I’m slowly going to post some trip reports from previous holidays so I have a record of events (and while I can still remember). First up is my Darwin work/holiday trip. Back in October 2003 I was lucky enough to get an offer from work to fly to Darwin and undertake some work presentations to leading accounting firms and locals.
The week I visited (Monday 6 Oct 2003 – Sunday 12 Oct 2003) I was actually scheduled to be on leave moving into my new apartment. At late minute cancellation by my Director and I was asked to do the office a favour, in return I only had to work for the first 3 1/2 days and the next 3 1/2 days I could take as a holiday and see Darwin for the first time!!
So a free airfare in hand off I went to Darwin for the first time. The first thing about Darwin (and the top end) is how very humid is actually is, October is actually known as the suicide month. It seems to be 35 degrees every day a very humid. While in Darwin I watched Australia win a World Cup Rugby match at a local pub (great event), visited lost money at the Darwin Racetrack, went on a great harbour cruise and really just chilled out.
But first I had to provide presentations to clients and train local staff. I remember walking into Ernst & Young (accounting firm) and feeling very over dressed wearing trousers and a light short sleeve top. Shorts are the order of the day even in professional offices.
The other thing I learned quickly is people in Darwin communicate a lot differently than us East Coast people. Five minutes into my first presentation I was stopped and asked to just tell them what I meant, no spin, no word smithing, just give it straight down the line. The locals were very laid back, honest and welcoming.
It was also interesting to meet all 20 staff in our Darwin office coming from the Melbourne office of over 1,200 in one building it was very different! The fresh cheap seafood is also something to sample. The meals are very big and very tasty I not sure how the locals keep the weight off. My mum ended up joining me for a few days at the end of the trip. Anyway it was a great experience and one of the very rare times when a work trip got me effectively a free holiday. I‘ll one day try to get back and visit the National Parks.