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Paradise by the Runway Lights: Notes from Childhood and 25 Hours of Flying to Melbourne

It was long ago and it was far away, and it was so much better than it is today.

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I had an eclectic taste in music when I was a kid. Much of it came from my dad, who introduced me to Bob Dylan before I became more of a fan than he was. There was also Tom Petty (early years), Warren Zevon, and Bruce Springsteen at some point.

I was growing up at least ten or fifteen years late, in other words.

But our generation had an edge on the previous one when it came to technology, or so it seemed at the time. I'd saved for a Sony Walkman, a prized possession acquired at age eight, and over the next few years I recorded songs off the radio for later listening. Late at night, I’d play myself to sleep on many of those songs.

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Visiting the Hidden Speakeasy in Downtown Sydney, Australia


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Searching for a great cocktail in Australia is a quest of its own. For most Australians, a cocktail means "gin and tonic" or "margarita"—they have great wines in this part of the world, but legit mixed drinks are hard to come by.

That just means you have to look harder, of course.

I found a modern-day speakeasy hidden away in the Central Business District of Sydney. Finding the general area wasn’t difficult, but there was a trick to finding the speakeasy itself: you had to avoid an imposter bar located right outside. The imposter bar looked fine—just a normal pub with the typical overpriced drinks of Sydney.

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When Next in Australia, Don’t Pay for Those Expensive Domestic Flights

10467388874_9b481ec233_z Greetings from my favorite country! I’m in Australia for a few days (no public events this time—just writing and enjoying paradise).

And here’s a tip: my favorite country can be a little expensive. Consider it a tax on paradise, but just about everything you purchase may seen a tad high if you’re coming from the states. Oh, and many parts of the country are still waiting for the internet to arrive—but presumably that’s improving.

Domestic flights within Australia can be pricey too, but there’s a great alternative option: redeem American Airlines miles for flights on Qantas.

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Letter from Sydney

On a day like last Saturday, you might find yourself wrapping up a whirlwind series of events in a fun East Asian country. You might be feeling the effects of little sleep and the need to be extroverted as you present yourself in various new and unfamiliar events. Hosting a talk show on Buddhist TV, for example, or perhaps being pelted by questions in the form of paper airplanes at a less formal event for readers. It will all have been wonderful, no doubt, but you'll also be in need of a change ...

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Detour to Australia

It was all going so well. I had made it to three island countries in the Pacific: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. All of them were interesting in their own way, if a bit small. OK, small isn’t the word: they were tiny. There is literally one road in Majuru, the capital of the Marshall…

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