A travel bucket list from Alice Springs

As a solo GP living literally in the middle of Australia for the last 18 years, it is approx. 1500kms to the North & South, much further to the East or West. I do love a road trip or unfortunately it’s super expensive to fly out of Alice to connect to the rest of the world.

My first overseas trip was to New Zealand for my 40th birthday, now over 5 years ago. It is a postcard view as you drive across the Corona Ranges, down into Wanaka, where the lake, with Mt Aspiring National Park beckons you in the distance with snow capped mountains. For me living in Central Australia, despite loving our ranges, the views were gobsmacking.

From moving out of home aged 18 years, to working numerous part-time jobs to get through Medical School, to years off to make extra money to finish that degree, to the obligatory long hours working as a junior doctor in various roles averaging 80 – 100 hour weeks, time just seemed to have flown by. My peers could afford the overseas elective at the end of 5th year, but my first serious attempt to get overseas was halted, when I realised the 6 week elective to Kathmandu would be the cost of living through my final year of Uni. I was so bitter & twisted, but instead of the snow-capped Annapurna Ranges, I got on the Ghan & trained it up to the red & orange ranges of the Red Centre. My disappointment soon changed to excitement as it was nothing like I expected.

My love affair with Central Australia had begun.

Long story seriously truncated…

Lots of working to pay off university & accumulated life debts, completed various post graduate diplomas, celebrated the 10th anniversary of my own general practice, a 17 year relationship with my partner, the amazement of being a parent to the most awesome 6-year-old boy and somehow it is nearly 2017 & my overseas experiences have been 2 trips to Wanaka NZ & a 5 week road trip around Great Britain & Ireland for my brother’s wedding in Wales.

Working for myself for the last 10 years, I have had to live vicariously through my patients & their preparation ( sometimes inept ones at that!!) for their overseas trips. And this has inspired my own travel bucket list, which I am writing as I sit in a hospital waiting room awaiting my admission for major surgery. So apologies travel bloggers, this has been the only spare time I’ve had recently to compose my thoughts on a relevant topic & despite thinking about this for weeks I have come up blank. As I am engrossed with my impending morbidity & mortality risk, I am writing down my ultimate travel wish list to have something to look forward to after the next few months of recovery.

Nepal & Bhutan
PNG – Kokoda Track
Spain – to walk the Camino Trek
South America
Motor home around both islands of NZ ( need that road trip fix)
I could go on & on…. But my anaesthetic pre-check is over & I’m about to go into theatre. See you on the other side.

What’s your bucket travel list?

Merry Christmas & I hope 2017 is full of adventures, excitement, love & joy.

Dr Deb Mitchell

TMA Member Alice Springs


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