What Not to Care

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I “met” Sarah Jackson back in the spring when she was preparing to embark on a three-week solo journey through Oz and was a bit weary about things. So she contacted me and I tried (tried being the operative word) to ease her fears. Well, as you can read below, things worked out swimmingly. A television comedy writer “in real life,” Sarah’s blog is never devoid of humor; head over and check it out at your leisure and peruse the archives for some additional pictures and tales of her time Down Under. Thanks for filling in for me, Sarah!


That’s OK, Kristin. I forgive you.

For what you may ask? Oh please! Sure, you gave me a ton of great advice before I left for my month long to trip to Australia—my first big solo traveling adventure. But you didn’t tell me what NOT to wear! How could I know that the perfect, breezy, beer-filled days at the beginning of my trip in Port Douglas, Queensland would be so dramatically different than South Australia’s July winter? Of course, I knew the seasons are reversed Down Under. But I’m from New York City! We get snowstorms here! How bad could it possibly be?!

THIS bad.

I wore this everyday for a week from the moment I landed in Adelaide until the end of my 3-day tour of the Great Ocean Road ending in Melbourne. I thought I had packed a perfect system of layers that would keep me warm no matter what, while looking like a cute college hipster on her way to make out with someone in the quad. As you can see, I rather resembled the 33 year old I actually am. Less cute and hip, and more like a crunchy lady who sells homemade beeswax candles. Or maybe an enterprising actress in New York City getting ready to perform in the stage version of Newsies?

As you’ll see in the pictures below, not even cute, Kristin.  Not even cute.

(Editor’s Note: If only I could look that cute on my journeys! And I’m not even kidding!)

Here I am at the third winery on the Groovy Grape Barossa Valley Wine Tour. I can’t remember what it was called because I was drunk. The outfit could be acceptable here. I’m digging that purple plaid. But I ruined everything with a hand on my hip and my feet turned out in such an abnormal way. I guess wine makes me more flexible?

This is after a much needed carb-y lunch on that same tour. I kept insisting this group of friends traveling together were British. “No Sarah, I’m Swedish!” “I’m French!” To which I replied, “Whatever, same difference! Let’s take a picture!” This is why everyone loves Americans.

Day 1 of my 3-day Great Ocean Road Adventure Tour. If you told me I did that first hike in the Grampians in a clown suit or naked, I would believe you. That’s because I was so terrified getting to the summit that I’ve blacked most of it out. Notice the insane view, but don’t miss my body language either.

Katie, best tour guide in the world: “OK everyone, there’s a kangaroo crossing sign coming up. Does anyone wants to stop and get a pic—”
Sarah: “YES! YES! PULL OVER! STOP IMMEDIATELY! Take my picture! First back to back and then like this! Hahahaha, I’m so funny!”

REALLY funny in that same hoodie from three days before, Sarah.

Here we are at the beginning of the Great Ocean Road and some of the most amazing rock formations ev-ah. Breathtaking and freezing. You might think this is a Rocky pose, but it’s actually my tribute to A Christmas Story when Ralphie’s poor little brother couldn’t put his arms down due to excessive layering.

Another rockin’ outfit and person I met along the Great Ocean Road. Jack from the UK was definitely my favorite. Funny, weird, picked on me immediately…major points for that. I tried my first horrible bit of Vegemite with him, (”hahaha, it’s bloody awful isn’t it?!”), and duked it out over Cadbury vs. Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. “Don’t blame me because you don’t get chocolate and peanut butter! It’s not my fault you guys are crazy!” I have no idea what his romantic life was like, but someone better have been making out with Jack on the road. I would have done it myself, but I wasn’t feeling super sexy in my knit hat.

I have to admit, it doesn’t really matter what you are wearing when you catch your first glimpse of the Twelve Apostles. That’s what it really looks like, but you can’t imagine what it feels like. Go there. Right now. I’ll put your ticket on my credit card. Just pay me back when you get your tax return.

My inner New Yorker was released when we arrived in Melbourne, my second favorite city in the whole wide world now.  So many graffiti’d alleys to explore, foods to sample and winter coats to buy. And boy, did I buy a CUTE one that I can’t wait to wear when it officially turns to fall here in NYC.  But while I was in Australia and looking at the pictures now, I realize it did not even matter. When I  produce a reality fashion travel show, I will call it What Not To Care. Get out there and see everything and anything. Wear a ninja costume if you want, as long as you’re comfortable enough to have the best freaking time of your life.

All is forgiven, Kristin.

  • September 23, 2009

    Sarah, this was hilarious. And having just returned from my honeymoon to Australia two days ago, I can totally relate: for three straight days in Melbourne, I wore the exact same thing, which was basically all of my t-shirts on top of each other, capped off with the one sweater I brought, and then my laughably light spring trench coat, which all the other Melbournians — wrapped up warm and smug in their heavy black wool winter coat, gloves, and scarves — must have guffawed at uproariously when my back was turned.

  • September 23, 2009

    Sarah – thanks for a great wrap up of your summer. How about next summer we switch – you can see Europe and Europe and Europe and some more Europe and I will do a month in Aussie land.

  • September 23, 2009

    What IS it with the brits and peanut butter?? I used to love grossing out my brit ex-boyfriend with reeses peanut butter cups and peanut butter icecream and all sorts of delicious things that for some reason the entire nation can’t stomach!

    This post has me revved up to go tackle australia solo myself!

  • September 23, 2009

    This was so funny, and not funny at all. Yet great advice about being prepared for any kind of weather. What would you pack, or not pack, going to South Africa for the month of March?

  • September 23, 2009

    chuckle. chuckle. Great post! And thanks for buying my ticket. I think I’ll go in January. Just e-mail me know the flight details 😀

  • September 23, 2009

    Hey Hey Hey!

    NBB-Oh thank god I wasn’t the only one! I swear I knew it was winter, but they definitely make it sound all mild. And I guess it is. But still it was quite a shock coming from QLD.

    Michele-deal! But why don’t we split the difference and just meet up somewhere new. Japan?

    Stephanie-do not get me started on this whole peanut butter chocolate problem. What is there not to get?! And please PLEASE go to Australia! You can continue my pro-peanut butter/chocolate campaign! 🙂

    Geogypsy-Hmmm, packing advice. Kristin is much more qualified to answer that based on sheer quantity of trips. To be honest, I was warm enough. I just wish I could have found a way to do it more fashionably;-)

    Janet McK-so glad you liked it! Let me talk to my travel agent and I’ll get back to you;-)

    Kristin-Thank you again for letting me post on your excellent blog. But most of all, thank you for lying through your teeth about my Newsies cap;-)


  • September 23, 2009

    And I just assumed all these photos were taken on the same day! 😉

    Well, thanks for being the guinea pig, as I’ll hopefully be hitting up more than the GBR in coming years, mwahahahahahahaha!

  • September 24, 2009

    Too funny! I love this post. That picture of the large stone formations in the water is incredible. And I heard recently from a native Australian that vegemite is quite awful and “a very acquired taste” — you’re quite brave to try it! I have been wanting to do some solo travel (past the four days alone in Paris, which is my only real solo travel to date) but am worried I’ll get lonely, though it looks like you were often in good company. Definitely inspiring to us other female (aspiring) solo travelers! Looks like a wonderful journey.

  • September 25, 2009

    Hey! Vegemite is fantastic! In fact, I might eat some right now.

    Love, an Australian.

  • September 25, 2009

    I spent a few months living in Melbourne a few years back and absolutely loved it. From time to time we seriously consider moving there. Maybe one of these days we’ll actually do it.

    Glad you had fun on your trip. Can’t wait to check out your blog and read about your adventures!

  • September 26, 2009

    You know, I may be the sole American to try Vegemite and like it! My former roommate was a rugby player and constantly had guests from around the world. When the Aussie set came through they insisted I try it, on toast. By the time I got to Sydney myself (put up by fellow rugby playing mates, not a rough life!) they were quite impressed by my southern hemisphere-loving palette! 🙂
    Off to discover the rest of your blog…

  • September 27, 2009

    I love Vegemite!

  • September 28, 2009

    “same difference”?! I thought I was the only person to say that! Love this post. Funny, and oh so representative of many of our travels. And life in general. Well mine definitely. Kristin, hope you’re having a fab time!

  • September 29, 2009

    Actually, I’m totally digging the knit hat. At least it didn’t have a pom-pom on the top.

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