If you don’t know me, it’s simple. I have a life saying, The Other Fellow First, which has been preached to both of my children since day 1. The motto comes from Camp Dudley. Sebastian & Louisa will be going for their 4th season this summer and are the 3G of Gammills.
So why mention a camp motto now? Let me explain. When you put yourself out there in the world, in places that you have never been, have no idea about the language, and are basically in a vulnerable position, you find that many people from many cultures have the same life motto simply by experience.
- A friend of my cousin’s welcomes us (strangers) into their home in Wanaka, New Zealand, serves us a delicious steak with plenty of wine, and then says we are welcome to stay as long as we want.
- Air BnB host takes her day off to drive us around Sydney and then to share a secret beach to swim.
- Another Air BnB host uses her day off to drive us to the Barossa wine country and takes us to exclusive wineries that she has access. Cool!
- Australian volunteer in Nusa Penida, Indonesia, notices that Sebastian really likes fireworks on New Year’s Eve (shocker!) and gives him an armful to take on our journey to Bali.
- The sister of a friend not only hosts us in her apartment but takes us out to dinners and arranges our sightseeing in Malaysia.
- An elderly Thai woman with her adult daughter are sitting next to us at a food stall in Bangkok. Daughter hands my wife a local drink and says, “Here, this is for you and what Thai like to drink.” Then her mother turns around and hands us a grilled banana. Yum!
- I’d like to close with yet one more example of why I feel strongly about education through experience for my children. Onn is a longtime high school buddy and I am glad that we’ve stayed in touch over the years. To put it simply (and I will be sharing a separate blog on our Penang experience), Onn took us into his home with his family and provided a place to stay. More than that, he showed my children the meaning of The Other Fellow First. He embraced them, taught them some martial arts, fed them amazing foods, and played with them on ziplines and ropes. I could go on and on but the moral of this story is that both Sebastian and Louisa saw how happy Onn was to share his life and talents. How he truly practiced and lived The Other Fellow First.
My perspective is quite one-dimensional when it comes to teaching my children (just as many parents, we want the best for them). It’s a wonderful feeling to experience and share similar values with both friends and strangers from all walks of life. And even better when those people impact your children in a positive way, much like that teacher you always loved!
The Other Fellow First – a darn good reason to get outside, meet others, and share your values! Thank you to Onn, Wai Fung, Sue, Mel, the Turner Family and everyone of you that practices The Other Fellow First!
P.S. Just off the press are these two articles for you to enjoy and they apply to this blog: Timeless Appeal and NYT Solo Traveler
Posted in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Places, Thailand
Tagged Australia, Bangkok, camp, Dudley, Health, Indonesia, life, New Zealand, other fellow first, Sydney
Our Perth visit should stop right here because we really didn’t see anything except the neighborhood of Victoria Park, where our Airbnb was located. Other than that, it was a week of studies and exams for the kids to wrap up their school term before Christmas break.
Our Airbnb was an interesting place – the cleanest accommodation thus far and a large 5 BR home that belongs to a Filipino/Scottish couple. We felt like we were living a “Big Brother” TV show. Michelle, the hostess, had a Holiday Party one night and it was quite fun to meet some locals as well as other guests from her different houses in Perth. There was a mixture of single, married, gay, and even cross gender to match with a variety of professions including movie producer, miners, Iranian immigrants, and us (a family)! After our week, we felt right at home with everyone and made some good friendships.
Victoria Park (like ours in Fort Lauderdale) has a nice local library, several local farmers markets and diverse restaurants that we enjoyed in the neighborhood. We also stocked up on some books at a cute little bookstore called Crow’s. Our farewell dinner celebration of 2 months in Australia included a nice bottle of red champagne from Barossa with pizza and chicken parm at the appropriately named Sebastian’s. We happily put together our top 10 list (to be shared soon) over dinner and recounted what a truly wonderful time we had in Australia. We bid farewell to Australia on December 16th flying to Bali but we will be back!
Farewell Dinner at Sebastian’s
Our last bottle of Australian wine
We have not been able to update the blog in a while. Between our trip to Adelaide, the Australian outback and the kids sprinting to finish their school term before we leave Australia, the blog got a bit neglected unfortunately. We will catch up on the places we have been in the next few posts.
We arrived in Adelaide on Thanksgiving day, which is our favorite holiday in the US. As a Brazilian, I learned to love Thanksgiving throughout these years as it is such a nice, relaxing holiday eating great food and being with special family and friends. While this year we were not following our traditional Thanksgiving with the Houchin cousins, we managed to find a nice pub in Adelaide – The Highway – serving typical pub food while we watched the 49ers get beaten by the Seahawks, argh!
We stayed at an airbnb during our week in Adelaide. Mel was our hostess, she is a vegan chef and was really great to us. The kids enjoyed playing with her 10-year old son, Liam. We enjoyed Adelaide, the weather was very nice and the “flat as a pancake” city made it easy to walk and bike around. Our place was just outside CBD and we spent a full day biking around the main sites. Adelaide is very bike friendly and offers a great service – free bike rentals (and free wifi in downtown). We took full advantage of it and enjoyed the Botanic Gardens and biking around the river. Also spent a day at the State Library, kids studying while Chris and I checked out the Art Gallery and the South Australian Museum next door.
Free biking in Adelaide
Adelaide Botanic Gardens
The highlight of our week in Adelaide was the day trip to the Barossa Valley. Mel was very graceous to take us on a tour of some of the best local wineries. We started with delicious coffee and gourmet tastings at Maggie’s Beer Farm Shop (loved the burnt fig jam, the vino cotto and the patés) and then on to 2 wineries before stopping for a light lunch at Fino, a new restaurant at the beautiful Seppeltsfield winery. Then on to 2 more wineries before returning to Adelaide in time to get the kids for an Ethiopian dinner and Belgian crèpes for desert. If you are still reading this you can imagine how full we were by the time we went to bed..
With our airbnb hostess, Mel
Wine tasting at the Barossa
We departed Adelaide for our next adventure at the Australian outback heading to Flinders Ranges National Park. This time we did well in upgrading to a 6-berth campervan, much more comfortable than the one we had in New Zealand. We did learn our lesson! More to come on the outback trip…stay tunned.
Quorn, on our way to Flinders Ranges National Park
The Apollo, our upgraded campervan