As many of you know, I am stateside at the moment soaking up some Cajun goodness and enjoying some much needed fun with family and friends. While trying to explain the complexities of the International Date Line and why it is actually tomorrow back home in Sydney, my 5yo and I decided look up our house on Google Maps. For some added fun, Lizzie and I decided to get “directions” from my mom’s house in Baton Rouge to our house in Sydney. The results were hilarious!
Remarkably, Google’s directions do not say something like “Drive to the nearest airport and get on a plane, Dumbass”. They actually gave me driving directions from my mom’s house to mine. I thought it was odd as I did not know that there is a bridge over the Pacific Ocean. I was so intrigued that I actually clicked through the 169 pages of directions. I’ll just share the high points with you.
Who needs air travel when you can road trip to Australia in a mere 56 days and 3 hours? I wonder, does this allow for pit stops? And, is there a Macca’s on that bridge across the Pacific Ocean?
Rather than send me down through Mexico which is the route I would take by air, Google suggested that I road trip right across America. First, I drive over to Dallas. MMM, meat pies in Natchitoches along the way. I like this route better already.
From Dallas, I head NW though Oklahoma and Kansas eventually reaching Denver. Rocky Mountain High, anyone? Next, it’s North to Cheyenne and then West on to Salt Lake City. Finally, I cut though Idaho and Oregon before finally getting to Seattle and the Pacific Ocean.
I kept looking for that bridge, but sadly, it was not meant to be. Here’s what Google suggested I do instead.
Holy Crap Batman, it says “kayak across the Pacific Ocean”!!!
And, just how far am I expected to kayak?
Only 2760 miles (4442 km)? No problem!
And, where do you think I end up after paddling for 2760 miles across the Pacific Ocean? It’s not in Australia, that’s for damn sure. No, I wash up on the sandy beaches of Hawaii.
Then, can you guess what happens next? No, it’s not “find the nearest bar and drink Mai Tai’s until you are stupid. Or, stupider!”. I’m suppose to get in a car and take a driving tour of Hawaii. Not sure where this car comes from. Perhaps I strapped it on the back of my kayak and rowed that sucker across the Pacific. Or, maybe I just steal the nearest convertible. Either way, I am to proceed to drive from one side of paradise to the other.
And once I get to the beautiful beaches of Waikiki, can you guess what comes next?
Yes, it’s that damn kayak again. As if it wasn’t enough that I just kayaked from Seattle to Hawaii, they want me to do it again.
3880 miles (6244 Km) this time. Piece of Cake!
Oh, but it gets very exciting at this point. At the end of my 3880 miles of rowing, I find myself in Japan. Still not Australia, but yay I always wanted to visit Japan! Call me a slow learner, but I was still expecting some practical advice from Google after all that rowing like “Eat sushi and drink sake until can karaoke ‘I’m turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so’ like a local”. But no, they expect me to drive. Again. Across Japan. Good thing I worked out that whole transporting your car on your kayak across the Pacific Ocean thing in Hawaii.
There’s a bit of excitement on about page 125 of the directions when I get to ride a ferry, presumably with both my car and kayak, for 60 miles. How glorious is it to cross a body of water using diesel power instead of a paddle?!?
Finally, I find myself at the edge of Japan. This is getting predictable…
Me, my kayak (with car strapped to the back) and the Pacific Ocean.
Only 3360 miles (5407 km) this time. No worries, mate!
Finally, I wash up on the sandy shores of Darwin. I AM IN AUSTRALIA! FINALLY! WOOHOO!
Sadly, Darwin is still a long ass way from my house in Sydney. 2472 miles (3978 km) to be exact. Really, after all that rowing, this is just insulting.
By now I know that the directions are not going to suggest a trip to the local pub for a beers and pies with my mates. No, it’s back in the car for me for a drive through the Australian Outback. And, finally after 56 days, 3 hours, a kayak, and a road trip from hell, I am home. Halleluiah!
At this point I think a need a vacation to get over my vacation. This time though, you can shove that kayak where the sun don’t shine. I’m flying the friendly skies. Jet engines, free liquor, and movies on demand (although I do recommend bringing your own food). And, from my front door to my mom’s front door – only 24 little hours. Now, that’s quick!