Iowa girl on clipper adventure sail
NAME: COURTNEY MCDERMOTT
HOME: IOWA, UNITED STATES AFTER a hectic session onboard the party boat, Atlantic Clipper, the Whitsunday Times caught up with 27-year-old Courtney McDermott from Iowa while in recovery mode at the lagoon.
Having met a guy in Mexico on a previous trip, Courtney made plans for whirlwind three-week Australian visit where she would take in the sights of Sydney, the Whitsundays and then return to the US.
Also a “last chance tourist” to the Great Barrier Reef, the emergency room pharmacist wants to get out and see the “things that are disappearing”.
On returning to Sydney, Courtney will catch up with a couple she met in Ireland, a girl she was introduced to in Hawaii and the guy from Mexico for a final get together before heading back to her home town of Teedsgrove.
■ Where is your favourite place to hang out in the Whitsundays?
We had an after party at the Boaties and the food was good and the staff was very understanding of our rowdiness.
■ What is the weirdest thing about Australian culture?
People are a lot more blunt here and guys are not afraid to put themselves out there when they are dancing and singing. And it seems weird but they are more respectful. I haven’t been cat called or what I felt like was inappropriately come on to.
■ What is your best Australian travel tip?
Preparation is great but don’t get too stuck in your plans. The ability to be flexible and to change your plans when you need to or want to is important.
People sometimes, especially girls from the US I have noticed, literally have a spread sheet so then, when something happens and their plans deviate, it ruins their whole trip.
■ How has your Australian experience changed you?
On my first trip away I was in Spain for two months and I was deeply homesick because I was very isolated at first. But once I forced myself out here, made connections with people and learnt to speak the language it became easier to make connections with people.
LAGOON LOUNGING: Courtney McDermott, 27, kicks back at the lagoon after a Whitsunday sailing adventure.