I'm not going to lie. One of the things I was most looking forward to when coming to Australia was going on a train from Western Australia across the Outback to arrive in civilization on the other side of the continent. Foreigners didn't understand me. Australians thought I was crazy. The miners laughed at my desire to see vast amounts of red dirt when that's all they saw for four weeks at their work sites. I didn't ask for anything else for my birthday or Christmas when asked what I wanted or needed in preparation for my departure to Australia (ok, I did want a donation to the Rod Stewart concert....but that's it!) I had seen Darjeeling Express multiple times **love love** I had read Bill Bryson's Sunburned Country before I left. It was what I wanted to do. It seemed to me that even though it is technically empty, that part of the country constitutes so much of what it is. Everyone just flies over it and misses it, but I wanted to experience it, witness it, and see how clear the stars would be with no artificial distractions within hundreds of miles. Eventually, as I planned my departure from Western Australia and organized a trip with mum, the idea lost its fruition and the thought of seeing flat red dirt for 3 days at such an expensive cost did seem a bit daunting. So, even though I slept for most of the trip from Perth to Alice Springs, I did get a glimpse of what the rest of the continent/country is like. And, I think I got my fair share of red dirt :)
I don't regret any of the travel plans made or missed, but the train ride has't been ruled out of my future completely. Maybe it will be across China or Russia instead.