Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The wanderlust: Australia

The beach where we went snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.

The day before I flew to Australia, I went to happy hour with a couple of friends who spent the entire time trying to convince me I was going to be (a) bitten by a poisonous spider, (b) stung by a box jellyfish, (c) eaten by a shark, or (d) bulldozed by a 6-foot-tall kangaroo. I'm disappointed to report that I didn't see a single dangerous monster my entire two weeks abroad, unless you count Australia's merciless sun.

While Australia is known for some of the highest skin cancer rates in the world, they've also become a leader in melanoma prevention, banning indoor tanning beds and encouraging sun safety in schools. As someone who has been very active in advocating for melanoma prevention here in the states, I've often looked to Australia for inspiration.

The purpose of my trip was pleasure, not business, so I ended up doing more sightseeing than research. But I'm pleased to report that I survived two weeks sans sunburn, thanks to SPF 50 and some of my favorite UV-protective hats and scarves.

I hope you'll enjoy some of the photos from my trip below. I think it's important to acknowledge that, even though I've been impacted by skin cancer, I won't let that scare me from snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef or taking a walking tour through the rainforest. Nature is gorgeous and I feel blessed to be able to experience as much of it as I possibly can. Here's to checking another box off my bucket list.

My bestie from college and host while I was visiting Australia.
Koala! Hands down, absolute highlight of my trip.
Opera House.
Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Whitsunday Islands from above.
The Twelve Apostles. Photo doesn't do it justice - it was stunning!
More from the Great Ocean Road.

Practicing safe sun in Australia.

Street art in Melbourne.
Aussie Rules Footy game.