Well very nearly six months – but near enough that I’ve started too look back at my short time here in Australia and take stock.
The biggest thing that’s hit me, is the things I thought would be important to me haven’t. When faced with a 25kg weight limited I tried to estimate what I HAD to have and what could be left behind – then when I had to work out what could go in my very small first shipment I tried to work out what I simply couldn’t be without. That boiled down to a bunch of electronics, my books, and my kitchen stuff. The only things that have come out of the packaging is the kitchen stuff – I’ve really enjoyed having decent pans, plates and tongs!
However, the electronics and books have, for the most part staid in the boxes since they arrived at the beginning of December, but as time has passed the things I’ve really missed I wouldn’t have expected at all. I regret not grabbing my camping gear, or my riding gear the first time around. Since I’ve bought the XT600 this month I’ve suddenly remembered what it was that enthralled me about discovering new places on two wheels. Not only the freedom that a motorcycle can give you but the complete ease at which you can throw your gear over the back wheel and stop where you please.
It’s fair to say that after the trip to Russia I felt slightly jaded about travelling. Actually that’s not fair, Russia, and the journey there are back was amazing. What didn’t sit well was the number of arguments that erupted between Patrick, Stace and I. It wasn’t my proudest moment, and seven months after the trip I’m only now starting to realise what it was that made it so amazing. It was Patrick and Stace, it was the arguments, it was the laughing, it was the tears and tantrums, it was the whole experience. I’d been concentrating on the negatives – but actually the positives far out-weight those – you only have to go back through the video updates, or look at the photos to see what I mean.
Last week I bought the entire Michael Palin travel collection on DVD. I’ve just finished re-watching Around the World in 80 days – I’ve not watched it since I was nine years old and sat, cuddled in blankets on my grandmothers leather sofa with tonsillitis. I think it was this programme more than anything else that gave me my taste for seeing the world as it really is – or rather seeing the world from the ground rather than a 747.
So back to the topic at hand, six months in Australia. I’ve got the house sorted. I’ve got the bike sorted, and I’ve got the panniers and other bits on order. When I get back from the states I’ll be bringing my camping gear with me from the UK. Autumn in Australia promises to be a season of exploration.