I know I just posted the other day, but that was simply a recap of my activities and some pictures to help you all visualize my life over here. Nothing wrong with recap posts (necessary, I think!), but I want this space to have a little more depth to it.
So, here’s another post. And here’s a line from a conversation I had on the way to the airport in Hobart:
“I got lost down here 20 years ago and haven’t been able to find my way back home.” — Danny, Irish cab driver
I love that. Danny was beaming from ear-to-ear when he first said it, then again when he repeated it five minutes later. He kind of chuckled, as if he used that answer for anyone who asked about his origin – I mean how does a fairly elderly Irishman end up in tiny Tasmania, anyway?
They get lost.
I’ve found this to be the case with people I’ve met everywhere in the short time I’ve been here. Whether my age, younger, older, male, female, American, German, Japanese or Australian, this is a place you can easily get lost in.
But it goes for any kind of new place or new adventure, really. That’s why I’m here.
Not to necessarily find a job and create a new life and live in a foreign country until I’m ancient, but to lose myself in the pursuit of new experiences.
So far, I’ve been given multiple opportunities to do so – I’ve met and befriended travelers from the States, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil, Germany and more. Even having a basic conversation in a hostel with a backpacker from another country is fun and interesting and challenging.
I’ve learned to embrace opportunities to spend time with new people and put myself in unfamiliar situations. I’ve realized that you don’t have to spend money to create memories with new friends. And I have definitely seen my belief in basic human kindness verified a few times over.
For example, I just concluded my first-ever couchsurfing stint in Manly Beach with an Argentinian host who overwhelmed with curiousity, companionship and courtesy. For the steep price of six cans of these babies (his favorite drink), I was treated to a day-long tour of the beautiful coastline of the Northern beaches, local restaurant recommendations and a night of beer and banter with his girlfriend, friends and roommates. They hailed from Finland, Brazil, Germany, Japan and Australia.
I can tell this trip is impacting me already, even if I’m not out there completely on my own yet. Even if I’m already worried about blowing through the money I saved. And even if I have zero knowledge of where I’ll be two months from now.
But, again, that’s why I’m here. That’s why we travel. To get lost, and to make coming home all the more bittersweet. The adventure is worth it so far.