On the first weekend after my arrival in Brisbane, Helen, my homestay hostess, took Kate Xu and me on an interesting trip. After an hour’s drive in her car, we got to the Sunshine Coast, a famous resort. So many people had come here that we had trouble finding a parking place. Alas! No wonder people had swarmed here. The sky is clear and blue and the sea, connected to the Pacific, is like a vast blue jade. Free from pollution, the sky and the sea in Australia are definitely without match! As we advanced along the bank, we reached the Happy Valley. With a gentle, refreshing breeze brushing my face, I felt intoxicated. Wow! This valley did live up to its name. I exclaimed jokingly,” If I had another life, I’d like to be a tree in the Happy Valley!”
Despite the wind and waves, there were many fishermen. One of them caught a small fish but threw it back into the sea, which was aimed at sustainability.
I gazed at the blue sky and found many tiny spots attached to something like an umbrella. To my amazement, they were parachuters! On top of that, on surfing boards crazy kite-surfers were being pulled by kites up and down the waves . Practically everywhere I saw toddlers, some in nappies, having fun on sands or in the sea. They were mostly exploring nature on their own, seldom interfered with or supported by adults. Totally inconceivable was that babies in prams joined in the fun, which is a rare phenomenon back in China. Aussies do rear their children in a different way from ours.
Time was flying and soon came lunchtime. Helen, our hostess took our picnic out of the trunk. She had even brought a tiny gas stove and a fry-pan to fry sausages. We took pictures of our picnic as a reminder of this gorgeous trip.
Our second stop on the trip was the rainforest near the Glasshouse Mountains, which were ranges of extinct volcanoes. Entering the forest, we found the atmosphere extremely awesome yet peaceful. Enormous rainforests reached as far as the sky, some surrounded with huge vines, with fallen pods and seeds scattered around. Lush grass grew at the foot of the trees, and among the grass was a pile of dead leaves, in which bush turkeys made their nests. The song of a lorikeet drew the attention of many visitors, as did the stealthy skipping of the extremely tiny birds in the bush. Exhilarated, I expressed my wishes of being a bird in the rainforest in my next life and Helen teased me, reminding me of my earlier wishes in the Happy Valley.
Good times don’t last long. It was soon 4pm, time for departure. It had been many years since I had enjoyed myself so much. In China tour guides had us spending more time in shops than at scenic spots. And Chinese scenic spots were always far away and overly crowded. How I wish my people could have more leisure, more real enjoyment and more space!
It is exciting to visit different places. As you travel, you will see beautiful sceneries typical of the region. Besides, you can meet and make friends with people of different colors and races. Finally, you can get to know the customs and living habits of the local people. Today people are so fond of travelling that tourism has become one of the faster growing industries in most countries.
The main reason why people travel is, perhaps, for pleasure. For example, having worked hard throughout the weekdays, people will find a widened trip to the nearby mountains or beaches a real relaxation. For another example, spending an annual holiday travelling abroad is an especially satisfying experience for those who do not have much of an opportunity to be away from their homelands. When people return from their travel, they will generally feel fresh and energetic, ready to work harder.
Travelling is also one of the best means for learning. You may have read or heard about something but you can never get an accurate picture of it until you see it for yourself. Seeing is believing. Furthermore, if you...