Why do you choose to travel? Is it the new and different flavours the world offers?
The rich history tied into amazing art works?
People watching and cultural exchange?
For me, those things are great, but nothing compares to finding a species I have never seen before, affectionately known as "a lifer".
Last week I visited Japan.
In a welcome break from Australia's attempt at winter, I flew over the equator and back-flipped into the beginning of summer.
That's always a good start to a holiday.
For an amphibian lover though, June in Japan means more than summer.
It means salamanders.
Salamanders are a group of amphibians, closely related to frogs.
They share a love of moist environments and distinct characteristics like a three chambered heart, soft eggs, and tadpoles.
There are over 500 species in the world.
Although Australia has only a single introduced species called the smooth newt living in Victoria, most people have seen salamanders in Australia.
Not in nature but in aquaria. Pet stores often stock axolotls (confusingly known as Mexican walking fish).
They are interesting because unlike most salamanders that metamorphose into a terrestrial adult form with lungs, adult axolotls retain larval characteristics like gills.
Sadly, these interesting creatures are now critically endangered in their native Mexican home.
To see salamanders in Japan, I had to move away from the delicious madness of Tokyo and venture south to the Kumano Kodo.
Some 30 kilometres into the ancient pilgrimage trail, I sat down next to a small river to eat our sushi. In a pool next to me, Japanese fire-bellied newts were swimming.
Much like frogs, these salamanders have a mix of bad tasting peptides to protect their soft skin from predation.
Japanese fire-bellied newts are so poisonous that they kill anyone who consumes them in six hours.
There is no known antidote to the poison.
Unfortunately, deadly skin cannot protect newts against all the threats they face.
On my last night hiking, I found a mostly squashed newt that had been run over on the road.
Roadkill is a huge problem in Australia too.
If you do hit something, it is important to move it off the road.
Predators like birds-of-prey, will also get hit while trying to dislodge their dinner from roads.
Many animals like frogs, geckos and small mammals will move around in wet weather, so keep your eyes peeled for critters on wet nights and slow down.