I lived merrily in melbourne for good 3 months before I got the small itch in the back of my head, telling me to go see what else is there – if only just to realize that I was perfectly well off and happy the way I was living (despite the creeping cold that penetrated to the bones). Well, I’ve been on the road for a week now, first of which was pretty much constant rain in Sydney. Cozy and homey: I spent the week in Bondi beach, crashing on my cousin’s couch. It was weird to be amongst 4 Finns, in a house filled with Finnish crisp bread, candy, even coffee. I didn’t know there is Finnish ‘Temptation Island’, and I kinda wish I still didn’t know about that. Besides the rain, Sydney was nice. I liked the architecture and nature, but wasn’t such a big fan of the dozens and dozens of buses required to move around. I did find a place I wish melbourne had: About Life organic marketplace. That food, nommmmm!
On Tuesday morning-ish we left on the road, towards Port macquairie. After 4 hours in the car we decided to keep on driving to Coffs Harbour to stay overnight. Travel tip: In Australia most roadside eateries are either mcdonalds or Subway, possibly Red Rooster (chicken things), and gas stations selling chips and frozen coca cola. I had my health expo goodie bag to keep me satisfied, thank god. Unfortunately we didn’t really see much of Coffs Harbour besides the shopping center where we had breakfast and bought drinks for the road the next day. In the arvo aka afternoon we stopped in the happy hempy hippie town of Nimbin, which I found a tad creepy. In Australia even regular hemp is not allowed to be digested (they think it’s cannabis!), and the legalization or decriminalization of weed is especially a big thing in Nimbin.
We were around for just a few hours, plenty of time for me to get anxious of all the glassy eyes and smoking paraphernalia and other stuffs. Hippieoverload, I must admit.
After Nimbin we headed to the outskirts of Brisbane, to a place my cousin and her friend had previously stayed. Nice and peaceful, warm and sunny. On the way to Ormiston we randomly met some friends who had left the day after us, in the parking lot of a random mcdonalds. Weird things happen.
Tomorrow morning I am off to Brisbane city, where I am not going to see Alt-J because I didn’t manage to get a ticket (Not bitter). On Saturday I’ll be flying solo again and Greyhound my way to Byron Bay, which has been my destination all along. No return ticket yet, nothing certain about anything. This qypsy life can be a bit rough every now and again, but it’s easier to endure in the sunshine.
Exactly 6 months ago I was packing my life in boxes, laughing at the Helsinki rain that was almost constant, waiting eagerly to get to Bali. I said countless goodbyes and “see you next year”, thinking I’d quickly visit California and be back home in February. Little did I now, half year later friends are asking me if I am coming back. I am in Sydney, packing my (hand)back to go on a road trip! These past 4 days in Sydney have been as gloomy (weather-wise) as I would’ve expected maybe in Finland, but not in Bondi beach! Life is weird; I definitely would not have expected half of the things I’ve experienced, seen, opportunities and people who have just come up. This definitely happen for a reason, and going with the flow is the best way of making sure you get the most out of things.
Bali: surfing, scooter driving, farm visits, scuba diving, fresh fruits.
Vietnam: People and hassle, cacao, river trip, fresh spring rolls.
Cambodia: Scuba diving, meditation and yoga, poor people and begging children.
Australia: Work, people, culture, conversations, future. Things just keep on coming up, there’s no way I’d go work in a farm for 3 months because there is so much happening right here, right now.
I still have one protein bar in my backpack that I brought with me from Finland. I think I’ll keep it, as a memory of my trip; when I left Helsinki, I think I had like 10 of those bars with me. Let’s see if one makes it back to where it left from.
My brother is currently in the Utti jaegaer regimen, which is probably the hardest and most challenging army training in Finland. He’s running up and down the hills, swamps and the hardest terroirs with 30kg backpack and gear in for 12 hours a day, standing in form for 3 hours straight after that, and God knows what else. Men throwing up and passing out is not bizarre, and their minds are constantly tested with encouragements to leave the service.
This Saturday the 44 jaegaers of this year gave their military vows. After marching, parade, few hyms and walking around with flags the platoons showcased their weapons, gear and had a demo of skydiving jumps (the jaegaers jumped off a bench, rolled on the ground and were rewarded with push-ups if the rolling wasn’t done in proper manner). I had not seen my brother since before he started his training in June, so I was rather anxious to get to measure his biceps and punch him in the stomach to see how hard his pecks were.
The soldiers got to go on their weekend holiday at exactly 2 pm, even though we were done eating (pea soup and pancake with strawberry jam, the every Thursday-tradition on a Saturday) after 12.30. So, we waited and waited, then finally got to take our soldier home for 2 days.
Back in New York, I came across something different military-wise. I wonder how these conditions would work today.