A few months back, Lisa described a few of her visits to capital cities across Australia. This was interrupted by Profapalooza – Hurricane Edition, when she was caught spending time with Sandy in Baltimore. Since then, Lisa has continued her world tour, including stops across Australia and North America. Here, we present a few details on some of her recent travels.
Stop 4 in Australia was Adelaide, a number of months back, for a conference of researchers and practitioners in the information studies discipline. This visit was all work, so there is no photographic evidence that Lisa was actually there. Sadly, she saw the inside of a conference venue for the few days she was there… or so she says. She may have just gone to the spa.
Stops 5 & 6 were Brisbane – or Brisvegas, as our friends in Wagga call it. Now, as someone who’s been to Vegas (yes, right – for work, of course! Lisa traveled there with 9 other profs/deans of Canadian schools a few years ago. It was a very important bit of ethnographic research in fact… especially the trip to Chippendales. Good thing we weren’t blogging back then).
These trips were related to Lisa’s research, as she has made some connections at Queensland University of Technology and is now working on a project there. Brisbane is a really interesting city and – for stop 6 – Dan was able to come along, too (as a roadie – so carrying luggage and serving as a bodyguard). The climate is very different from Wagga; Brissy is in the tropical zone, so very humid and very lush. There area many birds… and, they have koalas!
Yes, on our most recent visit to Brissy we went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. We weren’t sure about this visit… it was an ethical dilemma for us both, since we really love seeing animals in the wild, but we have some reservations about zoos – particularly those that allow “hands-on” activities with the wildlife (there are koalas in three Australian states: while Queensland still allows commercial cuddling, NSW and Victoria have banned it, so even though Lone Pine keeps the cuddles short, it still can’t be good for them). Seeing Koalas in this environment isn’t the same as seeing Koalas in the wild (still on our wish list), but you can get very close to dozens of sleepy koalas at Lone Pine. Very close! In fact, you can (pay to) hold one if you want. This is what all the big rock stars do, you know?
Celebrities like Wayne Brady, Taylor Swift, Jackie Chan, Nine Inch Nails, Pope John Paul, and others have been photographed holding Koalas. But, not our resident Prof Star… she declined, since the koalas were clearly overwhelmed with the various tattoos on offer during our visit. You see, our visit was timed perfectly with SoundWave, where all band members get free admission to the park and free hugs with a koala. We quickly realized that Dan’s Inukshuk tattoo was not sufficient evidence of band membership… so we decided to just watch from the sidelines.
We also had the opportunity to eat at some amazing restaurants during this visit, including Ortiga, Urbane and 1889 Enoteca.
Of course, you shouldn’t think that the Profapalooza tour is all about watching the wildlife, shopping and spa visits. That’s really just reserved for the roadies (Dan) that accompany the main attraction (Lisa). These tours are all about working hard during long days, living out of suitcases, sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings (been in my own bed 8 nights in the past 5 weeks!), and missing the three fur babies (Ellie, Malachi and Lester) that normally share the bed. It’s great to be able to see the countryside together, but that’s not always possible.
Although it’s great for Lisa to have the opportunity to visit so many great cities and work with great people, it’s really wonderful when we can share these experiences together – and find the time for some RnR around the edges of a busy schedule. Such is the life of a rock star; it may be filled with tour buses, greasy food and cities that all start to look the same after awhile… but it’s a life we love, especially when there are Koalas involved.
So, where will the 2013 tour take her (us)? Well, Lisa has already been doing some touring across North America in the early part of the year, including Seattle Washington, Tuscaloosa Alabama and Toronto Ontario. During these visits we determined that Lisa has a(nother) super power – Weather Girl! We mentioned earlier that she was “caught” in Hurricane Sandy, but little did we know that Lisa may have caused this event.
During her most recent trip to the US, she was caught in a Tornado Watch in Alabama and a blizzard in the US/Canada… all of which came on the heels of a Cyclone that hit Australia just before she left the country. Hmm… as one colleague in Toronto noted, if you don’t want to attend a meeting, best to invite Lisa – it’s sure to be cancelled due to horrible weather! There will be other trips this year, certainly… so watch this space (or your local weather forecast) to see where Lisa will land. We’ll keep you informed of her (and Dan’s) travels… if only to ensure that you can be in another location, so that you don’t get trapped by Mother Nature.