Following the Sun
This year we will not live through a winter. No where. Yep that’s right we have chosen to follow the sun all year round. So that means we will be moving lots to capture the best seasons in the countries we visit and stay in.
So far we’ve been to:
Langkawi Island: December – warm
India: December, January, February, March, April – warm to bloody hot!
Spain: April, May – warm.
Portugal: May, June – warm
Morocco (not confirmed yet): July, August – warm
Cyprus (not confirmed yet): August, September – warm.
We have been living in the northern hemisphere for the majority of our time away since leaving our southern hemisphere home country of Australia last December and we’ve had to get used to a few changes in the seasons, pollution and the number of people living in this part of the world.
Interestingly the word ‘hemisphere’ belongs to the ancient Greek word and means half a sphere. This means seasons are opposite to what we are used to in Australia. It’s getting weird knowing that the summer season is just around the corner here while we’re in the month of May especially when chatting with our friends living in Brighton, England plus their school year is about to finish while family and friends back home in Melbourne, Australia are preparing for the winter months and shorter days and they’re only half way through the school year.
Another interesting fact is that 90% of the human population live in the northern hemisphere. Wow! That’s due to the vast majority of Earth’s landmass being located there. This also means that the majority of the pollution and industrialisation occurs north of the equator. I hope my kids read this!
Additionally, the northern hemisphere’s surface is 60.7% water and contains 67.3% of Earth’s land compared with 80.9% water in the case of the southern hemisphere and 32.7% of land.
Storms also operate differently in the two spheres: storms rotate in a clockwise direction in the southern hemisphere whereas anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere. I think it’s the same with the way water in a toilet moves in a flushing toilet (I’ll do the experiment and get back to you).
There is also an eastern and a western hemisphere. The eastern hemisphere contains the majority of land mass and includes all of Asia, Australia, half of Antarctica, and most of Africa and Europe whereas the western hemisphere contains half of Antarctica and all of north and south America. Interesting as I don’t actually recall learning anything about that in geography classes as a kid.
So as we go about living our lives in southern Spain the sun will rise at 7.24am and set at 9.06pm. At 2.15pm the sun is at its highest point so no wonder I’m having trouble locating where my compass directions are at that time of day! The length of a day is 13 hours, 42 minutes and 23 seconds, and tomorrow it will be 2 minutes longer than it was today. Malaga city, where we have been living for six weeks, receives almost 3,000 hours of sunshine a year which equates to about 300 days every year with sunny weather. Got to love that! During winter there will be 4 hours and 3 minutes less sun. But that’s not going to concern us this year.
In many of our city exploits I’ve noticed that the moon is out during the day in Malaga. That’s because the moon here rises at 12.04pm – yes 12 in the afternoon and sets at 1.36am.
We are very aware of the difference in the number of people who we are now living amongst compared to Australia. The streets are narrow, high density housing and apartments are common. Funnily, we can feel the change in space available to us in these countries. The combination of a large land mass plus small population gives Australia and its citizens plenty of personal space.
Of course everyone knows India is the second most populous country in the entire world but what about a comparison in land mass?
Australia’s population is just under 23 million compared with:
India’s population hovering just under 1.3 billion. As a ratio that’s 1:565! Crazy to imagine I know.
Plus, to add to the distortion, Australia is three times larger in land area than India.
Spain’s population is just under 48 million. As a ratio that’s only 1:2.
But Australia is 15 times larger in land area than Spain.
I find all these morsels of information fascinating to know while we’re actually on the backpacker’s journey and travelling to different countries and living in different parts of the world. We are able to garner a greater understanding and appreciation of the amazing differences and similarities of our world.
The world that we have the privilege to inhabit is an amazing one. Full of beauty, magic and wonder.
I like being human.