gear mentioned above. The G+ album for today is here. The album with the preparation photos from yesterday is here. I mainly took those because I expect those plum blossoms to be well and truly gone by the time I get back, so look forward to a comparison photo at the end of the trip.

[1] That said some elements will be predictable once I get going.

[2] Because the chances that I will have finished packing the day before are low.

[3] The next flight doesn’t quite take off at sparrow fart but it’s close.