1000 photos of Australia.

I would like to use your frequent-flier miles to fund a trip to Australia.

I would like to travel for 4 weeks, through Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne on the East coast of Australia. The majority of time I would spend wandering the cities and countryside, looking for a good story, exploring Australian culture from a Californian's point of view.

Additionally, I would make "1000 pictures of Australia" my chief goal. I would organize them roughly in 10 categories: People, City Life, Flora, Fauna, Industry, Sport, Leisure, Architecture, ďOnly in AustraliaĒ, and Art. Some categories would be more exciting than others, and the quest to "fill out" a difficult category with 100 decent photos would keep me moving into new, interesting territory & hopefully keep the story fresh. For example, I have experience getting photos of random people, but ďSportĒ could demand days and days of planning. I enjoy covering regular old life, as well as the bizarre and random.

I'm an experienced web-log traveler, so I can promise you a fun, polished travelogue and photos.

In 1999 I brought a laptop and digital camera to Europe, backpacking across 15 countries in 3 months. That journal can be found online at www.cockeyed.com/europe/start.html. It features such adventures as:

I updated the site approximately once every 3 days with new text and photos.

In 2000 I visited Costa Rica for a week, although I didn't update the website while abroad. That is where I had my first passport stolen, earning my wings as a world traveler, and learning that when you keep a journal online, your biggest problems can turn into your best stories.

In November of 2001, newly unemployed, I visited Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey for 40 days, and once again updated a web-log of my travels. You can see that here: www.cockeyed.com/bulgaria/guidecontents.html. I posted many more photos, and a large amount of text on that adventure, including:

In Australia, there wouldn't be a language barrier, so I would be better prepared to carry out any silly pranks or adventures I dreamed up while down-under. I guess that is the shortcoming of this proposal: I donít know exactly what Iíll find in Australia. To read about pranks Iíve tried in the US, see http://www.cockeyed.com/pranks/prank.html Iím fascinated with the prices of gasoline, the lottery, cigarettes and liquor. I hear cigarettes are up to US$7 a pack there, so Iím interested to find out if that is actually having an effect on the number of cigarettes that are sold. Iím interested to witness how gun culture manifests itself in another gun-tolerant country. Iím interested in how a country reacts and recovers in the years following the Olympic games. I want to see triple-trailer trucks, and report on how mobile phone coverage is achieved in another giant country. Iím fascinated with inner-city transport, such as light rail and subway systems. Do any exist in Australia & do they use the honor system or token-turnstiles?

I imagine Australia to be a lot like the USA, a huge country with vast natural resources. They are even more removed from their neighbor states than we are, so it will be interesting to see how other cultures influence them and compare that to how their Asian neighbors influence them. What does the population of their cities look like? What is second most-common language spoken there?

I want to see how patriotic they are, and how it manifests itself. I visited Gallipoli in Turkey, which has become an extra-national outpost of Australian Nationalism. Is Gallipoli an isolated instance, or an accurate representation of their tremendous national pride? Are they religious?

Iíve got a great camera & a battered laptop, and the desire to share my adventure. I love to take photos and write about my activities, and I am certain that I would make the most of this opportunity, if you choose to award it to me.

Thank you,
Rob Cockerham