Why is it so? (and freaks of the week)

Trip Start Jun 29, 2005
Trip End Nov 30, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Monday, July 11, 2005

Today is a rest day in Alice before departing on the Ghan in the late afternoon for Darwin. I won't be unhappy to go - it's downright cold out here!

As there's not much to report I thought it might be good to take a new tangent in this travelogue and discuss some motivations for embarking on this extended adventure, and maybe introduce a new idea or two that might become regular segments whilst on tour.

So what on earth possessed me to take a year out of life, hit the road and trek through some places most would fear to tread? I know some family and friends are probably asking this exact question, so here goes...

1) the title of this travelogue is a good indication. The last couple of years have been restless and unfocused, and I have no real idea of what I want to do with the rest of my life. Whilst I may or may not be having a mid life crisis at the tender age of 31, it has been enough to motivate a change of scenery so here I am.

2) factors such as available resources, and having no binding ties (like a wife, family or mortgage) hanging over my head at this time make it easier to uproot and 'go walkabout'. There is a lot of places and things I really want to see, so doing them at this stage of life will reduce the potential for regret when I eventually find my true love, settle down and take on that mortgage millstone - if that's what I end up doing.

3) On a deeper level, and both mentally and physically, I feel that I have softened over the past few years. I need to get out there, face new challenges and situations to toughen myself up. Being heavily ripped off, having all possessions stolen in a completely foreign land

4) I hope to meet new people and really develop more extroverted tendencies that I've stamped down within myself in recent times.

5) there's no doubt that I'll see new things, gain new insights and bring back new ideas. At heart I'm and entrepreneur, and from past travels I know that people do things differently in others places, so maybe I can bring back some of these to form the seed of a new business venture if I don't find a true calling through these adventures.

6) I also have delusions of grandeur and yearning to write. At least I want to try and give it a go. I have reasonably advanced plans for a novel and am interested in writing articles, reviews and things like this travel diary. I'll get an idea of how people react to and accept my writing and if worst comes to worst, I'll have a substantial body of work in this diary that will be interesting to both myself and variety of other people.

All in all I'm a typical Aquarian and a little unusual in many ways (some would say soft in the head). My decision to take off wasn't just a spur of the moment thing. I'm confused but capable so hope it works out and that in a year or two I'll have seen a whole lot more of the world, and that I have some idea of what to do with the rest of my life. Not too much to ask hopefully...

On a lighter note, I might institute a new segment at this juncture to explore interesting people that I meet along the road. I'll slip them in on downtime entries like this one. They won't be necessarily certifiable, but just people doing what they want to be doing and that inspire something in me (well enough to write a quick paragraph or two about them anyway...).

Freak of the week

From my first week of travels it had to be my mate Carrie. Mild mannered GST accountant by day, rocking DJ and party girl by night. Unconventional, loves what she does, has a permanent smile on her face and is always happy, friendly and outgoing. My hat is off to you, I hope we can remain friends for a long time to come.

This week it would have to be Chris - fearless tour guide of our 3 day Adventure Tours backpacker safari successfully completed yesterday. He's back out again today, doing the 1500km trek whilst wrangling up to 20 troublesome backpackers across the desert. Despite the uncompromising environment and punitive work conditions he loves the job and being out in the bush. He will work non-stop until December in order to take his girl away to Fiji. Salt of the earth and a quintessential Aussie, we got on like a house on fire.

Thanks mate for a top weekend and don't aspire to the Safari in Style tour, you have too much fun with the backpackers...

Where (Charles) Darwin went wrong

I reckon I'm going to see a bunch of animals that really defy logic throughout my travels, so thought it might be an idea to highlight a few of them along the way.

The first wonderful animal that makes you question Darwin's survival of the fittest theory would have to be the Emu, as pictured below.

About the only things going for it are their size (approx 1.2 m/4ft tall), extremely powerful and sharp claws on it's gangly legs, the ability to run very very fast and one is featured on the Australian coat of arms. Otherwise they are the world's second largest bird, live in tough desert and outback areas of Australia, are completely flightless and are apparently rather tasty - all indications that they should have gone the way of the Dodo eons ago. They haven't yet so cheers to this unusual Aussie icon.

Next entry -> Darwin
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