First appeared as “Reef Encounters” in the December 2017 issue of Air Canada enRoute.
“How did you end up here?” I ask Tiffany, between overambitious forkfuls of king prawn salad. We’re in the main lodge of Western Australia’s Sal Salis safari camp, where the 24–year–old Hamiltonian is working her first season. Her skin is more sun–kissed than any Canadian’s should rightfully be at this time of year. “I Googled ‘remote,’” she says. “I found this place.”
Yep, that’d do it. Perth, as most Perthlings will be quick to tell you, is the world’s most remote city. (And by some measures, that’s true.) Well, Tiffany and I are 1,200 kilometres north of Perth, and over 17,000 kilometres from our hometowns in Eastern Canada. Remote doesn’t come easy – but then that’s kind of the point. And while there’s no shortage of remote back home, a travel itinerary that involves five connecting flights, 40 hours of transit and an arrival under a totally different sky has a way of turbocharging your disconnect. I see three wallaroos my first day, and hear far too much casual conversation about snakes. Tiffany, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Canada anymore.