On this very day, July 15th, 1986 (which ALSO fell on a Tuesday) I left Australia for what I thought would be a six month trip through Asia. I had saved for the trip for years but a fall in the Australian dollar while I was trying to amass travel funds meant that I didn’t have much spending power. In fact, it would have been better had I left a year earlier with less dollars but at a higher value. In frustration, I sold all my stuff and gave up my flat in Sydney just to be able to afford to go at all.
But because of a series of adventures, happy accidents and connections made along the way, and the fact that I hadn’t left any entanglements back in Sydney to draw me back, I wound up getting work in various countries, which enabled me to extend my trip, and here I am, 22 years later, still abroad, meaning that I have now lived exactly half of my life away from my native land.
Funnily enough, I have yet to do a few of the things I had planned when I left home all those years ago. My original plan was to visit Japan and then go to China and ride the Trans-Siberian express into Europe, find some work in London (as most Australians do in their youth) and then head home. But although I got as far as Japan and China, I never rode the Trans-Siberian.
Along the way my plans changed, and I ended up staying in Asia for 3 straight years, using the money made from working in various animation studios throughout Asia to finance wanderings around the region. After that, I came to the USA to visit friends who I had met in Asia, and then I travelled around both North and South America.
I worked in France for a year and did some travelling in Europe, but by that stage my wandering feet were getting tired and I wanted to stay in one place for a while. Thankfully I was given a job-offer to move to San Francisco and I have been living in this great city pretty much ever since.
Now I am feeling somewhat restless again… For sometime now I have been thinking that it might be time for some kind of a change, although I don’t know what it should be. Maybe I should actually complete my original travel plan by riding the Trans-Siberian express from Europe into Asia and then back home to Australia…
4 thoughts on “Half A lifetime Ago”
Wow! I didn’t know you had spent so much time in Asia… Cool!
If you ever want someone to travel with, I’ve had the itch to go somewhere for quite a while now…
Wow, it’s really cool how many places you’ve been. I often wish that I had taken some time post college, and just travelled and experienced instead of jumping head first into work. Hindsight 20/20, blah, blah, blah.
Ted & John>> Yeah, I spent along time in Asia and in fact it was 4 straight years before I even went back to Australia at all. I certainly packed a lot of adventuring into that time; Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Burma, Thailand, China, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, the USA, Canada, France, the UK… and more. I am happy that I was able to do it when I was younger and ready to “rough it”. I am too soft now to do a lot of the gruelling adventure type stuff I did back then.
We’d certainly love to have you back down here, closer to us!