Wineglass Bay, Tasmania.
I wanted to retrace my Tasmanian sojourn before I went overseas, yet again. I wanted to show everyone around the world how great that little island is, how if anyone hits the merry old land of Oz, we have more than just the east coast and the rock in the centre that everyone knows (Uluru). But life just got super hectic. Tasmania is a memory in the distance. But boy oh boy is it the prettiest place. Truth is. Its behind me. I don’t want to rehash every detail. Since I started the Tasmanian posts life has just got in the way of transcribing those details into blog form. So the following will be a summation of the last few months.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces, Ubud, Bali
I got back to the mainland at the start of July, to work a full week, only to pack the backpack again to journey to Bali. It was backpacking, fused with the wedding of my best friend ( see below), lugging my suit through the tropics, days lazing by a ritzy pool, hiring a scooter and riding through the craziest traffic imaginable ( virgin scooter ride btw, don’t tell Mum ).
After the celebrations I’d say fare thee well to my friends and hit the ferry to Java. There the magic of travelling re-emerged. I felt the gut churn at departing the solace of friends and the comfort of my own luxurious room to be crammed onto Balinese public transport, on my way to the most inhabited island in the Indonesian archipelago. I knew the Javanese were different as well. I’d become accustomed to the forever smiles of the Balinese. But now. I don’t know what to think. It didn’t help that I didn’t have a plan either. I knew there were… volcanoes to climb? Temples to visit? But the logistics were lost on me. Until the guardian angel that watches out for me threw Enid in my path. Here was a fellow “whitey”, on the half hour ferry across the water. Into darkness, wrote Joseph Conrad. Well at least I had company. Myself and the young German, Enid seemed to be in the same boat ( yes pun intended). However her German knack for logistics had me beat. She had accommodation and tours lined up. The things I wanted to do, she had a planned. It just took a smile and kind words and I had a new travelling partner. I was by myself for a mere couple of hours! Fast forward a few days and we’d shared an amazing time, helping each other up volcanoes, laughing and enlightening each other on our previous journeys. I’ll let the photos show do the talking.
“Acidic Kawa-Ijen Crater at sunrise”
“Climbing Mt. Bromo”
” Bromo Sunset”
Air Terjun Madakaripura Waterfall, with Enid
Reflecting on hiking volcanoes at midnight, sharing a kiss with an erupting volcano at sunrise ( I had to throw that in there), hurtling along an ashen, burnt landscape, reminiscent of Mordor in a cavalcade of Jeeps, observing simple mountain life and simple mountain people I can’t help but wonder if it was all a dream. But I know I have some pretty wicked evidence it wasn’t. I have the photos, and the new friends encountered to show others that YES I had done some amazing things. This enlivened me so much so that the hurt of saying farewell to yet another travel flame died down soon enough as Enid ventured West to Denpasar. You just got to keep on keeping on. The road was still to be travelled on.
So, alone again, I was to go West as I ventured to Jogyakarta. For here was the reason i came to Java. To climb the ancient steps of the Buddhist temple, Borobudur ( See Below). Jogya ( shortened name) is an amazing cultural city. Diverse, modern and ancient at once, I had a blast exploring it after I’d ticked the temple hike off my list. Yes, another sunset tour. Beats the crowds every time 😉
“Nirvana at Borobodur”
The final leg of my tour would take me a few hours north to Phuket, Thailand, to pay a visit to its latest resident, my cousin Rick. I’d grown up with him, being of similar age, so to share some silly adventures with one of my oldest friends, strolling drunkenly down the tourist trap hellhole that is Bangla Road, quad bike down flooded mud tracks, visit his in-laws who were locals, and to be welcomed like family, was truly a magical way to round up my adventure. Alas, back to wet and miserable Melbourne!
“Quad biking Phuket!”
I’ve moved quickly through my Asian adventures, purely because, life took a different turn on return home. Not in any dramatic way. But this situation has both distracted me and compelled me to write again. I merely shifted house. But on a whole other level this was momentous. Ill preface firstly.
After each adventure I’d come home to the same old house id grown up in and wonder if I could really travel without the added bonus of living at home. The small amount of money I forked out on expenses and rent at home meant my account accrued savings easily, but the bubble had to burst after the latest adventure. I didn’t want to be 26, having never lived out of home, me being the independent dude at heart everyone thinks they are. So, now, three months on I’m a renter, with mates, re-assessing everything that’s important. I never used to give a fuck about money, I was safe at home, and things could always be patched up. Now it’s a different matter. It’s growing up and owning yourself.
It’s doing the shopping. It’s not being reckless every weekend with your body. I guess It’s also a happiness thing. I’ve confronted a few personal philosophies recently. I guess I’ve veered from my 23 year old New Age-y think happy thoughts, naive self and started to realise: Life is there to be taken and sitting and waiting ain’ gonna cut it. I’m facing a purge of reckless drinking, cigarettes, occasional drug use, to build a personal temple of wisdom I can be proud of. I’m flying my own flag.
I daily want to immerse myself and building a knowledge base, steeped in science and academia. I daily listen to podcasts on History. I love learning about out ancient forbears, our Roman roots, our Celtic origins. I think the Persian Empire is beautiful. Once I started listening to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History Podcast, it’s clear that our history is so much more interesting than fiction. I want to daily improve my body as well as mind so I exercise as regularly as possible. I’ve now realised these things are so much more important to me than sessions at the pub, days on the couch watching sport and other general lazy activities. Is this growing up?
I’m almost venting on all the things that have limited me from being the person I really want to be. For some moving out is nothing, but from that seemingly insignificant thing i realised the value of having purpose. A purposeless life is nothing but that, but now my goals are starting to shine their way before me. I still hold to some wisdom passed onto me an old teacher that “ life is coming at me and “not to worry where you’ll end up. Just be grateful.” I guess I still have some of that New age positivity in me. I can only keep trying to change myself for the better.
So from showing off my travels to some mega, profound self realisation in blog form thats how I’ve been! How are you!?