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Subject: A Choice of Challenge
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 09:37:55 +0000
From: "-= Audacious Adventurer Al =- "

October 28, 2002 . . . Brisbane, Australia
(1 million people - rained 7 times in last 11 months - HOT here)

G'day mates! I'm back in Oz (Australia). I've been here a few days now in boring Brisbane. You know what? It hardly rains here ever and it's hot! I was really excited when I arrived and went back to my good ol' Wildwood summer days of shorts and sandals.

I ran about seven miles today from my volunteer house in Rocklea, a suburb of Brisbane. I'm living in a swanky house in the middle of a manufacturing area. Personally, I'd rather live in a tent in a better location than the volunteer house. Getting to the point - my thoughts may come out a little unstructured - let me try to pull myself together because I have some exciting choice to write about (at least I think it's exciting!)

Let's begin with some background behind the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers! My homebase is in Brisbane, which quite frankly, is a pretty dull city despite the man-made beach in the middle of the city. Oh, this beach is not topless like most others I've seen here in the past, just in case you were wondering. There's 13 of us staying in the volunteer house at the moment - ages ranging from 20-26. Thus, being 26, I'm the elder of the house. Like most travelers, the lads want to hit the pub every night. I was hoping for a little more diversity and maturity here, but so is life. Honestly, we live in the middle of nowhere and the only thing nearby is a pub. Nonetheless, I've had some pretty cool times at the house already giving simple swing dance lessons and helping fellow volunteers with their English. Chef Sally cooks the big dinners and many of us help wash up.

Today we went on a mulching project. We only do about 5 hours of honest work each day, although it's gruesome. There's nothing that makes me feel like a satisfied man than a hard day of physical labor! I love progress and I could see all the mulch we moved. You come home smelly and dirty; wacky people like me go out for seven mile runs afterwards. Tomorrow we finish our mulching project, then head to some tree planting on Wednesday. I'm making some friends and slowly people are becoming really comfortable to be themselves with me (the way I like it). The way I perceive it: if Allen acts as zany as he does, then it's okay to be myself. Basically, this job is looking positive ...

So there you go! This is the build up to the possibility of something radical. You see, this has been one hell of a year for me. I've experienced so many different things. One of those things is scrounging money. I'm so sick of worrying about money. I saved TWICE for my trip. I cut corners, lived shabbily, and made sacrifices to get here. My so-called friend is still running loose with $24,000+ dollars he ripped off probably screwing other people over, while I'm struggling with a little more than a sixth of that trying to live abroad for four months.

Okay - enough bread and butter - let's get to the nitty gritty...

Scenario #1: Adventurer Al Axes Adventure Time
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Allen receives letters daily from the German elementary school teacher Ingrid that earnestly confess she wishes to teach Adventurer Al some more lessons in New Zealand.

Allen gives up his volunteer job. He decides against working here for six weeks in Brisbane and sustaining himself. Nonetheless, he loses some money paid for the program (yes, I payed $ to volunteer) and the possibility of meeting some interesting people.

Allen spends TWO more weeks in Australia and does the things he truly cares about:
seeing the Great Barrier Reef
relaxing back Rainbow Beach
visiting the shy swell Adele in Melbourne

Allen shortens his trip to December 23. He has a lot more money to simply enjoy his adventure!

Allen goes back to New Zealand, spends a 45 days looking at volcanoes, swimming with dolphins, white water rafting, luge racing, ceroc dancing, eating out more, hiking, climbing glaciers, and having fun with Ingrid.

Allen is home for the holidays to party with all his friends and family.

AND

Allen utilizes an important opportunity that this extra time presents :) ((looking for another job added 11/2/03))

Scenario #2: Adventurer Al Keeps it Cool
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Adventure Al hacks out the volunteer program and has a great experience. He thought he wouldn't have to spend any money in the volunteer program, but that just isn't reality. His cash supply has dwindled and has to live even more frugally (if those who know me best could possibly believe I could live more frugally).

Ingrid flys to Australia for two weeks to visit Al.

Allen spends Christmas somewhere here in Australia. It will be cool because he'll make it that way!

Allen goes back to Rainbow Beach and gets his old hostel job back cause he has to sustain himself financially. Money isn't important: he can read books, (hopefully) meet interesting people, and chill by the beautiful beach most of the day.

Allen travels for three weeks or so through Australia, truly depending on finances.

Allen comes home on January 30, 2003.

Allen returns to cell 11-043 on February 4, 2003.

OKAY ADVENTURE FANS!
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Although these are BOTH good ideas, which one will Adventurer Al choose? Will he be rash and do something outlandishly wild? Will he go back to New Zealand and 'Give Some?'

OR

Will he walk the straight path he envisioned back in June 2002 and keep the mellow peace?

=--

Quite possibly you don't care. That's okay. You're not hurting my feelings. Nevertheless, if you are interested....

STAYED TUNED FOR NEXT WEEK'S EDITION OF ADVENTURER AL.....


"If you want to know your past - look into your present conditions.
If you want to know your future - look into your present actions."
-- Chinese Proverb
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You've got a friend in . . .
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| Allen Rue - travelling extraordinaire - joy seeker         |
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