When we scour the globe looking for a once in a lifetime experience, we often look for a new culture or unusual tradition, believing it will teach us not only a new skill, a life lesson, but also teach us about ourselves.
But we’ve found somewhere different to even that. A setting that teaches us more than any culture could. Into the Australian Outback we ventured, where raw, untamed bush offers the most important life lessons there is: How to live in tune with nature and in harmony with our surroundings.
There are no convenience stores here, at least not for a few hundred miles, so the outback entreats you to seek and find your own nourishment. And while the outback may appear bare, if you know what to look for, there is food every way you turn. Known colloquially as “Bush Tucker”, the outback’s fruits are like a list of Willy Wonka’s ingredients: Muntries, Quandong, Finger Lime and Pepperberry are just a few of the never tasted before (or heard of) fruit that hang from the trees. There is big game to hunt for too, with Water Buffalo, Scrub Bulls and Wild Boar all native to the outback.
For food, learn how to make a “Bush Oven”, a traditional subway oven that has been used for hundreds of years. It is the method that provided food for miners during the gold rush, and for centuries before that, Aborigines have used this method to cook their delicious dishes. By burying hot coals in the ground, seasoning your catch with the ground spices and fruit you’ve found too, and wrapping it in paperbark – a type of myrtle found throughout the outback, you are tapping into an ancient tradition and living in tune with the nature that surrounds you. The food cooks slowly to produce a meal with such rich flavors, it makes you wonder why we cook any other way.
Sleeping under the stars here is a magical experience; hundreds of miles from the nearest electric light, and so with none of the light pollution that obscures the view every-where else in the world, it is a constellation like you’ve never seen. The lesson is easy to learn when gazing upwards, how the Aborigine tribes that live here have produced such beautiful art, have lived in such harmony with nature, and who truly understand what’s important for life in the outback. It’s a lesson that will stay with you as long as there are stars in the sky.