Preparing for the Overland Track

Before coming to Australia, I had lived for five months in Beijing, China. After having spent so much time in one of the biggest cities on the planet, I just wanted to get as far from people as possible. Tasmania was a good choice. The entire island only had 513,000 people, and nearly half of them lived in Hobart. “Tassie” had plenty rugged wilderness to explore. Where, exactly, would I go?

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Shipping to Tasmania

It was time for a change of pace. I had finished the Great Ocean Walk, then spent two days sea kayaking and relaxing on Torquay's beaches with Craig and some other friends. So far on my Australia trip, I had only seen Victoria, the southernmost state on the main continent. But Australia had a large chunk of land further south, a land so forgotten, it was often omitted from maps of the country. Even its name sounded exotic. Tasmania.

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GMIC Beijing, 2015

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. The GMIC is one of the world's largest mobile technology conferences, with over 400 speakers and 30,000 people in attendance. The conference was held in the China National Convention Center (CNCC), next to the “Bird's Nest” stadium that was made famous during the 2008 Olympics. Here are some of the highlights...

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The Smartest Air Filter In China

I've been living in Beijing, China since last August. Whenever I talk to friends in other countries, the subject of air pollution comes up. Is it really as bad as the international media makes it out to be?

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Back to Civilization?

Eventually I reached the Gibson Steps, just a few minutes from the end of the 100 KM hike. Hundreds of tourists were slowly making their way to the beach for a good view of the Twelve Apostles. I also walked down the steps, though with a different motive. I wanted to hitch a ride back to Geelong (public transportation was hard to find in these parts), but I was filthy and smelly from five days' walking without a shower. I had to do something about my body odor before I would have a prayer of catching a ride. Absent a shower, I figured an ocean bath would be my next best bet...

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What a Difference a Day Makes

It was the easiest day on the trail. There were no monstrous hills, and no monotonous sections of beach. The temperature remained nice and cool. I spent almost the whole time in the forest, walking with the wallabies. My biggest mental challenge happened when I saw a sign for free beer and hot dogs, and it turned out to be nothing but a sick joke. I felt a bit hungry after that, but not for any of the carbohydrate-laden food I was carrying. I wouldn't be able to eat anything fatty for a few more days...

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The Map Is Not the Territory

I gulped my water and realized that I might need five or six liters to avoid another episode of severe dehydration. The Melbourne hikers caught up with me while I rested. They said “hi” and continued up the hill, on a mission. When they were out of my view, my mental challenge increased tenfold. As far as I knew, there were no other hikers on this section. If the heat knocked me out, it could be a day before anyone would find me. Given my limited supply of water, would I even last that long?

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AtW Podcast, Episode 3: Martin

Martin and I know each other through the Hoofer Outing and Mountaineering clubs in Madison, WI. After earning his masters degree in 2014, Martin took off on an adventure, traveling around the US, South Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia. Recently,we met up in Siem Reap, Cambodia to explore the famous Angkor Wat temple. It was a typical hot day, so we took some time off from our sightseeing to record this interview.

I hope Martin inspires you with his stories. Let me know what you think...

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The Hottest Day of the Year

Craig and I got up at dawn, aware that today was going to be a stinker (stinking hot). We headed down to the beach and walked along the sandy shore while the sun came up. The trail then took us inland, past the famous Cape Otway Lighthouse. We stopped at a nearby campground for breakfast. This was to be the last place we could stock up on water all day, so we guzzled as much as our stomachs could handle. I filled my three-liter Camelback and my one-liter Nalgene bottle, but I still was worried that I wouldn't have enough for the day. It was 9:00 a.m. and the temperature was already over 30 (86 Fahrenheit)....

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AtW Podcast, Episode 2: Chris Jackson

I met Chris Jackson on the Indian Pacific train, which runs across Australia, from Sydney to Perth. Chris was on his way home from a three-month motorcycle trip around the country. I stayed with his family in Perth for my last few days in Australia, and I was grateful for their hospitality. For this podcast, Chris and I discussed his trip in detail. He never ceased to impress me with his vast knowledge of the terrain in his native country.

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