I finally had the chance to get out of Darwin for one very well deserved day off to explore Litchfield national Park, just an hour drive south. As I was driving on the highway, passing huge featureless plains, sandy red roads and impressive termite mounds springing from the ground like weird tumors, all of those traveling sensations I had for two long months lurked back into my soul, and as Hendrix put it once, seriously “I know what I want but I just don’t know!”.
I missed traveling, I missed it so much I kind of removed the idea from my mind just to concentrate on working, every day, save money, save money like a Chinese would do. I reckon I never got a single day off in a month, a long month where every day was exactly the same, get up, have breakfast, surf some internet, wait for the lift to work, get there, roll the dough, roll other dough, roll dough again for 6 hours straight, get off work at 10 pm, go home, talk with my roommates for a bit, go to sleep. And off we go again the next day.
Well all of this grind just vanished as soon as we hit the road, music blasting from the car stereo, and a very scorching hot sun trying to overcome the power of a fantastic air conditioned haze saving us from a painful, slow cooking. Litchfield is probably not the most alluring destination in Australia’s Top End, but its waterfalls and walks, broad spaces and savannha-like atmosphere just punched me in the right side of the head. This is what I missed for so long… freedom. Freedom to get around on my own wheels, freedom to wake up in the morning and enjoy a full day exploring beautiful things, freedom to roam around a majestic national park, losing myself into its chilling waters.
And now, exactly one week before I’ll fly to Singapore again, to start off something I still don’t know again, I feel like despite its easy living, relatively high costs and lack of perfect inspiration, I will miss Australia. One of the countries in the world whose inhabitants still don’t realize how lucky they are having such a protective welfare system, fairly uncorrupted government, an assisted work situation and basically whatever you need to live easily, whether you want to work and have an income or not. Once talking with an aussie friend, I told her to me, life in Australia is like jerking off with a condom on: something oversafe, completely unnecessary. I think she liked the idea, but at the same time she realized this overprotection can create monsters too.
I have given a hard time to Australia many times, writing, I have said it’s a beautiful but dull country, I have said many contrasting things, without realizing that probably it was my brain that wasn’t working the way it should have. I still agree on most of my ideas, but after these six months finding myself in the bush again gave me the thrills. I’d definitely do it again, maybe for two weeks straight, some of those long weeks of roaming and exploration across this Big Empty, sleeping under the stars and eating out of hot pans slow cooking over a bonfire. It’s like abandoning a pretty boring woman, you’re happy but then you realize you miss something about her… and I am afraid I just completed half of the exploration of this vast, empty, deserted land. I just hope I saw some of the best aspects of it.
A few more days of daily grind that won’t even seem like the same because they are the end of the tunnel, and I got to know the people, and I will miss them, but it’s time to go. There is an unknown force pushing me from behind and inside, telling me to go back to Malaysia, sort things out, change again, get more adventure… and more… and more…. so I guess it’s just time to go, Australia. And as I said with China when it was my moment to leave, you never know, we might see each other again very soon… maybe even in December. Who knows? At this moment of brilliant confusion, not me. If you know what I’ll be doing, please drop me a line and let me know, thanks!!