what it all means to me

My, I cannot believe that exactly a month ago I was taking the plane, leaving Europe behind... This article is a bouquet of my reflexions throughout this month.

What it means…
… To meet the end of the road.
Like every good lesson learned, I will start with a recent example. I was in Hobart, and I really wanted to go to an event on a Saturday night. Of course, I don’t have a car, so my only hope relied on public transportation which, wherever you are in the world, is not particularly fond of Saturday nights. But nevermind that, I checked which bus would get me the closest to the place I wanted to go, and I decided to walk the rest of the distant. Pretty simple, right? I just had to follow one street…
Except that this street was steep and long as the one leading to a better place. But as so many cars were overtaking me, as I was suffering under the heat and the pain of the journey, I remembered that this was exactly what I wanted, that I actually wanted to earn the end of the road, like a prize well deserved. And it worked as a motivation, and when the final bit was finally behind me (there’s always one final bit so much steeper than the rest, right?), I was not like all those people searching for a parking space near the park, I was actually happy, from the bottom of my heart, of finally arriving to destination, by my own means (aka, my poor legs). And when the time came to go back, the walk down the road was just as nice, and while cars hurriedly drove home, I spotted my first kangaroo, and enjoyed a stroll under the moonlit sky, Orion watching over me.
That in itself is just a story, maybe not even worth telling, but for me it was characteristic of the trip I had in mind. No car, just go to the limit of the known through public transportation, and the limit of your unknown by your own means. It just makes so much more sense, it’s so much more fulfilling. Of course, the big continent of Australia may not be the most appropriate country to do this, as it is sometimes frustrating not being able to go somewhere without a car (like Cradle Mountain or Freycinet National Parks), but still, this road just lingers in my mind just like Marions lookout in Cradle Mountain National Park, because I earned the view,I earn the end of the road.

… to backpack on your own
Before I realized that backpacking was actually the best way for me to travel, I always looked at backpackers as another species remotely related to mine. In my vision, they had piercings, smoked weed, and wore Cool under all those hippy clothes. I couldn’t picture myself as one of them. Now my world is full of backpackers, and sometimes, some are exactly as described above. But most of them are just like me, discovering the world on a budget, trying to make the most of it and meeting new people. And then, I crossed the look of a girl on the street, and it might have been the exact same look I had when meeting backpackers. I wasn’t wearing any hippy clothes, I don’t have piercings, but her look was probably for the global image I gave: unbrushed hair, a big backpack, big walking shoes, no fancy accessories… So, after a month of traveling, I’m probably one of them. And actually... it feels great!
(Edit: except for one thing: flip flops. In this particular part of the world, backpackers travel with flip flops on... And I really can't understand it, as comfortable as it may seem)

Remember when I told you about “the excitement of doing things of your own”? I never thought it would be so true. My creativity, my ideas have never been so awaken, and now I certainly have the time to realize them. I probably could have found the time before, after a day of work, but the motivation wasn’t really there. But now…
Just as an example: from “My Impossible List”, I had taken away the “and make a movie about it” from the “Make a Cross Country Trip”, but I put it back, because it doesn’t seem so impossible now. I don't say that I will become the next Tarantino, but I'm still having fun collecting pieces of video and putting them together.

What are YOUR thoughts about backpacking? What do you do of your free time when you travel?

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