Last week while doing my tour guide duties, I met Bill at the International Airport. While he was due to depart on his cruise that afternoon and had no intention of doing much at all until boarding time, he had arrived on an early flight and would have at least 6 hours to fill in. When he finished the cruise, he would have 10 days. Where are you staying when you come back I asked. I'll find something he said and off he went to a tourist stand, collecting a handful of brochures offering not the best places to stay at. I had work to do, meeting other passengers, but Bill would come and ask me questions about Sydney. I really wasn't able to give him much of my time because I was too busy.
I then met John and Dianne off a flight from Dallas. They said a man infront of them had held up the queue because he had put no fixed address down for where he intended to stay while in Sydney. Upon further questioning, he said the Hyatt, but the Hyatt has been closed for some time undergoing a major refit. That's him they said, pointing to Bill. As we walked towards the waiting coach, Bill continued to quiz me about Sydney. Where do you start when someone hasn't done any preparation, doesn't know what is on offer that might appeal to them and wants to explore some of Australia during that time. Where do you start? As I said my goodbyes, Bill yelled out, where do I get that rental car from again? But the coach was on its way.
Whether Bill ever went on the Sydney Bridge Climb, visited the Sydney Opera House to experience a concert there, visited world class restaurants, went on a harbour cruise, visited Bondi Beach, Paddington and Woollahra for the beach, boutiques and cafes, who can say. And that's just Sydney. Of all the passengers I meet, only a handful have read a guidebook, have a map, or know how to fill in the time before boarding. It is a wasted opportunity to explore and enjoy. And please, I'd love for you to share your thoughts.