I have now returned to Cairns, the largest city within the path of totality for the November 14 total eclipse. I like learning a little about the local culture when I travel to see an eclipse. I am a North Queenslander myself, so there is a lot that I already am aware of. However, living away for more than 20 years has given me a unique opportunity to reconnect with an outsider’s perspective.
Firstly, the people of NQ are really friendly. You are greeted like a long-lost friend, and you can’t help but respond in the same way. North Queenslanders are also extremely helpful, and nothing seems too much bother.
Then there is the more laid-back mindset—you feel like you are going at warp speed compared to locals, and so it forces you to slow down and take things at a slower pace. Even the pace of speech is slower which allows you to slow down.
And generally, people here are more connected with nature. They have experienced directly and repeatedly the power of nature, and they seem to have tolerance and acceptance for what happens. (I wonder whether this is why they are a little bemused at all the fuss about the eclipse).
I feel really proud to be a North Queenslander. I am glad I have this opportunity to reconnect with the local way of life in the region that is my home.