Down Under Day 45: It’s the Final Countdown

I began the day playing a couple rounds of chess with my friend Wes from back home, reliving a tense rivalry of sorts halfway across the world from one another. I’m sure traveling has changed quite a bit. Everyone now has a phone and someway to connect to the Internet with WiFi now nearly being expected wherever you go. Even twenty years ago it would have been a challenge; the instant connection I can have with folks back home or the ability to plan out trips, book hostels, have downloadable maps, etc has been a boon to all backpackers everywhere. While preparing breakfast, the usual fare of oatmeal, I talked with a girl from Holland that I met earlier in the week. She will be leaving for New Zealand soon for roughly six weeks. I told her how jealous I was and gave her advice on what to see and do as well prepare for based on my travel mistakes. After exchanging contact information, I let her know that if she ever wanted some advice about the great country of New Zealand that I was more than willing to help. Sure, a fair share of these acquaintances and friendships fade away but I have been able to keep in contact with enough of them and plus at the end of the day you never know when you might run into each other again. After punching the clock at the end of my shift, I realized I only had four more shifts of cleaning bedrooms and most importantly toilets before I could leave for my two day and one night scuba trip five days from now. Finally and certainly craziest of all is that in one week’s time I will be boarding a plane for Southeast Asia with the first stop being Bangkok, Thailand. Knowing that I should have been back in America makes that realization seem even more far-fetched but here I am about to face my next adventure, one that some may think is reaching too far. I guess I am about to find out for myself. I laugh because the people passing through keep asking me what I did today and the details of my day are less than thrilling; no skydiving trips over Cairns, no snorkeling at the reef, no day trip to the Daintree Rainforest, etc. Blogging and researching passed the time. My roommate Dave and I went to workout across the street at the long-term stay housing of the hostel just as the rain began to pour down and the lightning attempted to split open the sky. The outdoor “gym” was merely a bench press with limited weights and a couple of meager dumbbells, but we somehow managed a bit of exercise with the equipment and the house itself using areas to do pull-ups, dips, and whatever else that inspired some creativity. After dinner I continued talking with people I had met before and eventually talked to a guy named Matt that has been working at the hostel for quite while. What a great mate! As chill as can be without a worry in sight, he is one of the refreshing people to meet and talk with. Our collective energy for global travel and the curiosities of the world bounced off one another, a never ending dialogue. With it being day 45 of the trip, I am approaching the length of my first trip in Europe but this one has been entirely on my own. And I haven’t even gotten to Southeast Asia yet!

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