i travel with thumbs out, with a window seat on the greyhound, with a pair of facing benches on the train so that one can act as a foot rest, with a car from the decade of my birth and a credit card dedicated to the purchase of gasoline.
i love a good road trip, the kind where i have less than a day in most locations, so long as this is interrupted by 2 or 3 day long sojourns that make me feel as though i’ve lived in some towns forever by sheer contrast to the disruption of being on the move.
yes, i love to see the world pass from moving vehicle, but i also love to sit and pretend i am a local. i love small town libraries, thrift shops, cafés, public transit, and swimming holes. without these opportunities, i do not like the road tripping, do not like the pace of culture cramming. all of those “10 european cities in 10 days!” tours? never.
this is not how i was thinking about my trip to upcoming australia: it was not a road trip.
instead, i was thinking about it as a move: i am going to go to melbourne and live with my friends, get a thoughtless job in the service industry, and contemplate life in the big city as well as life back in canada.
that still might happen, but suddenly it might not. things aren’t working out very well for my friends, and it could mean that i won’t be living with them. not through any fault of theirs, i should make clear! they are lovely, and i’m hoping that their situations improve. however, in the meantime i’m looking at alternate plans, which to be frank i had not at all considered before now.
my headspace has been so desperately occupied lately by the drama at my office, and subletting my apartment, and getting rid of my junk, and spending time with all the people i’m going to miss while i’m away… that i’ve barely thought about what to do when i’m actually in melbourne. sure, i’ve mapped out the libraries closest to my friends’ house, and decided at which community radio station i want to volunteer, and checked out the queer event listings… but i’ve done nothing around the basics of shelter, transport, food. which is okay: i didn’t need to, and now i do, and it’s just a bit more excitement and adventure!
though i’d be lying if i didn’t also tell you that it’s more stress. but i can handle it.
the thing is, if i’m not going to live with my friends in melbourne, there’s very little reason for me to stay there. i’ll still fly into the city, and get a chance to see them for a bit, but then… why not go other places? mae callen suggested the whitsunday islands for some sailing adventures… why not? and tasmania sounds amazing too.
i can’t afford to travel much, but i can stretch my savings by joining WWOOF, and it looks like there’s plenty of opportunities all over the continent. i’d love to do that again, though i hadn’t planned on it… in the past, i’ve worked on farms in the yukon, in northwest france, in southern england, and on the scottish isle of eigg (population 73 person, at the time). some of the best experiences of my life have been through WWOOFing, and even the bad times have at least produced good stories.
maybe i could WWOOF at a farm or three, and use that to get my bearings while i find some paid work. ideally, i’ll find the sort of situation that has been offered to me at previous farms: half days of labour in exchange for room and partial board, leaving time for a part-time job. mayba barrista work, but maybe even with a sailmaker or a scuba instruction company or an upholstering shop or something else cool.
this post started all thoughtfulish and has now degenerated into rambling thoughts on the possibilities of my upcoming 4 months abroad. apologies: i’m all muddled. excited though… very excited.