With my visa days numbered and a growing feeling that I was over a life fuelled by dollar noodles, three litre boxes of wine and four hours sleep – on a good night, I started to think about the long road home.
Actually, I was thinking of ways to make it the longest, most convoluted road in history…anything to stall a final destination.
When I was younger, my Mum had told me it’s ok to run as long as you’re running to something and not from something. Turns out, I was just plain running – a directionless, purposeless movement for the sake of movement but somehow desirable over standing still.
So, Sydney to Tasmania, Perth to New Zealand, Back to Brisbane, Indonesia and beautiful Bali. An incredible Thailand experience and then… Paris. I had always intended to see more of Asia but Paris was thrown in when I was on the Singapore Airlines website in Bangkok and was seemingly rendered incapable of selecting ‘London Heathrow’ from the destination drop-down.
It was a case of anything to keep on going, even though I still didn’t know where I was going to, or why.
The only thing I felt sure of was that I was chasing ‘something’ that probably didn’t exist. I think it was, and is, contentment. Maybe for me that’s defined as the day you finally live for the day and stop trying to get to the next in the hope that it will be better.
On my final night in Australia, August 2011, I sat on the roof terrace, watching the sun setting on the best two years of my life.
I’d lived in Bondi, I’d worked for Universal Music Group, in a diamond studio and without pay on a lettuce farm to get my second year visa. I’d fallen in love. Twice. And I’d made some of the the closest friendships I’ll probably ever have.
A lot can happen in two years when all you have is yourself and all you carry is enough clothes to last two weeks.