THE LONELY ROAD
Indonesia and all its magic already felt like a simple daydream when I landed in Australia. I was on my way to meet a friend in Byron Bay and I had planed to stay there for a month. It was my second time on the East Coast of Oz, so I didn’t feel the urge to travel around. I only had Byron in my mind.
However, after a little over 2 weeks, I came to realize that I wasn’t at the right place at the right time…
I don’t know, something felt off balance.
The light that normally shines and guides me during my travels was fading.
…I needed to get on the move again. That meant deviating from my original plan. Getting out, again, of that little comfort zone bubble I had just managed to create in Byron.
But looking at it with an open-mind, from that moment on, I could see that my possibilities were still endless. Australia being such a vast country, there was still so much to see and do. I just need to set my sails.
So I decided to rent a little camping car and hit the road heading down the coast.
8 days with me, myself and I.
I had no plans; I was just chasing the wind.
You know, in cases of doubt, just go on a road trip.
Day 4: this is when the ideas started to finally flow freely again.
Tonight, I arrived in Crescent Head in stormy weather. Damn it, that sucks when you are camping right? No. Not at all ! All I could think of was going for a run along the beach under the rain.
It was so, but so beautiful, refreshing and mind-spacing. I didn’t want to stop, and really, I was thinking, what is going to stopme? If I want, I could walk on this beach until I get so thirsty that I’ll have to drink the rain. Who cares?
Nobody even knows that I’m here right now….Nobody, seriously !
In fact, if there’s one thing that I’ve noticed about the coast here, it’s that it is truly uncrowded. Almost every time, I find myself alone on its beaches and cliffs.
Talking about being alone. I realized that it’s the first time in my life that I’m experiencing such a lonely adventure.
I’ve been travelling by myself for the past 3 months, but this is something else… I sleep alone, I eat my 3 meals alone (haven’t entered a single restaurant so far), I do my walks, I swim and I adventure on my own and, of course, I move from point A to B alone in my vessel.
When we think about it, it is truly something we don’t get to do very often in a lifetime… We are constantly surrounded by people; friends, fellow travelers, relatives, strangers sitting next to us in public spaces or transports.
But these past few days I literally only had to pronounce words out loud about 3 times. In two of those situations, people basically started talking to me because my rental car said, “I don’t know the question, but the answer is definitely sex”. Wicked Camperscars, for those who know 😛 !
So all this time alone left me with a shitload of time to reflect… and I also found myself, very often, thinking about sweet fuck all. Pardon my harsh language.
But I can’t help noticing that it is only when it is silent around you, that you truly start listening to your inner self…because that’s all there is left to hear really!
And, don’t get me wrong, this is not necessarily melodic at all times, but it somehow sounds more crisp and clear.
I find this lonely road trip is challenging at times. I doubt I would recommend this type of adventure to a first time traveller.
I’ve been scared! … but only since my encounter with a fisherman in Nambucca who looked at me with gigantic surprised eyes when I told him I was travelling alone.
I think my biggest worry/fear I’ve been that someone will come knock on my camper’s window at night; either to tell me it’s illegal to sleep in my chosen spot or to try to creep inside. – I’m actually terrible at being illegal, the simple idea of making a silly fake phone call makes me shit my pants lol.
But tonight it is pouring rain and I’ve surprisingly never felt so safe. I’m thinking that nobody will bother get his ass wet to move an innocent parked car.
In fact, it is quite funny how it feels like everybody is looking our way at times we know we’re acting not so legal, when truly nobody gives a shit about you!
I’ve also been scared of getting lost or dying in my sleep, so far from home that my parents wouldn’t know for months…
Believe it or not, I’ve scared the hell out of myself by picturing crazy accidents involving kangaroos. Also, I was walking along a trail right between a cliff and a golf course and I caught myself imagining receiving a ball to my head and falling unconscious into the ocean… So I literally started power walking!
Call me crazy. Though, I’d rather say I have a fertile imagination. Ha! Ha!
So, yes, when I’m not driving I’m basically just playing outside. Every beach is my playground and the whole freakin’ country is my backyard, isn’t that great?! Everyday, I explore a new piece of land, I reach the seaside, I park my house just about anywhere and start walking or swimming in whatever direction my heart takes me, until I am too tired or hungry. That’s what I consider a very luxurious life since peaceful & worry-less time is becoming a rare commodity…
But seriously, I don’t know much about where I want to settle down or what I’ll devote my time to these next few years, but I definelty do know is that being able to spend most of my time outside is a true priority.
Day 8: I’ve now reached my last destination – Bondi Beach – and I’m pretty damn sick of living in my car. All I want is to have a real roof over my head!
The part you’ll never get to see in the video, is that I’m parked for the night in a rich district of Bondi – well it’s pretty rich everywhere around here – because basically there is only one street in the damn town that doesn’t require a parking sticker. Therefore, I’m basically parked in upper Westmount as a Montreal reference, and let’s just say my pipi room options are quite limited. Everybody is walking by my “house” all dressed up fancy for their Saturday night balcony party, ready to get all funny and social, while I’m just there by myself, looking like a hobo, waiting for the night to fall so I can have some “privacy”…
At times, when travelling, I strongly believe the line between loving and hating the road can become really thin… And so it goes for feeling highly inspired or totally useless.
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its inside comes out, and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” – Cynthia Occelli
Still after all these refreshing days, – including the moments of insecurity – I think this road trip allowed me to experience ultimate freedom.
Carrying my life packed in my spaceship was all I had to do, NEVER having to neither depend or think about another human being.
No waiting on transport or people;
No check-in / checkout time;
No comprises; and,
No one to point me in a specific direction.
EVERY SINGLE MINUTE I’ve been free. Free to stop here and there, free to open the door and start running, free to stop running when I feel I’ve had enough.
(Yes, I admit Forest Gump has been on my mind.)
I’ve seen the most impressive strikes of lightning from the comfort of my bed. I almost killed parrots with my windshield. I drove pass a dead kangaroo. I saw dolphins dancing. I visited a koalas’ hospital. I sang so loud in my car that the windows almost cracked. I had some of the craziest dreams of my life from constantly being a little scared. I’ve travelled time by revisiting the most epic moments of these first four months of my trip. I’ve reached the highest point of every city I entered. I discovered that Target stores and the Commonwealth Bank offer really good free Wi-Fi. I thanked the sky for decent public showers. I took a wee on some rich people propriety – sorry, but not so sorry. I’ve looked like a lost tourist a few times. I’ve try to wash my dishes in the ocean. And I’ve sat just about anywhere, stared up high, simply to feel the world spinning.
At the end of it all, I’m ready to find some comfort. I’m looking forward to living in a familiar home, showering in a private bathroom and not even having to consider feeling safe. The idea of having friends around already fills my heart with joy.
During a long trip abroad, it is with a heavy heart that we think of all these little things that we generally take for granted…
Oh! Before I forget, do you want to know the funniest thing about this road trip?! I got my driver’s license stolen a very long while ago, back in Indo. Ah sorry Oz, I’ve lied to your authorities ! After all, a LITTLE illegality as never killed anyone, right? 😉