Off The Road

‘What are you going to do with yourself, Ed?’ I asked.
‘I don’t know’, he said, ‘I just go along. I dig life.’
– Jack Kerouac, On The Road

I think it was Alexander Huber who infested my with this idea of viewing ones life as a big book, every single day represented by a blank page that is yet to be filled. Some pages will display only a few words scratched on them, some are more like a whole magnificent book by themselves, featuring coloured illustrations and all. I still like to live and think by and with this analogy, it’s a beautiful one; And accordingly, I’m about to close a big chapter, 206 pages long and a hell of a read.

Flicking through it, one can read of snow-covered peaks, of real-life dragons, of endless road-trips, of those miseries of packing up a wet tent in the morning and putting it up again in the evening, of insightful conversations with total strangers that are about to become respected friends in just a minute’s time, of days filled with the longing for a home, of endless and empty beaches, of the best sunset imaginable, yes, one will even be advised to absolutely never leave the selling of a van to the very day prior to your departure. In short, I’ve done my best to fill each and every of those blank pages as colourful and vivid as I could. That was my mission – I think I did pretty well.

People will continue to ask, ‘So, tell me, what’s your favourite place of all?’ Well, there is no such place. It’s neither A nor B that matter, it’s everything in between. It was proven once again that flexibility is a traveller’s very best friend. In a nutshell, Nepal was a beautiful culture shock, still vivid in my mind. Thailand was a holiday from Nepal, a delight for all senses. Singapore a huge, modern city (yes, and it still is, in face I’m writing those lines whilst patiently waiting for my final connection at Singapore International Airport and, as it turned out, they offer public Internet kiosks free of charge; brilliant). Indonesia an adventure for its own, featuring a paradise of a millions islands and day-long delayed ferry rides. Australia a big and exciting road trip and a lot of deep blue. New Zealand an even bigger road trip (6349 km, in fact), a lot of magnificent rock and even more magnificent people. But you shouldn’t put anything in a nutshell, frankly – go ahead and write a book.

So, even seven month of intense travelling around the globe have to come to an end, eventually. It will be a whole new idea to work through those memories – there were simply too many to be processed instantly. Doubtless to say, those seven month were the most adventurous and exciting of my life. Of course. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. Of course. I would do it again. Of course.
But now, I’m off the road, I’m coming home. And I’m glad to.

If there is one sole conclusion that has to be drawn from my first extended trip around the world, than this is it: It surely hasn’t been my last one.

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Praise the Wombat

Rainday. Restday. Internetday. Reason enough for one of those sparse update here within (does anyone out there actually care? I’ve now spent over an hour on this!), after all it’s been almost three weeks since I’ve left Oz and a lot has happened since. But I’m slacking, no hurries, mate, as the Aussies would say, thus one step at a time. Featured continent of the day: Australia!

Randomness had me stay for precisely one month, as it turned out, down in Down Under. After couchsurfing Sydney for about a week, I decided on a spontaneous road-trip some thousand kilometers up the coast, from Melbourne to Adelaide. Of course, it was great times and even the Japanese groups posing in front of the Twelve Apostles somewhat amusing; but I don’t need to tell you about those, you’ve heard the stories, you’ve seen the pictures. The things that were much rather interesting were the small pleasures of life, e.g. camping on a golf course, bouldering in sandstone-paradise of the Grampians, or those funny creatures hopping ’round the camp-spots, trying to steal some of your freshly-grilled Spam (Uh yes, Spam indeed). Correct, we were living up the camping (or as some might call it, the cheap) life, because Australia is, apart from being massively huge and vast and wild and beautiful, mainly: ridiculously expensive (especially coming from Asia leaves you with a rise of prices of literally 3000%).

My favorite little place, however, was the island of Tasmania. It had the deepest blue I’ve ever seen, anywhere on this planet. This fact alone made me stop about a hundred times, gazing down some 200m cliff-face straight into the ocean, and think out loud: ‘Wuuh.’ A magnificent and fascinating place; Driving around, in this vast remoteness, is a treat by itself: You’ll get the most stunning landscape without seeing anyone else, for hours (minus the millions of road-kills of which you could feed a smaller city with and the Wallabies obviously trying to commit suicide, for whatever reason). And above all, I’ve seen the most adorable living thing imaginable and from now on my official favorite animal of all times: A Wombat. A life-changing experience.

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