Category Archives: Musings

Re-adjusting

It’s an odd feeling looking back on a sixteen-month trip and trying to remember the places and experiences. Of course the further back I go the blurrier it tends to be, but there are still very clear and strong memories right from the beginning. I also have the benefit of a chronicle to refer to, which I am now in the process of doing. With roughly 200 entries to read through that’s likely to take me a while, and so I’m going to ask you to be patient as I’m also trying to organise my life and try and find sources of income.

Petaluma Riesling 1998

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Return to Oz

A few days ago I stepped onto Australian soil for the first time in 500 days. It is a pretty surreal experience returning home after having been on the move for so long, and seeing so many amazing and different countries. Firstly there is the fact that I have returned from sub-zero and icy temperatures in South Korea to warm and dry 30+ temperatures in Melbourne, and I can actually walk around in shorts and T-shirts like a proper Australian. I am also experiencing a kind of reverse culture-shock, as I had got so used to being in foreign and fascinating cultures and being somewhat out of my element. It probably doesn’t make sense to feel so out of place in my own home town.

I stopped in Seoul on the way home to visit a friend

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The next phase

Almost a year has passed since I departed Australia for my huge journey discovering the world of wine, and I have been fortunate enough to experience a great many things. Apart from learning about some of the world’s greatest wine regions and the many wines and winemakers, I have also had the chance to visit some amazing cities and areas across three continents. The past seven weeks I have taken a break from the wine related travel and enjoyed being a fairly typical Australian backpacker. I spent about five weeks in the United Kingdom and Ireland; visiting breweries, historic cities, bars, lochs, distilleries, cliffs and of course, more bars. It was pretty tough work, don’t get me wrong, but it was also a nice opportunity to meet more people and be a tourist.

The two towers

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One journey ends, another begins…

Well, after three-and-a-half years of (mostly) hard slog, I have officially completed my Masters of Wine Business. I can’t say it hasn’t been a challenge undertaking this degree as an external student, even though it was by coursework. It took me back to when I was in Japan as an exchange student (way back in 1999) and I was taking Year 11 subjects by distance education. It was hard to get feedback or bounce ideas off other students, and naturally there was an element of parochialism as I was expected to ignore any wine, winery or region that wasn’t South Australian. Writing a five-year comprehensive business plan for a Barossa Valley winery was both eye-opening and difficult.

Me and my Masters

Me and my Masters

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