I travelled an estimated total of over 34,156 kilometres (about 21,223 miles for you Americans), took a total of twelve air-planes, three buses, landed in ten cities, stayed in six different hotels, attended two puppet festivals, saw three famous puppet theatres, worked on one puppet film set, made hundreds of friends, slept only an average of three hours a night - all over a total of 29 days.... That makes me just tired just thinking about it! (I also spent several months planning and saving before hand, but let's not dwell on the boring stuff!)
|Photo by Mary Luckhurst: www.sealegs.carbonmade.com|
It fulfilled me in so many ways and not only just in making friends and learning the art of puppetry - but also, probably most valuable of all is now knowing that I'm not alone in my passion for puppetry and the more 'wacky' side of life - that there are others, just like me - living to fulfil a passion. I now know that there are hundreds, if not thousands of people just like me and some, perhaps even slightly more crazy, enthusiastic and passionate than I am!
Each person I met on my adventures embraced me as if I was long lost family and not only welcomed me into their puppet communities, theatres, homes and festivals - but they also welcomed me into their hearts.
Since I've created this blog and documented all my experiences - I have received nearly 800 views and counting. In addition, there have been hundreds of views of my youtube videos, my google 'adventure' map (http://tiny.cc/i24bg), my twitter account (https://twitter.com/mariannemettes), my picassa photos (http://picasaweb.google.com.au/mmettes) and facebook entries related to my trip - all together there may have well be several thousands of people who have experienced my journey with me (and still reading on with me now) through cyberspace.
Through statistics, interestingly I've found out that these views are nearly equally divided between the Australian audience and the American audience and has also even received many views from all over the rest of the world too.
Many people - especially within the puppeteer community - have written me and expressed their heart-felt thanks to me for having written and shared my experiences. What actually started out to be a mere diary of my adventures for myself, has suddenly turned into something rather large for the puppet community and also the general public. I think it's given the people all over the world insight to see that there are others out there who feel the same passion for puppetry, since it is a bit of an insular and sometimes forgotten art-form.
So here's my big thank you to everyone I've met and everyone who's helped me along the way - even if it was just to stop and say hello or told me your story - it's meant the world to me.
I can't wait to see ya'll next year (insert southern accent)!!!
But for now - here is my story in pictures: