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have just returned from a thoroughly exhausting but very worthwhile weekend in canberra at the travellers’ tales conference. the conference was very interesting and gave me lots to think about. i haven’t quite processed everything yet…and i did a lot of drawings in the margins of my notebook while listening…so i thought i’d just put down some notes i wrote until i can get my head together enough to write about what came out of the conference for me (these aren’t direct quotes, more paraphrases of the speakers).


identities in travel are mobile; you can don new masks, invent personas and histories. travel is a way of becoming a stranger.

the overseas australian identity is forged in contact and collision with others.

ros pesman

travel writers never go the same way twice – there’s always a different route that might be more interesting.

tony wheeler

doodling, as an artist or writer, is important…you can glimpse moments of spontaneous enchantment and come to places without knowing how you got there.

the remembered life is under pressure from the unremembered.

alan gould

in any true journey one must be lost at least some of the time.

kim mahood

you must listen over time to get beyond surface stories.

kitchens are places where epics are hinted at.

every story is composed of degrees of silence and moments of revelation.

arnold zable

historians may embroider, but may not invent.

brij lal

nostalgia is the ache to be making the journey home.

peter steele