Wordless Wednesday – Work tripping

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 Permalink

I’ve mentioned a few times that I started a new part-time job in February. It’s only 5 days a fortnight so leaves me plenty of time for other stuff. It’s a regional position of sorts so has – however – required some travel.

And unlike some of my previous careers requiring overseas travel, this has involved lengthy lone drives to various parts of the region.

The Wide Bay region – in which I work – spreads from Bundaberg in the north, south as far as Maryborough and Mundubbera, and west as far as Monto and Eidsvold.

map-wide bay wbhhs

I’ve now been to all locations and met colleagues and various stakeholders in all but one or two communities.

Close friends must think this hilarious because I’m actually famous for my hatred of driving. Indeed – once upon a time I did almost anything to avoid having to drive anywhere. And yet… I’ve actually enjoyed some of the long stretches I’ve covered in the past two months.

I thought I’d share some pics of my adventures around the region because I haven’t participated in a Wordless Wednesday link-up for ages and… I’m feeling lazy and can’t be arsed writing the usual 300+ words which constitute a blog post.*

arm protection

My first trip (about 2.5hrs each way) followed a drive to Brisbane and I learned very early that it’s important to cover up – lest you have one arm redder than the other. I have a wrap-thingy which I keep in my car and transfer into a work car when I travel any distances. It’s light but I can throw it over my right (driving) arm to protect it from the sun.

work trip storm

I recently got caught in some very heavy rain – but stopped to take a picture just before. This is near the delightfully-named Ban Ban Springs.

gayndah hospital

The Gayndah Hospital is exceedingly old but very beautiful. It reminded me of a lot of health centres and hospitals I visited in Pacific Islands when I worked in international development.

work trip audiobook

Discovering audiobooks has been my saviour on those long long drives. I’m currently on my third – Wuthering Heights. Without a doubt however – Favel Parrett’s Past the Shallows has been my favourite. It was also the first time I discovered cars with USB options (rather than just bluetooth connections).

My most recent trip (on Monday this week) involved 7.5hrs of driving and 3.5hrs of meetings. I forgot how far west I’d gone until I came across several stretches of dirt road between Mt Perry and Monto.

dirt road - work road trip

And I stopped off for a diet coke at this delightful cafe in Biggenden and sunk into a comfy lounge to check my emails. There’s quite often no mobile phone reception in between towns.


And finally yesterday I shared my work road-trip ‘survival kit’.

work trip supplies

I freeze partially filled bottles of water so I can have cold water enroute (and usually get a refill when at a meeting). I start the trip with a diet coke (and sometimes need a second if it’s a long day – which Monday was!). I pack something for lunch (mini frittatas in this instance), as I’m coeliac and gluten-free stuff can be hard to find in small places… plus I usually forget to mention it if the meeting involves lunchtime sandwiches. And I throw in some nuts cos my stomach goes crazy after too much diet coke.

And now of course I have to remember to pack my USB cable and – I usually throw in a mixed tape CD or two. Radio stations can be pretty scary once you venture off the main roads and I never know what car I’ll have in advance (and if I’ll be able to use my phone to play music or an audiobook).

And there you have it…

I actually have an unexpected trip today – but I’m at the point where 1hr each way no longer feels like a long drive. But I don’t ‘think’ I have any other trips coming up in my foreseeable future… which is a relief.

What do you take on road trips?

Linking up with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

* As is always the case, once I started I got carried away and wrote WAY more than I planned!

  • Veronica Moran
    April 20, 2016

    I am thoroughly enjoying your daily posts.

    • Debbish
      April 20, 2016

      Oh thanks Veronica… that’s lovely of you to say!

  • Jess
    April 20, 2016

    I used to like road trips but the last long one I took was 8 hours with three kids. And too many single lanes with big trucks bearing down behind me! Put me off for awhile. Yours looks quiet and pleasant with empty ish roads! Glad you are enjoying since you have to do them for work!

    • Debbish
      April 20, 2016

      Ah yes, that’s probably something I didn’t consider Jess. Not the addition of kids, but the traffic. I barely come across any traffic at all on the drives to rural locations. While I’m on the main highway there are passing lanes and I’m never really in a huge hurry so it doesn’t stress me. But on the more remote roads you can go for a LOOONG time without seeing anyone. (And as I don’t know the roads I’m probably a bit slower than most anyway!)

  • Jo
    April 20, 2016

    Trucks freak me out when doing highway driving. I dislike driving, but quite like road trips. I was about to say that I can’t remember the last time I was stuck for hours in the car on my own & then remembered it happens way too often on the M4! My daily commute can extend past the usual 75mins when it rains. I have a road trip playlist & heaps of podcasts.

    • Debbish
      April 20, 2016

      That’s a really long commute each day Jo, so it’s good you’re able to fill it with podcasts. I really (really) don’t miss my daily commutes!

  • Bec
    April 20, 2016

    I’d still do anything to avoid driving, only do it if I have to. Once had to go from Rocky (or maybe Bundy) to Julia Creek for another contract, decided on the inland route, yes, well.
    I admire your fortitude, surprising what we can do we we have to. I’m enjoying your posts too, but don’t know how you keep it up.
    Needless to say, thrilled you are enjoying audiobooks, they’re serving a very useful purpose for you

    • Debbish
      April 20, 2016

      Yes I’m surprised that I’m not minding driving Bec as I’ve always hated it. My father was the same… he’d get really angsty and I suspect I inherited some antipathy from him. As a kid our family travelled 15hrs or so (less when bitumen roads came in) to far west Qld to Quilpie most Christmases. That was a horrendous drive. Of course now we’d have air conditioning and CDs or music all the way!

  • Em @ Have A Laugh On Me
    April 20, 2016

    I used to love road trips because it meant seeing new parts of the world, it’s not so fun with kids. Funny re: the red arm, been there done that!! xx

    • Debbish
      April 21, 2016

      Because I had the 6-7hrs of driving to Brisbane and almost the same a day later my right arm was decidedly burnt initially… hence the cover-up! I’m pretty sure it’s still browner than my left though. Hate to think what the right side of my face is like! 🙁

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    April 24, 2016

    Essentials on my road trips – my bottle of water and wallet for pit stops and petrol.

    Really enjoyed the photos you took along the way. Such a different landscape to mine.

    SSG xxx

    • Debbish
      April 24, 2016

      Ah yes… My niece has just moved to China and I keep thinking of her when I make these trips!

  • Heather Duff (@hross42)
    April 25, 2016

    The one thing I remember about my brief visit to Queensland was thinking we had travelled miles and then you look at a map and it looks like nothing! I love all the Australian names, we visited and I think I will spell this wrong Mooloolaba (I think), it had an aquarium that we visited but I remember my mother in law pissing herself laughing at me trying to pronounce it.

    I only travel 25 miles to work but my kit includes charger and chewing gum, very boring!

    • Debbish
      April 25, 2016

      Mooloolaba is right Heather! And yes I’ve been there a few times as one of my girlfriends lived there for a while. It’s just a few hours from here. And everything is SO FAAAAAR from everything else here in Australia. I sometimes forget what wide open spaces we have until I do some driving. A lot of my driving has been inland, so not a lot of traffic, which has been great. The main highway goes up the coast (rather than inland).

  • Trish MLDB
    April 28, 2016

    I’ve just discovered audible and audio books.
    I’ll try those suggestions.
    I’ve been to Mundubbera – long story.
    We do lots of long trips to Sydney (4-5hrs) and most recently Victoria.
    I shared the driving to VIC and I much prefer to passenger.
    Thanks for linking up.

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