Every decent length piece of text needs a preamble.
  • February 2004

Every decent length piece of text needs a preamble. Just ask John Howard. The long sitting Australian Prime Minister may have been dead against any Head of State title changes to the Constitution at the 1999 republic referendum but he was quite happy to offer up his co-authored introduction with flowery references to excellence, fairness and mateship as a preamble to it. And for me the only satisfying conclusion that came out of that day was the fact that the public voted against his preamble even more strongly than they did the other proposed changes to the Constitution. But I digress (already).

Like a lot of people I love to travel. There’s just something about a change of scenery that never fails to excite me, whether it be going overseas, getting to different parts of Australia or just staying close to home. Even walking around the block fills me with a mild thrill. So because I get such a kick out of it, I thought I’d write down a record of my major travels from the year 2000 onwards. Troy’s Gone Walkabout is constructed predominately from notes I’ve made at the time of each trip and rounded off with my recollections after the events. Primarily this is all for my own amusement but I hope that someone somewhere also finds something entertaining in here, be they my family and friends, people I’ve rubbed shoulders with along my journeys or even complete strangers. Bearing this in mind I’ve tried to keep the audience for these travelogues as general as possible. I’m sure I haven’t always succeeded in this regard, either by inadvertently slipping in the odd in-joke or descending into Australian slang, but all I can hope is that from the context you can pick up on what on earth I’m rambling on about. Ultimately if what I’ve written is more readable than the Australian Constitution then I’m happy – but then if you’ve ever had a cursory glance at some of those 128 sections then you’ll know I haven’t exactly set the bar very high here. In fact I’d go so far as to say that I’m accomplishing for travel literature about as much as the Carry On films did for the reputation of British Cinema, which is to say not a lot.

This is probably not the sexiest looking collection of travel stories you’ll ever see, but the focus for me has been squarely about getting the words together, not fooling around with animated graphics and all the rest. It doesn’t look fancy or drop dead gorgeous but at least it gets the job done. A bit like me really. Here and there I have inserted a few song lyrics that I was reminded of at the time and added a few of my photos to break up some of the text. Now everyone knows what the major landmarks look like, like the Eiffel Tower for instance, and I’m sure the images I have captured are not going to add a great deal to their worldwide appeal, so instead I’ve tried to limit it to some of my photos that are slightly more original, quirky or offbeat in some way.

You’ll also notice that this site is mostly about me and my experiences. While I can’t profess to be the world’s most exciting person – but I’m sure I’m right up there with world chess champions and employees at the Tax Office – at least it’s the viewpoint I know best. Countless noteworthy, diverting or dead funny things happened to others I’ve travelled alongside, but somehow it’s not the same writing a second-hand account of their lives, especially if it is entirely at their expense. But to all those people whose paths have crossed with mine during these adventures I hope my travelogues will take you back and make you smile as you re-live your own memories, which are presumably as happy as mine are.

There are undoubtedly loads of official and unofficial websites dedicated to some of the places I’ve visited along the way which are full of far more comprehensive information than I have the time or inclination to include. But you’ll soon find that I haven’t put links to any of them, so if you want to know more about a particular place or activity you’re going to have to do the searching yourself. Because of the transient nature of the Web I could see myself spending considerable time just fixing all the dead links as sites changed addresses, which to me is about as much fun as having my leg hairs pulled out with tweezers. I guess I’m just not into anything high maintenance. Let that be a warning to you, ladies.

And finally, if you’re not sure whether I’m being serious or not, the chances are I’m having a laugh (like the end of the last paragraph for example). I haven’t deliberately set out to offend anyone, but occasionally my sarcasm gets the better of me. Apologies in advance if this happens.

This site may well continue to grow until I’m sick of travelling (which may be a long time away) or just sick of writing about it (which may be a hell of a lot sooner), but either way I hope you enjoy the sights, delights and half-baked anecdotes as I go walkabout.