“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life. I know that we shall meet problems along the way, but I’d far rather see for myself what’s going on in the world outside, than rely on newspapers, television, politicians and religious leaders to tell me what I should be thinking. I had to let it happen, I had to change. Couldn’t stay all my life down at heel looking out of the window, staying out of the sun. So I chose freedom, running around, trying everything new. Not all those who wander are lost.”
Alright so let me set up the context of these writings. Last time I wrote I mentioned I was about to leave Bondi for a two month trip through New Zealand and the Australian East Coast. Well there we go, today is day 49 to be precise, and after having properly rocked New Zealand and a good part of the East Coast, we’re now at Gayndah, Queensland. The trip is not over yet, even if I must confess that I do tend to avoid as much as possible to mention that in two weeks only my Aussie year is over.
The reason why we’re here now is because two Swedes who I use to live with back in Bondi have in the meantime moved up here, doing some farm work. And since it was kind of on our way, we basically just did a small detour to see them again, “you always meet twice in life” huh?
These two guys live in a very old and typical Victorian house that I just baptised ‘The house of rising sun’. See photo on top.
Basically they are 8 backpackers plus a dog sharing that house, all working at some fields nearby the village, picking mandarins. Interesting fact: it turned out that Gayndah is the oldest town in Queensland..! Some history for once in Australia, finally!! In fact, if those guys wouldn’t live here, we would never have stopped here, Gayndah, just another bunch of old houses in the middle of nowhere, 1.000 inhabitants & roughly 700 backpackers, 1 convenience store, 1 fuel station eventually and no Internet. The nearest supermarket is 140 kilometres out of town and a snake is on average 3,5 meters in the vicinity. Welcome in the deep & wild Australia bitches!!
They all sleep on the floor in that house, or eventually on a mattress that they had to buy for the luckiest of them. Makes it cosy, somehow.
For the record, at the moment the toilet is clogged, so you basically have to drive “in town” to use some public toilets in case of need… Back to the roots!! Might be a reason why it feels like the time has stopped down here.
To get back to the story, the thing is I had to face a dilemma all along this incredible trip; starting to write as we were traveling and being able to put the exact wording on the right emotions and at the right moment,
Or keep on traveling, living this experience on the road at full speed, never stopping one second, and then take time to write about it once it would be over.
As you can read, I’m actually once again not following any of those two paths…
I first thought I would write at the end of the trip, but as time went by, things have changed and I feel like I gotta start writing now, fearing to forget those exact feelings and not being able to offer ‘the right version’ of my trip in case I’d start writing once back home. One of the major things that also kept me from writing so far is my laptop, once again, that is not really helping; my battery is completely dead. Basically means that I cannot use my laptop if I don’t have access to a socket. Being constantly on the road, I guess you can imagine how limited my occasions to write have been since I left Bondi.
From time to time we’re actually staying at some backpackers from where I could eventually write from, but then again, second dilemma: spending the few hours I have to feed my writings or spend those hours making new encounters, surfing, or just simply live the trip itself.
Believe me it’s not an easy thing to pick between writing often or fully enjoy the trip that is the actual essence of my writings.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
As you can see, I’ve chosen to leave my laptop aside for the most of the trip, allowing me to fully live that experience and having no regrets later on.
What I do is I take notes on my phone, constantly, of every thought I have along the way. This is the reason why most of what you’re gonna read in the following chapters might be a bit confusing with the tenses, juggling between past and present.
The one thing I’ve noticed after all that time spent traveling is that the moment I’m the most productive is when I’m driving… You know that feeling, when you have the wheel between your hands you always feel so indestructible somehow, that supreme feeling of freedom, being footloose & unstoppable. I find it so inspiring. Same thing as train rides, damn, who the hell has never found himself in the deepest and most intense reflexions ever whilst being surrounded by anonymous strangers in a wagon, watching the landscape scrolling through the window?? No matter if the journey is taking you to some new place you don’t know yet or if it is actually nothing but a banal ride you’re doing on a daily basis, it’s all about the feeling it gives you.
Well, it’s not really safe to take notes as I drive, I know, but I still do it anyways, too afraid to forget the words that my brain has chosen to describe what I’m going through on this or that one moment in particular.
It’s a sort of “now or never”, just the way I’ve generally been running my life for a while now. I’ve never been one of those who can really wait for something when one knows one could have it now if insisting, no matter what it involves. Life is short, and I sometimes feel like I shorten mine by living that intensely. No time for regrets when time itself is the enemy.
“I had to let it happen, I had to change. I know that we shall meet problems along the way, but I’d far rather see for myself what’s going on in the world outside, than rely on newspapers, television, politicians and religious leaders to tell me what I should be thinking. So I chose freedom, running around, trying everything new.
Not all those who wander are lost.”