Usually I feel reflective, nostalgic or philosophical when I find myself at the airport ready to begin another chapter. I felt happy and enthused, but not ready to delve into deep, complicated thoughts about life and what the future has in store. All I could focus on was getting myself fed, while I stared out the window after passing through a relatively painless customs and security check. I had a small scissor with my old moleskin from the PCT buried inside my backpack, and when the woman identified me as the owner, she sighed and remarked sarcastically, ‘these are my favourite types of bags’. I think she actually felt bad unravelling all my carefully packed contents, scrutinising my sawyer squeeze water filter, tent, and hiking clothes, before having to dig even deeper for the zip-locked culprit.
Just before I left Abu Dhabi, I felt an enormous pull to go back to Australia. Within these few weeks, I shared so much with the people that mean the most to me, I can’t even imagine not being here during this time. I celebrated new life, old life, and the completion of life. I became closer to close friends, and I was able to share joyful and important moments with my family.
Perhaps that’s why there wasn’t room for grand philosophies after I said goodbye to my parents at the international terminal in Sydney. I was feeling a little sad to leave. But in 14 hours and 9 minutes I’ll be standing on the ground in a new hemisphere (two actually according to Fuller – the Northern and Western!) and life will continue under a new setting, the way it always does.
One of my best friends commented on this visit that I seemed more comfortable being me. No more Googling true love or the meaning of life. I think she’s right. I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin and so sure of where my life is heading. Somehow I feel older and more weighted, like gravity is holding me down with a firmer grip and I have a more stable footing on this earth. It feels good when you’re happy being you. Satisfied with your shortcomings and able to appreciate the better sides of yourself.
If this chapter goes to plan, I won’t be dragging around my home in a suitcase for at least a few months. I can unpack, settle in, and feather my nest for a while; then reassess. One step at a time. Another lesson from the trail. As long as you’re moving forward, you’ll eventually reach your destination, and in many respects the stars have already begun to align. I said to a friend yesterday that I feel like I’m slipstreaming life at the moment, swimming with the tide instead of against it. I’ve narrowed down my goals and options for the year, so it feels easier to make the right decisions. I’m looking for a place to rent within a small radius of blocks, and I’ve applied for just one job. I’ll continue moving forward until I’ve secured both, or until a second option is a must. Then the rest will be a surprise.
A lot of people at this time of the year will be setting off on their epic adventure along the PCT. Wild is screening on the plane, but I promised a close friend we would watch it together, so I’m still waiting patiently to see the movie. I’ve heard mixed reviews, but the main reason I want to watch it is to see the trail again. I have a tendency to watch other people’s screens when flying, taking in snippets of movies in silence. That way I don’t have to commit to my own selection, and I can tune in and out of the film without spoiling the whole movie. The woman next to me however has just switched on Wild, so I’ve covered my right eye with my bandana while I write, stopping my eyes from straying to watch.
It’s funny how often I get onto a plane without really contemplating the reality of flying. It’s not until about half way through that I realise just how insane the concept actually is. Climbing inside a huge metallic bird that soars you to another destination in a matter of hours. You sit in a chair, most of the time in darkness, doing everything in your power to distract you from the fact that you’re thousands of feet in the air; movies, music, reading or sleeping. Then the lights come on, you eat a meal, the plane lands, everyone stands up, you walk off the plane, and just like that you’re in another country.
This will be my reality in about 13.5 hours, so I’ve got plenty of time to watch my silent movies and delve into those deep philosophies should I choose. Then just like magic, I’ll be walking off the plane in a new setting, and life will start again.
20 thoughts on “My life weighed in at 29.5kg”
Hey there Muk! Glad to see you are in a great place. Very cool. When you get home please give me a call/email/whatever. I’d love to talk with you and catch up. By the way our anniversary is just a few days away so be sure to have a shot of some kickin chicken if possible. We could Skype too. My ID is alan.masters2011 ! You probably still have my cell in yours.
One of my good friends and business partners has been in Australia for the last few weeks as we opened Australia late last year and it’s starting to boom! He’s now earning over $600,000 a year with ZEAL! I think I told you about him when we were walking. From Albania, pizza delivery guy, college drop out, etc. He’s come a long way.
Hope to hear from you soon!
Not sure where you off to, but you seem to be flying Air Canada… so if by any chance that is where you are heading…. Welcome and Bienvenue in my country. Looking forward to reading about your adventures again. Ingrid
So exciting to follow you on your trip to a new chapter, new adventures, new stories. I am happy for you that you had such a great time in Australia, and that you feel happy and confident being you! Wishing you a safe trip, and all the best for the new start in 13.5 hours!
Hey, glad to see you’re welcoming another adventure. It seems that you have a calmness about you for this one. That’s awesome. I’m from Ohio but grew up in Sydney And I remember those flights all too well. Even did it alone at the age of 14. Sydney to Ohio. My Gameboy batteries ran out about an hr into the flight (SYD-LAX) and I thought my life was over. Haha. Good times. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for all of you openness on your blog. I hit Campo Apr 18th to start my PCT thru and your blog was a great source of info. So I thank you. Best of luck on your new adventure.
Thank you! I was reading with interest about your dilemma about leaving the trail part way for the film festival. First of all I think all those other offers came up to test how dedicated you were to hiking the trail (you passed with flying colours!), and secondly I would suggest to let the trail guide you. If it feels right to leave, go. If not, don’t force it. If you have the freedom of leaving yourself open to choice do it. Whatever happens out there, you’re gonna have the experience of a lifetime. Happy trails!
Thanks for the input. I haven’t booked my flight yet, so there is some room for choice along the way. I guess I’ll see how I feel about it one or two weeks into my trip. Thanks for checking out my blog. If you have any other tid bits that you think of sharing at any time, I’m all ears. I know enough to know that I don’t know everything.
I’ll definitely be checking in on your journey. I’m glad you’re keeping your options open! Happy trails and success out there!
Oh how I’ve missed you. Thanks for checking in as you set out for yet another journey, adding another chapter to your book called life.
Thank you Jan! Another busy season is about to begin for you!
Well . . . you’ve probably missed out on my life changes. I’m retired now and I hike! I just finished a 300 mile section of the Arizona Trail. I’m living the life and loving it!
Sounds like we are playing a little role reversal.
Good for you Jan! So happy for you!! 🙂
I know it’s been some time – – but it is always so great to catch up with your travels when you post a new message. I wish you well in whatever endeavor you are undertaking. I look forward to learning more….
Thank you Keith, it’s great to hear from you again!!
It would have been okay if your eyes strayed over to the movie Wild. Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun. I would be interested in your thoughts regarding the movie once you see it.
Good to hear of your relocation and proximity to the PCT. I have felt a connection to the trail and to the waters of Puget Sound as a former boater. Even though I may not get to either in a given year, knowing my nearness to and ability to get to them makes for a connection that gets to the root of who I am.
You have planted many roots within yourself in your travels and experiences and “making a nest” albeit for a temporary amount of time in a place you can “connect” to, is what makes a place a home.
Much success to you as you continue to discover yourself and sense of place.
Thanks Tim! I was just reunited with the t-shirt you made me yesterday! Hope you’re well!
Hopefully you found the poster too. I mailed it to the address you gave me right when you left Vancouver.
This is meant for you:
I leave Melbourne next Monday and start hiking Tuesday – your blog was a major resource for me, so thank you – love n light to you Muk Muk, wherever you’re going and whatever you’re doing.
I’m so excited for you!! Happy hiking and safe travels. Let me know if you’re keeping a blog, I’m sure there’s many other people who’d be keen to follow!! Happy trails and have a blast!! Muk
Thanks Muk! Yes I’m blogging – jennihikes……6 days now, eek!